NFL Thanksgiving Tipsheet: Chargers to upset America's Team on the nation's big day

Philip Rivers can take LA Chargers to a win in Dallas
Philip Rivers can take LA Chargers to a win in Dallas
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Mike Carlson gets stuck into the mammoth triple-header of NFL goodness on Thanksgiving starting in Detroit and finishing in Washington...

"The Skins are playing for their season, but they may be able to win without breaking the points bank."

If this were the US I might warn you to be careful with the over-indulgence of Thanksgiving Day, between food and football, not necessarily in that order. It's my favourite holiday of the year, the perfect family day without the mess and trauma of gift giving, and in the old days we'd watch a high school game in the morning, play touch football, have dinner, and sneak looks at the afternoon game, usually Lions-Packers, while dinner was going on. Nowadays everything's different, and the NFL triple-header means many Americans will see their only exercise walking from man cave to dining room (assuming they aren't eating turkey off TV trays) and/or kitchen to help clean up if they're new age.

Oh, I drifted there for a minute. The three game slate allows me to try the usual Friday format a day early, so here we go:

Best Bet: Over 44.5 @ 10/11 Minnesota at Detroit
The Lions can't run the ball well, but Matt Stafford can pass and does have targets and the Vikings will have an extremely short week to prepare and more importantly get their bodies back in working order. I see the Vikes getting a couple of TDs too, maybe three, so that line is vulnerable with Thielen and Diggs, Jones, Tate, Riddick, and Golladay all catching balls.

Value Bet: Under 44.5 @ evens NY Giants at Washington
The Giants offense is going to have trouble scoring against anyone, but their D was looking as fired up against Kansas City as they had looked listless against the Niners. The Skins had a terrible loss in New Orleans, surrendering a 15 point lead with less than six minutes to play, before collapsing in overtime. Their week won't be much better than the Giants because of the travel, but at least their's is the last game, in prime time, because the nation's biggest TV market versus the city with generally the biggest percentage audience for their NFL team, makes this a ratings' grabber. The Skins are playing for their season, but they may be able to win without breaking the points bank.

Outside Bet: Chargers over Dallas @ evens on the moneyline
Take this with a huge grain of salt. The Cowboys played much better against the Eagles for much of the game, before surrendering to their pressure, but the Eagles' defense is better than San Diego's, and their offense more varied. If Dallas doesn't have Anthony Hitchens as well as Sean Lee they are weak at the linebacker slot, which is a good opening for the Chargers' backs. Carson, I mean, Los Angeles' defensive strength is pass rush; Dak Prescott will not hand them five picks in the first half, and the one thing that mitigates against a Charger win in my mind is their travel, from the west coast on a short week to play in the afternoon. The fact that the spread is a pick'em with the Cowboys' getting slightly longer odds means their home field advantage is seen to be neutralised. This could be an upset, but I don't think it would be much of one.

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