NFL Thanksgiving ATS Picks

Houston Texans

Deshaun Watson is coming off a 344 yard performance in Week 11 and should feast versus Detroit’s bottom-three coverage unit on Thursday. Photo by @PFF (Twitter).

  • The 2020 NFL season continues Thursday, November 26th with three Thanksgiving Day games
  • Detroit averages just 18.8 points in games without Kenny Golladay this season
  • Read below for analysis on the Thanksgiving NFL slate and our favorite ATS picks

Aside from Christmas Day, it’s hard to argue that the Thursday of the Thanksgiving Weekend isn’t the best day of the year.

Back-to-back-to-back NFL games, kicking off at 12:30 pm EST, with copious amounts of food to enjoy. Seriously, what could possibly be better?

This year’s slate features three intriguing contests, starting with the Houston Texans visiting the Detroit Lions.

NFL Thanksgiving ATS Picks

Matchup Spread Pick Units Risked
Houston Texans vs Detroit Lions HOU (-3) HOU (-3) 1
Washington Football Team vs Dallas Cowboys DAL (-3) WAS (+3) 1
Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers PIT (-5) PIT (-5) 1

Odds taken Nov. 24th at DraftKings. 

Pick #1: Texans Maul Lions

Houston opened up as a 2-point road favorite, but that number has moved to -3 and could climb even higher prior to kickoff.

Detroit has been ravaged by injuries to key players on both sides of the ball, and could possibly be without both number one wideout Kenny Golladay, and starting running back D’Andre Swift.

Golladay, who hasn’t played since Week 8 due to a hip injury, didn’t practice again on Tuesday, putting his status in serious doubt. The Lions are 1-4 without him in the lineup this season, and have averaged just 18.8 points in those contests.

Swift on the other hand, is recovering from a concussion suffered in Week 10, and while he may play, it’s certainly no lock. Without their prized rookie running back and Golladay last week, Detroit accumulated just 185 total yards and was shutout 20-0 in Carolina.

To make matters worse, top-3 pick Jeff Okudah hasn’t practiced all week, and his potential absence from the secondary versus the Texans would be huge. Houston is coming off its most complete game of the season, racking up 400 yards of offense against New England.

Deshaun Watson threw for 344 yards and two scores, while rushing for another. Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks each cleared 80 yards versus a very good Pats secondary, and should run circles around the Lions 30th ranked coverage unit.

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Pick #2: Washington Covers vs Cowboys

Next up, is an NFC East clash between the Washington Football Team and the Dallas Cowboys. Both teams are coming in off victories, and the winner of this game will temporarily move into first place in the division. Dallas is currently a 3-point favorite, and will be looking to build off a huge upset win over Minnesota.

A big reason for the Cowboys success last week was their ability to keep Andy Dalton clean. The Red Riffle spent most of the afternoon in a clean pocket, racking up 203 yards and three scores. Unfortunately, that isn’t likely to be the case against Washington.

The Football Team ranks fifth in sack rate, seventh in QB hit rate and seventh in pass rush productivity according to Pro Football Focus. They boast the league’s fourth best coverage unit and have allowed the fourth fewest receptions of 20 or more yards.

Dallas meanwhile, continues to struggle on defense and gave up three more passing TD to Minnesota on Sunday. They’ve now allowed 23 passing touchdowns this season and have only picked off three throws. Their run defense hasn’t fared much better, as they’re permitting 4.74 yards per carry and 145.3 rushing yards per contest.

Pick #3: Steelers Over Ravens

Finally, we have an AFC slugfest as the Baltimore Ravens visit the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh opened up as a 3.5-point favorite, but that number has jumped to -5 and even -5.5 at some online sportsbooks.

That’s because five players won’t play after testing positive for COVID, including running backs Mark Ingram, J.K. Dobbins and linebacker Pernell McPhee.

Baltimore is already down defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams due to injury, and could be without starting safety Jimmy Smith as well. Smith hasn’t practiced all week, which spells trouble against a Steeler offense that has passed an average of 43 times over the last five weeks.

The Ravens are also banged up on the offensive line, which is not a recipe for success against the league’s top defense. Baltimore lost stud tackle Ronnie Stanley for the season, while starting guard Tyre Phillips has been out since Week 8, and starting center Matt Skura was benched following the loss to New England.

A shaky offensive line won’t help Lamar Jackson, who’s been held below 210 passing yards in both career meetings versus the Steelers. Pittsburgh ranks first in coverage and pass rush productivity according to PFF, while racking up a league-high 38 sacks and an NFL best 21 turnovers.

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Chris Amberley

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