In talking to Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay Friday afternoon, I requested if he’s joyful he doesn’t play on Thanksgiving like he used to with Detroit. He stated he all the time loved the Thanksgiving video games, they usually signaled that the season was coming to an in depth. It is smart. You get previous Thanksgiving, and it’s one of many final benchmarks of the common season. You’re readying for the stretch run.

There are seven weeks remaining. The contenders are clear. Some groups are looking forward to subsequent season. If a staff wants a run, it higher begin now. The identical could possibly be stated about picks columns.

Let’s get to this week’s slate, with six bets as we do every week (together with the prime-time video games, the premier Sunday afternoon sport and a participant prop).

Last week’s report: 3-3 total; 3-1 versus the unfold; 0-1 within the upset decide on the moneyline; 0-1 on participant props.

Season report: 35-29-2 total; 27-15-2 versus the unfold; 3-8 within the upset decide on the moneyline; 5-6 on participant props.

Premier Sunday sport (underdog on the moneyline): Titans +115 vs. Bengals

This is the premier Sunday matchup, though it’s additionally the sport with the very best likelihood of the underdog profitable outright, so we’ll use it for each classes. The 7-3 Titans are residence underdogs to the 6-4 Bengals — even with prolonged relaxation. Tennessee has coated its final eight video games, so the purpose unfold (+2.5) is a extra interesting wager right here towards the Bengals, however are you certain the Titans aren’t higher? Cincinnati, which upset the Titans within the playoffs final season, may get Ja’Marr Chase again this week and is enjoying with out Joe Mixon. The Titans answered the bell since an 0-2 begin, with their solely loss coming in time beyond regulation to Kansas City with a rookie backup quarterback. If you suppose they’ll win — and I do — take the +115.

The Falcons are 4-2 towards the unfold (and straight up) at residence this season, and the 2 losses have been by a mixed 4 factors. Now they journey to Washington as four-point underdogs? I do know they’re struggling to go the ball they usually’re enjoying with out Kyle Pitts, whereas Washington is gaining momentum with Taylor Heinicke (and Chase Young doubtlessly returning), however the Falcons have remained aggressive in most video games this season. The Commanders are the most important favorites they’ve been all season, so oddsmakers aren’t undervaluing them. I really feel higher getting 4 factors on this sport than giving these factors.

Buccaneers -3 at Browns

Tampa Bay received its previous two video games and is coming off a bye week, giving it relaxation and presumably higher well being. The Browns are enjoying their final sport earlier than Deshaun Watson’s return. Cleveland has been in a position to transfer the ball successfully this 12 months, however its struggling protection could have a tough time pressuring Tom Brady and disrupting the Bucs’ offense. The Browns have a defensive EPA (anticipated factors added) common of -5.38 per sport. I’ve extra confidence within the Bucs’ protection, which ranks No. 8 in DVOA (defense-adjusted worth over common), slowing down the Browns’ floor sport.

Sunday prime-time sport: Packers +6.5 at Eagles

I’ve been improper on the Packers all season and I assumed their residence loss to the Titans final Thursday could be the final straw, but I’m nonetheless swayed by a 6.5-point line. My guess is each groups attempt to run the ball — that’s the place each defenses seem inclined (Eagles are No. 26 in rush protection DVOA, Packers are No. 29). That may restrict scoring. Rodgers is 4-0 in his profession towards the unfold when he’s an underdog by not less than 6.5 factors. The Eagles haven’t coated of their final three video games and have reached 30 factors simply twice this season. They’re the higher staff and may win this sport, however I’m skeptical that it’s a blowout.

Monday prime-time sport: Steelers +2.5 at Colts

The Steelers beat the Saints and almost upset the Bengals since T.J. Watt’s return, which has confirmed to be a significant distinction. Add in improved play from Kenny Pickett, and the Steelers ought to stay aggressive. The Colts protection ranks No. 10 in DVOA and made it a tricky afternoon for the Eagles final week. But their drawback is scoring factors. They’ve scored greater than 20 simply twice this season, and this sport has an over/beneath of 39. In these conditions, I desire the underdog.

Player prop: Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco over 64.5 dashing yards

The Rams have one of many NFL’s finest dashing defenses, however they’ve misplaced by a mean of 16.7 factors within the three video games during which they’ve allowed over 100 dashing yards. The Chiefs are 16-point favorites and will construct an early lead. Pacheco rushed for 107 yards final week and 82 yards in Week 10. The Chiefs put Clyde Edwards-Helaire on injured reserve this week, which takes away among the competitors for carries that had already been dwindling. Take Pacheco and hope for quantity.

(Photo: George Walker IV / USA Today)

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