Hopefully your bosses have been kind to let you take Thursday, November 28th off because that’s one of the best football days of the year. The three NFL Thanksgiving Day games present some interesting matchups (view some classic Thanksgiving Day NFL moments here). Almost all of them are being befuddled by injuries, and thankfully we have two weeks to figure out which of these teams is going to make for a better play.
Below is a preview of the NFL Thanksgiving Day games coming up in two weeks. In the meantime, head over to the sportsbook to bet on Week 11 NFL matchups and don’t forget to take a look at all the fun futures and props we have up as well.
These bitter NFC North rivals will wage battle in the first NFL Thanksgiving Day game of the afternoon. The big question will be whether or not Aaron Rodgers will be back in action. People like to think that he’ll be back by Week 13, but that’s a lofty hope. A broken collarbone takes anywhere from 4-8 weeks to heal normally, and in the meantime it completely stiffens your shoulder girdle. Rodgers will be limited in training while he recovers from the injury and the best thing that Green Bay can do is hold him off as long as possible.
That gives us two more weeks to figure out if Scott Tolzien is worth backing as he leads the Green Bay Packers. After entering the game for an injured Seneca Wallace last Sunday, Tolzien went 24-for-39 while throwing 280 yards and a touchdown. But he also gave up two bad interceptions to the Eagles in that game. Green Bay visits New York and then hosts Minnesota between now and Thanksgiving. Both of those games will tell us whether the Tolzien-led Packers possess any value.
Detroit has been on a roll lately, duking it out in big wins and close losses all year. They are not a perfect team. If anything, they’re a very ugly team that relies on some big plays to keep games close. But they’re also fantastic at generating big plays because of Calvin Johnson’s existence and Reggie Bush in the backfield. Two big games against Pittsburgh and Tampa will help gamblers determine how good Detroit is heading in to a pivotal NFC North matchup which could help decide the fate of this wayward division.
Dallas is the other yearly fixture during the NFL Thanksgiving Day games, but this year they’re hosting a complete waste of time in the untrustworthy Raiders. There is a long and turbulent history between these two franchises, but the 2013 renditions of each team are miles apart. Dallas opened the season as one of the best betting teams in the NFL, but have fallen apart lately with big time losses against Detroit and New Orleans. They have a bye week in Week 11 before travelling to face the upward trending Giants. By then we’ll know if the Cowboys are back on the horse, or being dragged through the dirt like a lifeless carcass in the Texas sun (which is pretty much how I’d describe the Raiders at this point).
This season hasn’t gone right for either of these teams. While they have dominated the AFC North for the past decade, they have recently seen the Bengals rise up the ranks while the pesky Browns are actually outperforming both of them in general. The Ravens are coming off a big win against the Bengals in Week 10 and face the up-and-down Bears as well as the Jets before butting heads with their most hated rivals.
Pittsburgh’s problems have been about health and team chemistry. Their defense is shameful, but overall they manage to play well against teams that are struggling. They’ve capsized the Jets, Ravens and Bills this year. Between now and Thanksgiving, they have big games against the aforementioned Lions and sneaky Browns. Right now, the Steelers look like the better bet in the late NFL Thanksgiving Day game, but a lot can change in the next two weeks, especially when you have two teams that are virtually on life support.