November 26, 2009

An NFL Thanksgiving

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

Now, here’s the time when the Thursday night games should be starting, not two weeks ago like it actually happened. Playing on a Thursday puts the teams in a tremendous disadvantage. They have only three off days to prepare for a new opponent that they may not have seen for four years and they also have to treat their wounded from their battles on the previous Sunday.

Could you imagine playing a heated game against a fierce rival, getting battered and bruised, then having to come out a few days later and do it all over again? Teams usually use most of the week to rest up, heal their wounds, practice new plays to help fix some poor areas and work on how to beat their coming opponent — not to mention fly to the game if you’re the road team. This is the big reason why the Thursday night affairs are usually so poor — think San Fran-Chicago a few weeks ago. The NFL should be trying to have Thursday games less frequently, not more. These are supposed to be showcases, but often the product is highly inferior.

All the lines are straight from Vegas and the home teams are in CAPS.

Packers -10.5 over LIONS
As much as people like to rag on Detroit getting a Thanksgiving game every year, I actually like that they do. In an era when people are harking on the lack of tradition and how the game is nothing like it used to be, how could these same pundits call the abolition of a touchstone from the past? You cannot complain about the league not staying true to its roots when it has given Detroit, through poor and poorer, a game every Thanksgiving. And just because the Lions have been one of the worst teams in the league for several seasons, it doesn’t mean it should lose the biggest tradition the team has.

As for the game, would you really want to put some money down on Daunte Culpepper to win a big game, or even keep it close for that matter? If this was the line and Matt Stafford was 100%, picking Detroit to cover could have been arguable; with big old Daunte, it’s not.

Raiders +13.5 at COWBOYS
So, the line makers are expecting the Cowboys to score more points today than they have the past two weeks combined? Well, I guess it is the Raiders that are coming to town, but the same could have been said before the Redskins game on Sunday. I would be very speculative to back Dallas by this much on a short week while Tony Romo may be less than perfect because of his back injury.

I also have a pertinent question to the Raiders coaching staff: Who is Nnamdi Asomugha going to be covering?  Putting the lockdown corner on Roy Williams to take him out of the game may actually be a good thing for Dallas and allow them to get Miles Austin and Jason Witten more touches.

BRONCOS +7 over Giants
Do you remember last year, when the Eagles hosted the Cardinals, who had to fly about 2,000 miles and play, then promptly came out flat and looked completely disinterested in the game? I can totally see that happening to the Giants here. With Ahmad Bradshaw out and Brandon Jacobs looking very uninspiring, I think the Giants will be hard pressed to grind out a win in mile high conditions.

Last week: 7-8
This season: 85-67-1

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