Since most of you won't have actually indulged in the fullness of a Thanksgiving Day dinner, you're probably not trying to work off the effects of a tryptophan overdose. It is a good thing I got those Thanksgiving picks to you before the turkey drug started dulling my senses, and in case you didn't notice, the Vikes and Lions covered the over, the Giants and Skins covered the under (without much style, it must be said) and the Chargers duly won in Dallas and though I looked pretty smart when it was 3-0 at halftime, the artists formerly known as San Diego made my doubts about them seem overdone with a whole two offensive touchdowns and a Desmond King 90 yard pick six. Three for three is something to be thankful for.
The NFL is starting to sort out the pretenders from the contenders. Detroit-Minnesota was one of only two games between teams with winning records; New Orleans at the Rams is the other. We have a couple of big spreads which are tempting and a couple of games where you wonder if both teams will find the right tunnel to get out on the field. I'm also looking at throwing one in from left field, or from Ottawa at least, where the 105th Grey Cup, for the CFL championship, will be played Sunday.
It's hard to tell about the Broncos, especially because they've finally given up on 'The Heist', Brock Osweiler, and will start Paxton Lynch, the forgotten QB who was, after all, a first-round pick just a year ago. They've fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and replaced him with QB coach Bill Musgrave, who last year was, wait for it, the offensive coordinator in Oakland. When the Raiders' offense actually worked. Musgrave will probably make things simpler, but I expect he'll get more out of both the run game and Demaryius Thomas. Meanwhile, the Raiders fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr and replaced him with John Pagano, who was sitting there waiting for the job as 'assistant head coach defense'. I could be wrong about reading these tea leaves, and the Raiders' D could come up trumps, but I think the misfiring Oakland O will create some action for the Denver D and a road upset be the result.
I tend to shy away from big spreads but if you don't you might also want to consider New England (-16.5 at evs) against Miami. In both cases you have teams with offenses that can put points on the board, against defenses that have struggled, and offenses led by backup quarterbacks. Both Miami and Green Bay have playmakers at receiver, so the question is whether you figure Brett Hundley will be allowed to make plays by the Steelers' D, which I think is less likely than Matt Moore (assuming he starts) actually making some against the Pats' D who allow a lot of yardage although usually not so many points. The overs in both these games are tempting, again slightly moreso with Pittsburgh (43 at 20/23) than New England (48 at 20/21).
There is that sense that the Browns, like Guildenstern's coin that always comes up heads, are due to come up tails at least once, and this might be the time to do it. Of course Hue Jackson sometimes seems as passive as Rosencrantz, but the Browns can play good D and force Andy Dalton to beat them through the air, something Dalton is not a guarantee to do, just like that coin always coming heads. AJ Green is the difference maker, and the Bengals are at home, which is why I don't pick the Browns to win, but 8 points in a game whose over/under is only 38 seems generous, and I might be tempted to chase the under at 10/11 as well.
The Stampeders are the better team, and have beaten the Argonauts twice already this season. They say beating a team three times is the hardest thing to do in football, and that aphorism has an extra ring about it because the Argos have been better since the former Montreal Alouettes pair of coach Marc Trestman and GM Jim Popp took the reins. Veteran Ricky Ray has some weapons, including the former Alouette SJ Green, but Bo Levi Jackson, while not as effective as in 2016, is coached by Dave Dickenson, who as a QB understands the CFL game as well as Trestman, and the Stamps should avoid getting licked in this one.