Week 12 NFL Pick: New Orleans Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys
New Orleans Saints
(7-3, 5-5 ATS)
(3-7, 3-7 ATS)
The New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys might be on opposite sides of the standings in the NFC, but the two will meet in the annual Thanksgiving Day NFL betting battle in Arlington on Thursday afternoon.
The happiest man in the world right now might be New Orleans QB Drew Brees. Brees has had virtually the entire offense on his shoulders this year, as he has thrown the ball 417 times on the year versus the 248 rushing plays. The former Purdue Boilermaker has completed 290 of those passes for 2,969 yards and 22 TDs against 14 INTs. However, he’s going to get at least a little bit of a reprieve this week, as RB Reggie Bush should be back in the fold. Bush has been out of the lineup since Week 3, as he only has seven carries and nine receptions for the entire season. His backfield mate, RB Pierre Thomas has at least returned to practice, though he is unexpected to make his return to the lineup on Thursday. Thomas has been out of action since Week 4. WR Marques Colston has had at least 65 yards and six receptions in four straight games, and you can bet that he is going to want to make a name for himself on Thanksgiving Day. If you just account for scores legitimately allowed by the defense this year, New Orleans is surrendering less than two TDs per game.
We keep waiting to write the Cowboys off, but the thought has to be there in the back of your mind that they can win out and still win the Super Bowl even though they have an interim head coach right now in Jason Garrett. Garrett has totally turned the mentality in the Lone Star State around, as his Cowboys have won back to back games both SU and ATS in spite of the fact that they only had one win in each column during the first eight games of the season in which Wade Phillips was the head coach. Even though QB Tony Romo is out of the fold, QB Jon Kitna has done an admirable job filling in. Kitna has put up very similar numbers to those amassed by Romo this season, as he is completing 63.3 percent of his passes for 1,223 yards with ten scores against seven picks. Ironically, if you combine the numbers of these two Dallas QBs, you basically have the exact same numbers that Brees has put up on the season. Just like Brees, Romo and Kitna have had no help from their running backs. RB Marion Barber has basically lost his job to RB Felix Jones, and neither one even stands half of a chance of rushing for 1,000 yards this season, and they might not get there combined.
Dallas is going to be a trendy selection due to the fact that it is hot, but don’t get fooled! This is still the same lousy team with the same lousy problems, and after losing to the Cowboys last year, you know that the Saints are going to want to make sure that they bury the hosts once and for all.
Pro Football Free Pick: New Orleans Saints -3.5
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