NFL Thanksgiving Predictions: Don't miss our tipster's Thursday Treble
23 November 2022
The 2022 NFL season is as competitive as ever and multiple teams still have a realistic chance of making the postseason. Expert Tom Collins offers his Thanksgiving NFL predictions.
Buffalo Bills (-9) @ Detroit Lions (+9)
Kick-off: 5.30pm Thursday GMT
It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving if the Detroit Lions weren’t playing football. The Lions have played on this day every year since 1945 and have a mixed record of 34 wins and 40 losses, as well as two ties.
However, the Lions are just 1-5 since 2015 - that just so happens to be when star wide receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson retired and left the roster in need of new, young talent. Over the last couple of seasons, Detroit has started to build an impactful and explosive offence, and they will hope that their fresh recruits will begin to turn around their Thanksgiving record on Thursday.
Detroit comes into this game on the back of three consecutive victories over the Packers, Bears and Giants, and get a new weapon in the form of Alabama product Jameson Williams, who was active at practice for the first time since being drafted in the off-season. However, they will need all of their stars to shine to beat the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills were generally considered to be the best team in football until their shock defeat against the New York Jets in week nine, which they followed with another loss in dramatic fashion against the Minnesota Vikings. Josh Allen led his team back to victory against the Cleveland Browns, but it’s fair to say that they haven’t been in their groove of late.
I expect Buffalo to win this game - Allen should have a lot of time in the pocket against this 31st-ranked Lions pass defence - but the nine-point handicap seems a little dangerous given recent results. I’ll take the Lions to keep this within range.
Prediction: Detroit Lions +9 @ 1.91
New York Giants (+9) @ Dallas Cowboys (-9)
Kick-off: 9.30pm Thursday GMT
Who expected the Dallas Cowboys to roll over the Minnesota Vikings, who went into the game with an 8-1 record, with a scoreline of 40-3? I liked Dallas as much as the next guy (tipped at money line), but that performance was far more dominant than I expected.
This Cowboys defensive line is mean, violent and just plain exceptional. They sacked Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins seven times (more to come on this point in the preview below!) and stopped the run game at an early stage. Couple that with a monstrous performance from Tony Pollard - why would Ezekiel Elliott get more than 10 carries when this guy is about? - and efficiency from Dak Prescott, and Dallas looked like future Super Bowl contenders.
Just four days later they will return to the field to face the New York Giants, who got pumped 31-18 at home by the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Daniel Jones was forced to throw the ball 44 times in that game, which would not have been head coach Brian Daboll’s plan, as Saquon Barkley mustered just 22 yards from 15 attempts on the ground.
This is a huge game in the NFC East as both the Cowboys and Giants enter the match-up with a 7-3 record. However, one team appears to be rapidly improving while the other is beginning to falter. Give me Dallas -9 every day of the week.
Prediction: Dallas Cowboys -9 @ 1.91
New England Patriots (+2.5) @ Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)
Kick-off: 1.20am Friday GMT
This year’s Thanksgiving Primetime game is between the Minnesota Vikings and the New England Patriots, two teams who have fought out a number of close games this year.
Bill Belichick’s Patriots have won five of their last six games and have held both the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets offences to just three points recently. Their defence has begun to tighten up - shoutout all of you who have them in your fantasy teams! - and, although quarterback Mac Jones has limited weapons at receiver, Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris have been prolific carrying the rock.
Unlike Jones, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has the best weapon in the league in Justin Jefferson. However, he has been blighted with a toe injury over the last week and failed to show his brilliant best against a fantastic Cowboys defence on Sunday. Just how much of an effect that toe will have in this game, I don’t know.
If Jefferson still lacks a step, this could be another shock result for the Vikings. The Patriots secondary will be ready to capitalise on any mistake from their opposing signal caller and can continue to ride their high while the Vikings wallow - they are just not as good as their record suggests. Take the Patriots at the bigger price on the money line.
Prediction: New England Patriots Money Line @ 2.26
Thanksgiving NFL Predictions
Detroit Lions +9 @ 1.91
Dallas Cowboys -9 @ 1.91
New England Patriots Money Line @ 2.26
Accumulator odds: 8.24 decimal, 7.24-1 fractional
23 November 2022