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

Leave a comment

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.

Bridgewater, Vikings beat Chargers 23-10 in stadium opener

Getty Images
Leave a comment

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Teddy Bridgewater was sharp in his return from a sore shoulder, completing 12 of 16 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown in the first half for the Minnesota Vikings in a 23-10 exhibition victory Sunday over the San Diego Chargers in the official unveiling their new stadium.

After sitting out last week at Seattle, Bridgewater found Kyle Rudolph for a 27-yard score and led the Vikings to points on three of five possessions. Bridgewater even put a slick juke on strong safety Adrian Phillips to further a 22-yard run that set up one of three short field goals by Blair Walsh.

Melvin Gordon, aiming to rebound from a rough rookie season, cruised through the middle of Minnesota’s starting defense for a 39-yard touchdown run. San Diego lost running back Branden Oliver, though, to an Achilles tendon injury on his right leg that required a cart to take him off. Oliver is the primary kickoff returner and a contributing backup behind Gordon and Danny Woodhead.

With sunlight streaming in from the floor-to-ceiling glass on the west side and through the translucent, space-age roof, the Vikings enjoyed a gleaming debut for U.S. Bank Stadium. The sold-out crowd of 66,143 was the largest at home in franchise history.

The Chargers undoubtedly felt some envy, with their decade-and-a-half quest to replace 49-year-old Qualcomm Stadium still unfulfilled and a move to Los Angeles still a possibility. This game was conveniently scheduled for national broadcast on Fox, in case folks in San Diego were still on the fence about public funding.

Philip Rivers went 5 for 9 for 54 yards and an interception, one of three by the Vikings. Rookies Jayron Kearse and Mackensie Alexander picked off Chargers third-stringer Mike Bercovici, who’s competing with Zach Mettenberger for a roster spot.

Bercovici threw three straight passes into the end zone in the fourth quarter that the Vikings had their hands on, the last one finally intercepted by second-round draft pick Alexander.

With Adrian Peterson resting on the sideline, backup Jerick McKinnon rushed eight times for 56 yards. Stefon Diggs caught five passes for 71 yards, all in the first half. Cordarrelle Patterson recovered MyCole Pruitt‘s fumble, one of two lost by the Vikings, in the end zone for a touchdown.

ROOKIE WATCH

Chargers: Sixth-round draft pick Drew Kaser dropped three punts inside the 10-yard line.

Vikings: WR Laquon Treadwell made a tricky catch on a fade route in the corner of the end zone on a 2-point conversion pass from Shaun Hill.

POSITION BATTLES

Chargers: DE Darius Philon had a sack in the first half, continuing a decent training camp in place of holdout rookie Joey Bosa. With Bosa unsigned in a public dispute over his contract, DT Damion Square suspended for the first four games for an NFL substance abuse policy violation and DT Sean Lissemore (shoulder) out for the season, the Chargers need Philon to help stabilize a depleted front.

Vikings: Joe Berger played the whole first half with the first team at center over John Sullivan, who missed last season with a back injury and has not been assured of getting back his job. Berger, entering his 12th NFL season, is also the primary backup at both guard spots.

INJURY UPDATE

Chargers: Beside Oliver, RT Joe Barksdale also came out of the game in the first half, limping off with a left ankle injury.

Vikings: Backup safety Antone Exum, hurt playing on the kickoff return team, left on a cart for X-rays on his leg.

Online:

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL coverage on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Bengals and Vikings fans react to heartbreaking losses

Leave a comment

There’s a certain level of emotion that only comes out in people during the NFL playoffs and the Wild Card round was no different as Bengals and Vikings fans were forced to watch their seasons come to an end in agonizing fashion.

It will take a long time for Vikings’ fans to move on from Blair Walsh‘s 27-yard miss (which should forever be remembered as “laces out”) and it will take awhile for Bengals’ fans to forget about a pair of 15-yard penalties that doomed Cincinnati’s chances of winning their first playoff game under Marvin Lewis.

But with pain comes strength and hopefully these fans and players will be able to look back at their reactions and have a good laugh.

Before Adam “Pacman” Jones told Dan Patrick that he “knows” Antonio Brown was faking his injury, he needed a box of tissues on the sidelines:

 

Hopefully she can solve Jones’ tissue problem:

 

Maybe Walsh should take some tips from this guy:

 

This Vikings fan got what he deserved for still having a Christmas tree up:

 

Come on man, you can’t say that on Youtube…wait you can! (WARNING: NSFW language)