Thanksgiving Hope for Winless Lions

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It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without some NFL action and there are three games coming up this Thursday, with the Detroit Lions kicking things off as they look for their first win.

Detroit Lions QB Jared Goff

A day of NFL action is as much of a Thanksgiving tradition as devouring a huge turkey dinner in the USA and there are three games for American football lovers to watch and bet on this Thursday.

The matches start with the all NFC North match-up between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears at Ford Field, before the action moves south to Texas where the Dallas Cowboys will host the Las Vegas Raiders and then the Buffalo Bills will look to boost their playoff credentials by winning at the New Orleans Saints.

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (Sky Sports NFL, 5.30pm Thursday)

Thanksgiving matches traditionally start at Detroit and the Lions will be determined to show they are not hopeless cases when they face Chicago.

Detroit head into Week 12 still looking for their first win of the season but at least their tie against Pittsburgh a fortnight ago means they will not be emulating their 2008 team that lost all their games.

But there is cause for optimism and there is a decent chance that they can break their duck against their NFC North rivals, particularly as they produced a decent defensive performance in last week’s 13-10 loss to Cleveland.

Chicago have lost their last five matches and will also be affected by the loss of defensive star Khalil Mack for the rest of the season.

Despite their winless run, the Lions have covered the handicap in six of their ten games and they can do so again at 50/59 as three-point underdogs, but bettors should not be put off from backing the home side to win the match at 5/4 either.

Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys (Sky Sports NFL, 9.30pm Thursday)

Victory over the Las Vegas Raiders would give the Dallas Cowboys a three-game lead at the top of the NFC East and it should be one they are confident of gaining.

The Cowboys have had a bit of a wobble after losing two of their last three games and they failed to score a touchdown in last week’s 19-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Raiders may be hopefully of keeping them in check with wide receiver Amari Cooper unavailable while running back Ezekiel Elliott has been struggling with a recurring knee issue.

However, the Raiders’ three-game winning start seems like a long time ago and they have failed to score 20 points in any of their three matches since their bye week.

Quarterback Derek Carr has few offensive options and it is doubtful that they will be able to keep up if the Cowboys hit their stride.

The visitors have covered the spread in just two of their last seven games. Dallas, who are 3/10 to win the match, should be able to reward punters who back them at 1/1 as 7.5-point favourites.

Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints (Sky Sports NFL, 1.20am Thursday night)

Buffalo’s inconsistency has allowed the New England Patriots climb to the top of the AFC East and the Bills could be in for a difficult evening in New Orleans.

The Bills were seven-point favourites against Indianapolis last week but slumped to a 41-15 loss and they have failed to cover the spread in each of their last five games against the Saints.

Playing at home as underdogs in such a big match watched by a huge American TV audience could inspire New Orleans, who have lost their last three games.

They were poor against Philadelphia last week, but they were only two points worse than Tennessee and Atlanta in their two previous games and they can put up a bold show.

They may not reward those who back them to win the game at 23/10, but they are capable of covering a 6.5-point handicap as underdogs at 25/27.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

A vastly experienced journalist, Ian has worked the beat on a number of local newspapers and covers a number of different sports for the Racing Post

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