2017 NFL SEASON
Week 12: #NFL Game Predictions (w/ spreads & analysis)
Week 11 results: 8-5 wins (season: 81-52; .609); 4-9 v. spread (season: 64-69; .481)
Thanksgiving food for thought: OJ will be watching Thanksgiving Day football from home this year.
Thursday, 12:30 PM, Ford Field, Detroit, MI (Weather: Indoors)
Reasons: The Minnesota Vikings might be the best team in the NFL, especially after undressing the league’s best offense in the Rams 24-7 Sunday, but for some reason this feels like a trap game in the sense that the Lions suddenly love their annual Thanksgiving Day home game (4-0 since 2013), and as good as the Vikings have been on both sides of ball, one expects something to go wrong, at least offensively, any week. The truth is, however, nothing seems to be going wrong for this Vikings team, save perhaps and early injury to rookie sensation Dalvin Cook and the awkward fumbling of the current quarterback situation. The only thing the Lions do really well is hold on to the ball (7th in turnover ratio) and score (5th in points per game, 27.1), but the Vikings just happen to be 2nd in the NFL in points allowed (17.2 ppg). The Lions winning streak on Turkey Day could be coming to an end.
Los Angeles Chargers 4-6 (-1) @ Dallas Cowboys 5-5 (48): Chargers 23-21
Thursday, 4:30 PM, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX (Weather: Indoors)
Reasons: These two teams are relatively evenly matched, although in vastly different areas. For example, the Cowboys are the 9th-ranked scoring offense (24.2 ppg) while the Chargers are the 8th-ranked scoring defense (19.6 ppg); the Cowboys are a mediocre team in turnover ratio, yards per play and time of possession, but they ranked 7th in 3rd-down efficiency, while the Chargers are one of the worst teams in the NFL at two of those things (TOP: 27th; 3rd-down efficiency: 25th) and one of the best teams in the NFL at two of those things (Turnover ratio: 5th; Yards per play: 9th). The one clear separation between these two teams in point differential, where the Cowboys rank 3rd (7.2 ppg) and the Chargers rank 21st (-0.8 ppg), but all that really tells us is that the Chargers have played a lot of close games, which we already knew, and the Cowboys are inconsistent, which we already knew. The Cowboys are reeling without Ezekiel Elliot and with left tackle Tyron Smith still questionable on a short week, I don’t expect much of a rally from Dallas. Expect another close game with the Chargers prevailing.
Things haven't gone well in Dallas in the absence of Ezekiel Elliot and the Cowboys better figure things out quick if they want to salvage their season.
New York Giants 2-8 (+7) @ Washington Football Team 4-6 (44.5): Washington 24-21
Thursday, 8:30 PM, FedEx Field, Landover, MD (Weather: Clear; High 30s)
Reasons: The Giants may be 2-3 after starting the season 0-5 (although 3 of those losses were by 5 or fewer points), but they remain one of the worst teams in the NFL. All is essentially lost for the Giants in 2017, some of which has been out of their control, but the Washington Football Team has something to play for considering the floor may be falling out from underneath the Cowboys season. The Washington Football Team is also respectable, ranking in the top-12 in the NFL in points (12th: 23.8 ppg), time of possession (12th), yards gained (9th) and yards per play (7th). The Washington Football Team also just lost to the hottest team in the NFL in the New Orleans Saints in OT by only three points; however, two of Washington’s four wins have also come by three points, and that three-point lose to New Orleans came after holding a 15-point lead with only a few minutes remaining in the game. The point is Washington is exactly who we thought they were, and have key injuries on offense to deal with, but the New York Giants are absolutely terrible.
Stay tuned for the remaining Week 12: #NFL Game Predictions (w/ spreads & analysis) coming Sunday morning.