NFL Picks Week 13: Thanksgiving Day


Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

*This week’s column was once again produced by our newest contributor, and sharp eye, Daniel Laxen*

After a pretty good Sunday I’m back with a little Thanksgiving dessert for you this week. I went 3-1 and am currently on a healthy run. 10-2 since I teamed up with Adam. Again I’d like to thank him for this opportunity.

Packers @ Lions -6 — O/U 50

The NFC North is in shambles. It all comes down to quarterback play here. Looking at every team they all have something in common, poor QB play, and or injuries, that has contributed to the teams stinking it up on a regular basis. You need look no further than the Green Bay Packers to see what I’m referring to.

The last four weeks, since Aaron Rodgers went down with a shoulder injury, the Packers have trotted out three different quarterbacks. The Packers simply didn’t believe they could win without Rodgers, and they were right! Now Matt Flynn is back with the team. He’s been much maligned all season as the guy that couldn’t play for the team that signed him. He looked a heck of a lot better than Tolzien or Wallace, albeit vs. a horrible Viking defense. Coaching cost the Packers the win as they tried a 2 point conversion early in their comeback.

Common sense would suggest that the Lions should win this because, after all, they have their starting QB. Stafford is healthy and has weapons all over the field. They well could win this game, but I saw something from the Packers last Sunday. It was a determination to not let their season slip away as it was apparent that was about to happen. They understand that Rodgers is close to a return and this game will go a long way to decide the winner in the North. Both teams have better than average run defenses, so QB play is going to shine through here.

The Packers have failed to cover the spread in each of the last four. The Lions have lost four of five versus the number. This is pseudo playoff football and turnovers will decide the outcome as usual. The Lions have been doing that a bunch of late. Flynn earned his huge paydays off the backs of a horrible Lions team a few years ago. The Lions have lost nine straight on Turkey Day, and odd things tend to happen in this game over the years. Remember the coin flip hubbub, and challenge flag controversy? Something screwy is bound to happen…

I’ll play the Packers getting 6 on the road, in a high scoring game, over 50.

Raiders @ Cowboys -9.5 — O/U 47

There is a simple trend that I see here with the Cowboys. They seem to cover a bunch. The Raiders loss last Sunday pretty much did them in as a playoff contender. The Cowboys, on the other hand, did themselves a huge favor beating the Giants.

The Raiders haven’t beaten an NFC East foe all season and I don’t see them getting it done here. Conversely the Cowboys haven’t beaten an AFC West team either. That changes Thursday, as the Cowboys win easily vs. a battered and beaten Raiders squad.

Romo is by far the better QB and the Raiders have no answer for Dez Bryant. Lay the wood, -9.5, and get a nap, as the Cowboys cover easy. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! … Kokomo Dan