November 24, 2011
You know the drill here. We pick five games against the number (go to Yahoo! Pro Football Pick'em) and then we watch them run around for three hours. Good work if you can get it.
Giants +7 at Saints: New York is hard to trust as a favorite, but you love Tom Coughlin's club as an underdog. The Giants were horrendous in the loss at Philly, sure, but the line has overcompensated. New York needs to throw the ball to be effective, but that shouldn't be a problem against the ordinary Saints pass defense (84.8 rating allowed, 16 TDs, just five picks).
Jets -9 vs. Bills: It's not that I'm sold on the Jets, I'm just through with the Bills. Their offense has been solved, and good luck moving the chains without Fred Jackson(notes). So long as the Jets don't beat themselves in this game, this looks like a rout waiting to happen.
Cowboys -7 vs. Dolphins: Miami's surge of late has been tied to improved defense and keeping Matt Moore(notes) under wraps — he's only attempted 95 passes over the last four games. That all stops on Thanksgiving. Defending the Dallas offense is a tall order — a significant upgrade from the Chiefs, Redskins and Bills of the world — and I expect Moore to make some loose throws and pocket mistakes if forced to play from a deficit.
Niners +3.5 at Ravens: Is Joe Flacco(notes) capable of playing two strong games in a row? He hasn't done it yet in 2011; look at the messy game logs. Getting the hook is much appreciated in a game where not much scoring is expected.
Broncos +6 at Chargers: The less-reported side of the Denver resurgence is the play of the defense. The line is probably raised a little bit here because of the Charger desperation, but so what? I'll gladly pick against Norv Turner again.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Wishing you a hearty meal, a fun day with family and friends, and maybe a backdoor cover or two.
Last Week: 3-2 (28-23-4 season)
Last Year: 49-34
Images courtesy US Presswire