What a time to be alive. We're a few days, hours, and minutes away from great food and non-stop gambling action. But Kev (you ask), what's so special about any of these games? We get the Bears at the Lions in a classic Division III quarterback matchup. In the Bills-Cowboys game, we could see Jason Garrett be the first coach to ever be fired mid-game. As for the Saints at the Falcons, to be honest, I'm more excited for the Cris Collinsworth slide in than I am the on-field product.
To be fair, I agree with the last point. Will Thursday be the day he slides (falls) in from the top? That would give me almost as much joy as I get every time Baby Yoda appears in "The Mandalorian." I mean, come on.
Sorry, I'll stop. Back to football.
A few things to note:
- Thanksgiving Hot Take: Turkey is trash. It's a dry meat that simply can't be made juicy. I've tried baked, smoked, even deep-fried. All dry. Don't come at me with how you prepared the best turkey ever. You didn't. It can't be done. Turkey is trash.
- I attach the line to the away team unless it’s an over-under. That doesn’t mean I’m picking them.
- I’m 28-26 on the year: 12-12 in the NFL, and 15-14 in college, and 1-0 in football (of the European variety).
Chicago Bears -3 @ Detroit Lions
Even a special Thanksgiving article can't keep me from making a "Chicago Bears Pick of the Week." To be fair though, I'm kind of on a roll. I hit last week and I'm 3-1 over my last four. As mentioned earlier, both of these teams are sending out division III quarterbacks. The Lions offense couldn't put up more than 13 points and they're spiraling out of control. The Bears offense has me so upset that I was actually mad after the Khalil Mack strip-sack because the defense didn't score. I assumed Mitch would lose ten yards on three plays and Eddy Pineiro would miss wide right. This is like choosing between the sushi rolls your cousin brought for an "appetizer" and your uncle's homemade kombucha that he most definitely made in his bathtub. Give me the 99 cent sushi and the Bears defense.
Pick: Chicago Bears -3
Buffalo Bills +7 @ Dallas Cowboys
Jason Garrett is finally getting to Jerry Jones:
Is this the beginning of the end for Garrett? Probably not, but Garret is definitely on the hot seat. Speaking of Garrett, his record against the spread on Thanksgiving games? 1-7. ONE AND SEVEN. Last year was his first cover on Thanksgiving in a game in which they were losing 13-10 in the third quarter to the Colt McCoy-led Redskins. The Bills have played in mostly close games this year as it relates to their losses. My only concern will be how they contain Ezekiel Elliott. The struggle for the Bills thus far on defense (if they have one) has been stopping the run. Philadelphia was able to dominate this team on the ground in the Bills' only blowout loss this year. They seemed to have righted the ship with a decent showing against a heavy run-first team in Denver last week. Gambling Trends: Buffalo is 2-0-1 as a road underdog this year while Dallas is 3-2 as a home favorite. This pick is Josh Allen approved.
Pick: Buffalo Bills +7
New Orleans Saints -7 @ Atlanta Falcons
Finally, the nightcap. Hopefully, dinner didn't get political and we can all turn our attention back to what's really important, football. Atlanta shut down the Saints a few weeks ago in a shocking upset (14 point underdogs going in). Alvin Kamara was held to 12 total touches for 74 yards. And yes, that's shutting him down. Michael Thomas had 13 catches for 152 yards, and yet the Saints still lost 26 to 9. The only good part of the Falcons defense has been stopping the run (giving up 3.9 yards per run, sixth in the league). On the other side, they're back to being the Falcons we know and love. A high-flying passing machine with 69% of their offensive plays being pass plays (leads the league). I doubt the Falcons will be able to keep the Saints out of the end zone as easily as they did a few weeks ago, but Atlanta will try to mimic that gameplan. Control the clock and limit Kamara. When that fails, they'll cover with a backdoor TD late in what hopefully turns into a shootout. Here's a fun trend to note: Atlanta has covered three in a row as a home dog versus New Orleans. Also, I forgot to mention Julio Jones is still good at football.
Pick: Atlanta Falcons +7
This seems easier than it should be. Two quick unders followed by an absolute gem of an over. Points are better than no points. The players in the Saints/Falcons game will do all the running for me while I fall deep into a food coma 300 miles (meters?) below couch level.
Pick: Under 39, Under 45, Over 49.5
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