Opening Lines

Patriots Open at -7 in Thanksgiving Game in Detroit

According to our good friends at MySportsBook.com, the Patriots opened as 7-point favorites for their Thanksgiving game in Detroit. (I hope you noticed that shameless plug, other potential sponsors … we here at Foxboro Blog take good care of the fine companies who help make us wildly rich and extremely famous!)

New England’s offense has put points on the board with ruthless efficiency against some pretty good defenses the past two weeks. They hung 39 on the Steelers and 31 on the Colts. Detroit ranks 23rd in scoring defense and 19th in yards allowed per game, and their rushing defense is among the league’s worst. This should all add up to a lot of points for the league’s top scoring offense. Don’t be surprised to see BenJarvus Green-Ellis feasting on the traditional turkey leg awarded to the player of the game in the post-game interview. If BJGE or Brady earns that honor, I hope they at least bring a hair net to ensure food safety. If New England players wanted fat hairy turkey on Thanksgiving, they’d invite Rex Ryan to dinner. ZING! I’m just hoping that instead of eating that turkey leg, they try to set a good example by donating it to the less fortunate … like all of Antonio Cromartie’s kids. DOUBLE ZING! Yeah, I’m already kinda looking forward to the Week 12 game against the Jets. Deal with it.

However, Detroit is far from hopeless in this game. Their front four, anchored by first-round phenom DT Ndamukong Suh, is good at getting after the quarterback with 27 sacks on the year. Due in large part to the pressure generated up front, the Lions have a pass defense that ranks among the top half of the league. Their offense also does a good job of moving the ball through the air, which has been New England’s Achilles’ heel this season. Detroit ranks 6th in passing yards and is tied for 6th in passing TDs. WR Calvin Johnson is a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators. In man-to-man coverage, he is uncoverable. The Patriots will have to devote an additional defender to Megatron, which should open up the middle of the field for the other receivers and tight ends. The Pats struggle in pass coverage, and even with backup QB Shaun Hill in the game, the Lions should be able to move the ball.

Even though I think New England will win this one, I think Detroit is capable of keeping it close. I’ll take Detroit and the points this week. Also, because both offenses are pretty good and both defenses are pretty bad, I’m going to take the over at 51.

Other Lines I Like …

PACKERS (+2.5) at Falcons

I think the Falcons are a very good football team, but they don’t defend the pass very well. The pass is Green Bay’s bread and butter. The Packers have been murdering opponents the past few weeks, outscoring the opposition 85-10 over their past three games. I’m going to ride the hot hand and gamble with Green Bay.

JAGUARS (+7.5) at Giants

The Giants will be missing WRs Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks this week, leaving alligator-arms Mario Manningham and a mishmash of special teams and practice squad players as Eli Manning’s top targets. The Giants are coming off two straight demoralizing losses, while the Jags have won three straight. I’ll gladly take the points under those circumstances.

2010 Record ATS 6-9-1

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