NFL Thanksgiving odds: Cowboys, Lions both betting favorites for Thursday

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The line has shifted well in favor of Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys as they renew their historic NFC East rivalry with the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day. The NFC-leading Cowboys are 7.5-point favorites on the NFL point spreads against Washington, with a 51-point total, at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Dallas is 9-1 straight-up and 3-7 against the spread in its last 10 games as a favorite of seven points or more, while Washington is 5-0 SU and ATS in its last five games as a road underdog of 7.5 points or fewer.

Dallas is 9-1 SU and 9-0-1 ATS on the season. Prescott has proven to be a superb decision-maker and should once again get ample rushing support from Ezekiel Elliott and perhaps the NFL’s best offensive line. Washington also allows 4.6 yards per carry, second-worst in the NFL. Tight end Jason Witten also has an excellent matchup.

Washington, which is 6-3-1 SU and 7-3 ATS, will also pit a potent offense against a mid-level Dallas defense. Quarterback Kirk Cousins is benefiting from balance in the receiving corps with deep threat DeSean Jackson healthy and able to clear space for WR Pierre Garcon and WR Jamison Crowder.

The total has gone over in 13 of the Redskins’ last 15 games.

Thursday begins with an NFC North first-place showdown, as the Detroit Lions are the 2.5-point favorite against the Minnesota Vikings with a 43-point total. Matthew Stafford and the Lions, who are 6-4 SU and ATS, are the hotter team coming in but have a tough matchup against a Vikings defense that allows the second-fewest yards per pass (6.2).

The Vikings, also 6-4 SU and ATS, are trying to turn around a woeful rushing attack in order to reduce the pressure on QB Sam Bradford. Minnesota is 9-2 SU in their last 11 games as an underdog of 2.5 or fewer points. Five of the teams’ last six games have finished under.

And the likelihood of Andrew Luck (concussion protocol) being unable to play during a short week has cast the Pittsburgh Steelers as the nine-point road favorite on the moving betting line against the Indianapolis Colts. The total is 47 points.

The Steelers and Colts are each 5-5 both SU and ATS. Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger and RB Le'Veon Bell, based on form, could have a big night against a Colts defense that has the lowest interception rate in the NFL. Pittsburgh is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 November games, which seems low for a consistent playoff team.

Scott Tolzien, who hasn’t thrown a meaningful pass since 2013, is the Colts’ backup QB. The Colts have been consistently churning out yardage and the Steelers defense has yet to find a rhythm, but playing Tolzien would probably hasten using a limited playbook.

The last four Steelers-Colts games have gone over the posted total at the sportsbooks.

Bennett doesn’t fear backlash for skipping White House trip

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HOUSTON (AP) Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett says he is not worried about upsetting team owner Robert Kraft by not attending New England’s trip to the White House as Super Bowl champions.

Bennett said after the Patriots’ 34-28 win over the Falcons on Sunday night that he’s “not going to go” to the traditional meet-and-greet with the president. It will be the first visit of a Super Bowl champion to Washington since Donald Trump was sworn into office.

Trump’s positions have alienated some athletes, which has raised questions about whether some might choose to skip the trip while the new president is in office.

But Bennett said he isn’t concerned about it and thinks the team believes “in whatever I want to do.”

Kraft is a supporter of Trump and attended a celebration dinner in Washington for him the night before his inauguration.

Patriots’ Tom Brady earns 4th Super Bowl MVP trophy with epic comeback

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HOUSTON (AP) The greatest quarterback in NFL history led the biggest Super Bowl comeback to be the MVP on Sunday night.

Tom Brady rallied New England from a 25-point third-quarter deficit for a 34-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history to earn his fifth Super Bowl title and fourth MVP trophy.

“They’re all sweet,” he said. “They’re all different and this was just an incredible team and I’m just happy to be a part of it,” he said.

Brady threw touchdown passes of 5 and 6 yards in the second half and tied things at 28-28 when he connected withDanny Amendola on a 2-point conversion with 57 seconds left.

He then directed the drive in overtime which ended with a 2-yard run by James White to make the Patriots the first team to win a Super Bowl after trailing by more than 10 points.

“We all brought each other back,” he said. “We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle.”

His performance certainly wasn’t without its struggles. His incredible second half and overtime came after a first half where the Patriots managed just three points and he threw an interception which Robert Alford returned 82 yards for a touchdown. He was hurried and harassed for much of the games. The Falcons sacked him five times and hit him on another eight occasions.

He noted the beating he took when he was trying to recount the details of the comeback and couldn’t remember what the score was at one point in the rally.

“There was a lot of (stuff) that happened tonight,” he said. “I got hit pretty hard.”

His 466 yards passing are a Super Bowl record, surpassing the 414 yards Kurt Warner had 17 years ago. He also set a record for most passes completed in a Super Bowl with 43 and most attempts with 62.

He is the first to play in seven Super Bowls and the victory ties him with Charles Haley for most Super Bowl rings.

After all Brady has done in his career, was this his finest moment?

“Tom’s had a lot of great ones,” coach Bill Belichick said. “But, yeah tonight was one of them.”

It’s a triumphant end to a difficult season for Brady, who missed the first four games because of his “Deflategate” suspension and dealt with his mother Galynn Brady suffering through an undisclosed illness. The Super Bowl was the first game she’s attended all season.

“They’re all happy,” he said fighting back tears. “It’s nice to have everybody here and it’s going to be a great celebration tonight.”

He shared a quick moment with her right after the game, but was looking forward to more time with her in the upcoming days.

“It’s kind of madness after the game so I didn’t get much quality time with her but we’ll get it this week,” he said.

But he certainly wasn’t asking for sympathy for his rough road to this title though, chuckling when someone asked about the adversity the Patriots have gone through in the past couple of years.

“We’ve done pretty good over the last few years … so I don’t think anyone’s feeling bad for the Patriots,” he said. “I don’t think anyone feels bad for the Patriots.”

Brady also collected the MVP trophy in 2001, 2003 and 2014.

“It was just a lot of mental toughness by our team and we’re going to remember this one for the rest of our lives,” Brady said.

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