THE PICKS SIX THANKSGIVING SPECIAL
Well, Corona has REALLY officially ruined 2020. As I was writing this, we’ve been hit by breaking news in Baltimore. Ravens-Steelers is postponed to Sunday… and we’re down to just TWO Thanksgiving football games. Sad. Obviously… there are much more important things. It’s absolutely the correct decision to keep everyone safe, but it is sad we’re losing a third of our Thanksgiving slate.
As far as we’re concerned here at Picks Six, Sunday was a bit of a down day. An 8-5 record on the games was a bit disappointing – a couple of rogue upsets were thrown in there. I’ll update my season stats for this weekend’s column after these two games on Thursday.
Anyway, on with the matter at hand. This is the first Thanksgiving I’ll have spent in the UK since 2012… I’m very sad about it, but determined to make the most of the day and make sure I do the 3 most important things on any Thanksgiving – Give many thanks, seriously over eat, and watch 9 hours of uninterrupted NFL football… guess it’s only gonna be about 6 hours this year.
One of the bonuses of Thanksgiving football is that each game can receive your undivided attention. I usually live in the world of RedZone, and as a result miss out on some of the nuances of the “not so often on prime time” teams. So – a little bit different from the norm – let’s take a more in depth than usual look at both games on Thursday.
Houston Texans @ Detroit Lions
The Texans are still probably too far back realistically to get back into the AFC Playoff race, but beating the Patriots will always feel good. Surely Houston will be riding high following Sunday’s exploits? The Lions on the other hand… yikes. Matthew Stafford was shutout for the first time in his career, and not by one of the most elite defenses in the league. Happily, I donthink Detroit will shake off their atrocious offensive output vs Carolina on Sunday and help this one be a fun game. Both teams are better offensively than defensively, but the X-Factor in this matchup had to be Deshaun Watson. I correctly called a “Watson” game on Sunday as he pushed the Patriots deeper into the mire. Duke Johnson was held in check, but Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller are such a threat down the field that Houston can still be expected to score lots of points even without a typical run game. This game just feels like a classic Detroit Thanksgiving game where they’re just simply outmatched and not good enough to win. The return of Swift to their back field will help, but I don’t think their pass rush is good enough to stress Watson throughout the game. Houston should win this comfortably enough.
Washington Football Team @ Dallas Cowboys
Welcome back into playoff contention Dallas Cowboys. The big upset against Minnesota has breathed life into a season that looked a lost cause just a few weeks ago. On the other side of the coin… I am completely befuddled by the fact that Washington found a way to win 3 games this year – they might not win any more – but you have to credit Ron Rivera for instilling some drive and grit in this team. I think their defensive stats are a little skewed – Washington claims to have a top 5 pass defense, but the truth is teams have been up on them in almost every game and stuck with the run as a result – but Chase Young is already proving to be the game-wrecker he was advertised to be. The Cowboys hopes fall largely on being able to contain the Washington pass rush and give Andy Dalton time to find his weapons. Those weapons WILL find a way to be open, but that pocket needs to hold long enough for a play to develop. Yes, they should lean on Zeke, but when a pass is needed Dalton must be protected. Their defense appeared to take a big step forward against the Vikings and, with all due respect to Washington, Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson are nowhere near Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook. I’m taking the Cowboys every which way here and actually think they have enough left in the tank to get to 6-10, and win the NFC East.
Okay, so, it’s a holiday… we deserve entertainment… we’re definitely backing both overs. Fill up with Turkey, then fill up with points. I’m a little biased with my past history of having lived in Texas, but it’s really hard not to see a double for the Lonestar State come Thursday. Texans and Cowboys both to win.
Thanksgiving Thursday Picks:
The Double Over –
Over 51.5 (Houston @ Detroit)
Over 46.0 (Washington @ Dallas)
The Texas Double Spread –
Houston Texans -3.0
Dallas Cowboys -3.0
The Quad Touchdown Special –
Both Players to score a TD – TJ Hockenson & Brandin Cooks
Both Players to score a TD – Ezekiel Elliot & Antonio Gibson
£10 on this pays £165 depending on your bookmaker.
(Bonus Special Tip) –
If you’re in the U.K., SkyBet are offering this at 16/1 which I LOVE with a capital L.O.V.E.
Brandin Cooks 100+ rec yds & Ezekiel Elliot 100+ rush yds.
Week 12 Sunday
Obviously, thanks to the postponement, we now get Steelers-Ravens on Sunday, which adds itself to a pretty tasty slate already! Titans-Colts, Chiefs-Buccaneers & Packers-Bears (always guaranteed drama) as a Sunday nightcap is a very tasty way to spend an afternoon and evening. As always, I’m @callumjdsquires on Twitter and Instagram. Come say hi, and have a very happy Thanksgiving wherever you are.
Callum Squires is a UK based writer and friend of NFL in London.