NFL Thanksgiving Day betting preview: Cowboys' offense will bounce back
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Week 14 of the NFL season opens Thursday with three games on the Thanksgiving Day slate. Let's break them down and dive into the best bets for all three contests.

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

Line: Bears -3
Total: 38.5

The Bears and Lions have the matinee game as the two teams meet for the second time in three weeks. Chicago took the prior meeting and covered in a 20-13 win at Soldier Field.

The Bears originally opened as narrow one-point favorites, but that was before injury concerns on the Lions' side. Already without starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, Detroit is monitoring second-stringer Jeff Driskel, who's nursing a hamstring injury. Purdue product David Blough would be the next man up if Driskel is unavailable.

Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is having a down year but had one of his better games of the season when these two clubs last met. He posted 173 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Trubisky's only averaging 185.8 yards per game through the air, but against pass defenses in the bottom third of DVOA, he's averaging roughly 227 yards with seven total touchdown passes. Detroit enters Week 14 ranked No. 24 in that department and will again be another favorable matchup for the third-year quarterback.

You could make a case that Detroit's at its lowest point in the market and potentially a nice buy-low play. However, with Blough trending toward playing and the Lions' defense dealing with injuries all over the place, I'd lay the chalk with the road team.

Pick: Bears -3

Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys

Line: Cowboys -7
Total: 46

If you're as anxious as I am to find out how real - or fraudulent - the Buffalo defense is, this is the week. The Bills have yet to play an offense that ranks in the top 10 in offensive DVOA, yet their defense is barely cracking the top half of DVOA at No. 14. Considering they're matching up with an offense that ranks No. 1 by that metric, I wouldn't be surprised if Dallas makes a statement after being held to nine points by the Patriots last week.

Though the Cowboys have a revamped passing game, Ezekiel Elliott's gone missing. He hasn't crossed the century mark in each of their last three games and has one rushing touchdown over their last four. But against a defense that's No. 31 in the NFL in explosive rush rate and is allowing 4.4 yards per carry, this is likely the turning point for the star running back.

Dallas will be by far the best passing offense the Bills have seen. And even when the Cowboys want to slow the game down, they'll have success against a below-average rushing defense.

Pick: Cowboys team total over 27

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

Line: Saints -7
Total: 48.5

Perhaps we put too much stock into the Falcons' defensive "turnaround." Atlanta was the talk of the town after holding the Saints and Panthers to a combined 12 points. Last weekend, the Falcons of old returned, allowing 35 points in a home loss to the Buccaneers. That whole "revamped defense" thing was pretty short-lived.

Anyone with a pulse could've seen it coming. Despite not allowing a touchdown over that two-week span, the Falcons surrendered a combined 657 total yards but were bailed out by timely turnovers and solid red-zone defense. They only outgained those two opponents by a grand total of nine yards.

I can't help but think New Orleans will try and attack Atlanta's secondary early. The Falcons are No. 25 in pass defense DVOA but have been respectable against the run, clocking in at No. 11. And if New Orleans can have some success out of the gate, it'll force the Falcons to constantly pass the ball.

Let the track meet commence.

Pick: Over 48.5

Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKoIodziej.

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NFL Thanksgiving Day betting preview: Cowboys' offense will bounce back
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