It's Thanksgiving, football fans, which means we get a full day of NFL action to kick off Week 13. As is tradition, the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys will host games on Thursday, with a night game between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons capping it off. This will mark the second consecutive year in which the Falcons and Saints face off on Thanksgiving.
Perhaps the biggest news heading into the holiday slate is that the Lions will start third-string quarterback David Blough against the Chicago Bears:
The Lions have been without starter Matthew Stafford for the last three weeks, and with Jeff Driskel unable to go, it's now Blough's turn under center. This probably isn't the best development for the Lions, but it's an intriguing one for bettors who backed the Bears earlier in the week.
As would be expected, the line in the Chicago-Detroit game jumped overnight after the quarterback news. Chicago, favored by four overnight, is now a touchdown favorite.
If Blough stumbles, this could turn into a one-sided affair, as Detroit's 25th-ranked defense could be just what Chicago's inconsistent offense needs to get right.
"We're just going with the mindset that nobody can mess up," Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky said, via Nathan Smith of the team's official website.
How do the experts see this on unfolding? Here, you'll find a look at the differing expert opinions found at NFLPickWatch and the latest odds and over/unders from Caesars, as well as score predictions for the entire Week 13 slate.
Week 13 Odds, Over/Unders and Predictions
Chicago Bears (-6, 37 o/u) at Detroit Lions: Chicago 23-17
Buffalo Bills (+6.5, 47 at Dallas Cowboys: Dallas 27-22
New Orleans Saints (-7, 9) at Atlanta Falcons: New Orleans 31-20
Cleveland Browns (-2, 39.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers: Cleveland 17-16
Green Bay Packers (-6.5, 45) at New York Giants: Green Bay 28-18
New York Jets (-3.5, 41) at Cincinnati Bengals: New York 20-16
Philadelphia Eagles (-10, 45) at Miami Dolphins: Philadelphia 29-23
San Francisco 49ers (+6, 46.5) at Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore 24-22
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1, 48) at Jacksonville Jaguars: Jacksonville 26-22
Tennessee Titans (+2.5, 43.5) at Indianapolis Colts: Indianapolis 23-20
Washington Redskins (+10, 40) at Carolina Panthers: Carolina 25-13
Los Angeles Rams (-3, 47.5) at Arizona Cardinals: Arizona 27-23
Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5, 39) at Denver Broncos: Los Angeles 20-18
Oakland Raiders (+10, 51.5) at Kansas City Chiefs: Kansas City 33-26
New England Patriots (-3, 45) at Houston Texans: New England 22-17
Minnesota Vikings (+3, 50) at Seattle Seahawks: Seattle 28-26
What The Experts Say
Many of the experts likely made their picks before Detroit's quarterback decision was announced. Therefore, the fact that 80 percent of the experts listed at NFLPickWatch are backing the Bears is telling.
Chicago was viewed as a considerable favorite even before the announcement. Blough is a relative unknown, and there's always the possibility that he's an upgrade over Driskel. If you were on the fence about Chicago early in the week, it isn't wise to base too much on the change.
The Cowboys are even heavier favorites against the Buffalo Bills, earning 87 percent of the experts' picks.
There are two big things to factor in here. On one hand, Dallas has yet to defeat a team that has come in with a winning record. They're at home, but the Cowboys aren't likely to completely dominate Buffalo. On the other hand, Dallas and head coach Jason Garrett have their backs against the wall. A loss opens the door for the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East and for Garrett to fall squarely on the chopping block.
Desperation can be a dangerous factor, and the Cowboys should be treating this game like a playoff contest.
The Saints are heavier favorites still against the Falcons, with 99 percent of experts backing New Orleans. The Falcons are expected to have star wide receiver Julio Jones in the lineup, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport. However, this is a revenge game for the Saints, who are still gunning for the top seed in the conference.
Don't be shocked if the Saints wallop Atlanta in the rematch.
Looking past Thursday and at the rest of the schedule, four games have been universally picked by experts. The Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs have all received 100 percent of the picks. For the Eagles, Packers and Panthers this isn't shocking, as the Miami Dolphins, New York Giants and Washington Redskins have just six wins combined.
For the Chiefs, it's a little more surprising. The Oakland Raiders sit just a game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West and have, at times, looked like the more complete team.
Of course, the Raiders just got blown out on the road by the New York Jets, so a loss in Arrowhead would be the opposite of surprising. There's the chance of an upset, but it's unlikely.
The Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and Jets are also heavy favorites in the experts' eyes. The remaining games are fairly evenly split, with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Rams being viewed as slight favorites.