The Post-Thanksgiving Football Coma
After the well-deserved hype of last week’s game of the season so far, between the Chiefs and the Rams, there were the traditional Thanksgiving Day match ups. Perennial turkey day teams the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys both had mixed fortune’s whilst the last fixture of the day saw the New Orleans march on as one of the Superbowl favourites.
These two games see teams that have snuck up into the playoff contention after mixed starts:
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos Monday 10.25am NZ time
The Steeler’s started the season with a tie and two losses in their first four games however since then are unbeaten. All the controversy in regards to star running back Le’veon Bell holding out has disappeared (now he’s decided not to front up at all this season) and they have unearthed a new star in James Conner in the same position. Head Coach Mike Tomlin is known for his discipline and he certainly has ironed out any initial team wrinkles.
Here they head to Denver to face a Broncos team who are fresh off a surprise win last week against the Chargers. Denver is not the easiest of places to play with the mountain altitude taking its toll for those not used to it. The Steelers have lost 4 out of their last 5 visits to Denver so this is a tough one to call. The Steelers are not surprisingly favourites however Denver getting a 3.5 point start is a worthy bet. Pick Denver +3.5
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans Tuesday 2.15pm NZ time
This AFC South match up features another team that have been quietly putting together an under the radar run. The Houston Texans top the AFC South with a 7-3 record. (The same record as the Patriots FYI) and have been winning games tough.
Things were looking bleak after an opening 0-3 start to the season however they have since won 7 straight winning their last two by two games by 2 points. Quarterback DeShaun Watson looks back to his best after a mid-season injury last year wrecked his rookie season. Dynamic on both the pass and run game Watson has made the Texans a different prospect from the last few seasons.
Here they face a Titans team thrashed last week by the Colts however on the road again they may struggle, especially with their quarterback Marcus Mariota carrying an injury. Houston are hot favourites here and are giving up more than the standard three point home field advantage, This will not be easy however they should get the better of their division rivals. Pick Texans -5.5
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