Thanksgiving this year gives us a triple-header with three good matchups. The Bills play the Lions in the day’s first game, and it’ll be the Bills’ second straight game in Detroit after the blizzard forced their Week 11 game to Detroit. The Bills are favored by more than a touchdown.
The second game features an NFC East battle between the Giants and Cowboys. Dallas is favored by more than a touchdown at home. The Giants hit their lowest point of the season Sunday when they lost to the Detroit Lions at home. The Cowboys had perhaps their best win of the season in a 40-3 blowout of the Vikings in Minnesota. Ezekiel Elliott also returned to the lineup and scored two touchdowns, while Tony Pollard had 180 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns.
Minnesota hosts the Patriots in the final game on Thanksgiving and is a field-goal favorite. The Vikings are 8-2 and have the second-best record in the NFC, but they can’t feel great after being blown out by the Cowboys. The Patriots beat the Jets on a last-minute punt-return touchdown in one of the ugliest games of the 2022 NFL season so far.
2022 NFL Thanksgiving Schedule
- Bills at Lions – 12:30 p.m. ET on CBS
- Giants at Cowboys – 4:30 p.m. ET on FOX
- Patriots at Vikings – 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
All odds update live. No teams are on bye this week.
Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions
After playing as the “home” team in Detroit this past week, the Bills will be back at Ford Field on Thanksgiving to pay a visit to the Lions. Buffalo will be looking to win its second consecutive game and get back on track in the AFC playoff race and is favored by more than a touchdown against the Lions.
Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. ET Thursday from Detroit. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
There was a lot to like about Buffalo’s performance on Sunday if you are a Bills fan, as they snapped their two-game losing streak. Josh Allen eliminated the turnovers from his game that was holding the team back in recent weeks while the running steamrolled a bad Browns run defense to 171 yards, a 5.2-yard per carry average, and a touchdown. Both Devin Singletary and James Cook topped the 80-yard mark in the win.
The only things that have held the Bills back this season have been the occasional turnover problem from Allen and a lack of production from their running backs. If they get those two things under control, or at the very least limit the turnovers from Allen, they will be one of the toughest outs in the AFC playoffs.
They are still fighting for the top spot in the AFC East, and their remaining schedule is set up for a frantic finish in the division. Four of their remaining seven games come against AFC East foes (including both games against New England) and a potential first-place showdown with Miami. With Cincinnati also remaining on the schedule, it will be a tough run the rest of the way, making games like Detroit the type of games you can not slip up in.
But do not sleep on the Lions or think this will be a walkover game.
Dan Campbell has his team playing gutsy football, producing three consecutive wins over Green Bay, Chicago, and a convincing win over the New York Giants on the road on Sunday. They have played a lot of really good teams close this season and have lost some tough one-score games to Philadelphia, Minnesota, Seattle, and Miami. Each of those four games was decided by four points or less.
It is also an incredibly short and hectic week for Buffalo. After going through everything it did to get to Detroit for the rescheduled game, the Bills opted against staying in Detroit. They returned to Buffalo for a couple of nights before heading back to Detroit for an early Thursday afternoon game. Road teams are already at a scheduling disadvantage on the short week, which adds to it.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
It’ll be a classic NFC East rivalry matchup on Thanksgiving when the surprising New York Giants (7-3) travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys (7-3). While the Giants and Cowboys have the same record, the Cowboys own a +84 point differential, while the Giants have only outscored their opponents by one point.
Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 p.m. ET Thursday. FOX will broadcast the game.
Dallas has won three of its four games since Dak Prescott returned to the lineup, but all four were against NFC North opponents. The lone loss came in overtime at Green Bay after the Cowboys blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead.
Cowboys running back Tony Pollard leads the NFL in explosive play rate with 14.1% of his touches going for runs of more than 12 yards or receptions of more than 16 yards, per TruMedia. Ezekiel Elliott returned to the lineup last week from a knee sprain and scored two touchdowns while Pollard received most of the work at running back.
Daniel Jones and the Giants’ offense will have to deal with a Dallas defense that leads the league in pressure rate (42.7%). Saquon Barkley is still second in the NFL with 953 rushing yards despite a poor performance in Week 11.
New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings
It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving Day without football, right? The New England Patriots will take on the NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings to close out the holiday’s three-game NFL slate. Minnesota will enter Week 12’s contest as a small favorite.
The Vikings will get to stay home for the holiday when they host the Patriots at 8:20 p.m. ET Thursday at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on NBC. It’ll be Minnesota’s sixth time playing in Minneapolis this season, which is a place where first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell has managed a 4-1 record. Whether the game is won with their offense, defense or special teams, the Vikings’ seven wins without a loss in one-score games this season should indicate that a close score game might be their best chance of celebrating Thanksgiving with a win.
How the defense performs could become the difference between a Patriots win or loss. No one’s been able to defeat New England this season when the Patriots keep opponents under 20 points. Matt Judon and the defense will have the challenge of trying to limit a touch Vikings offense led by Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook.
New England is both 3-2 at home and on the road. New England is 6-3-1 agains the spread this season while the under is 6-4 in their games so far. Minnesota is 8-2, but only 4-5-1 against the spread and overs and unders are tied at 5-5.
(Photo of Ezekiel Elliott: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)