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2023 NFL Thanksgiving Special: Expert Picks, Predictions for Every Game

Expert Picks Micah Parsons Amon-Ra St. Brown Tyreek Hill

We want to give you an early preview of the Thanksgiving slate and the brand-new Black Friday game. To do that, we’ll provide you with a brief analysis and score prediction for every game.

Thanksgiving Day Slate

Packers at Lions

Spread: Lions -7.5

Total: 46

The Detroit Lions are 1-2 against teams with winning records and 7-0 against sub-.500 teams. That includes a 34-20 Week 4 win over the Green Bay Packers. The Lions’ offense is top five in rushing yards and passing yards per game, so Detroit’s balanced attack is more than enough to beat Green Bay.

The Lions’ defense has struggled against average or better offenses while beating up on the more volatile ones — and the Packers’ offense has been unreliable all season. If Jordan Love’s offense continues to be mediocre, this one could get ugly.

Score Prediction: Lions 27, Packers 17

Commanders at Cowboys

Spread: Cowboys -11

Total: 47.5

The Dallas Cowboys have now won six games by three scores or more. Dallas has two major advantages against the Washington Commanders. The first is that Dak Prescott’s passing attack could dismantle Washington’s third-worst pass defense. The second is that the Cowboys’ pass rush has a significant advantage in this matchup. From a pure talent standpoint, Dallas has multiple paths to a decisive victory.

Sam Howell is coming off a three-interception game against the New York Giants, though he has largely been a bright spot for the Commanders this year. If Washington is going to compete with Dallas, the Commanders need a bounce-back game from their quarterback. 

Score Prediction: Cowboys 30, Commanders 20

49ers at Seahawks

Spread: Seahawks +7

Total: 42.5

Thursday night, there’s a solid chance Drew Lock will have to fill in for the injured Geno Smith. With Smith, the Seattle Seahawks at least have some potential to exceed expectations. If Lock is forced into action, the San Francisco 49ers are the last team you want to face with a volatile quarterback. In general, Seattle’s offense has been underwhelming for over a month now.

For the 49ers, Chase Young has added to their already dominant pass rush. Smith struggles in muddy pockets, and Lock could have multiple turnovers if consistently pressured. San Francisco has the raw materials to derail Seattle’s struggling offense. Since the bye, Brock Purdy has shredded the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When the 49ers are firing on all cylinders like they are right now, they might be the league’s best team. 

Score Prediction: 49ers 24, Seahawks 13

Black Friday

Dolphins at Jets

Spread: Jets +7.5

Total: 41.5

The Miami Dolphins exited their bye and played a sluggish game on offense against the Las Vegas Raiders, and the Dolphins’ defense largely carried Miami to victory in that contest. The Dolphins have enough talent to win this game decisively, but that can’t be the expectation after their showing last week.

The New York Jets’ offense remains among the worst in the league — it’s gotten to the point that Tim Boyle might start over Zach Wilson in this matchup. Regardless of the Jets’ starting quarterback, they will likely have a limited passing attack against Miami’s improving defense. Like in all games this season, if the Jets are going to keep this contest competitive, it’s on their defense.

Score Prediction: Dolphins 17, Jets 13