It’s Thanksgiving, boys and girls. The smell of turkey and pumpkin pie fill the air, otherwise only occupied by the unending and frankly unsolicited political opinions being spewed by your crotchety, drunk uncle and your alternative cousin who goes to art school.
You may be reading this blog from the front seat of the car as you try to convince your loved ones on, “hey, what if we do Thanksgiving at home next year” to avoid time with your family. Or you may be reading this in the bathroom as you pretend to have digestion issues to avoid time with your family. Or you may even be reading this outside by the garage burning a heater alone so that you can, you guessed it, avoid time with your family.
Whatever the case may be, your favorite uncle is here with your gambling picks for the day. You may not get to fully enjoy your time off work or be able to fit into the same jeans tomorrow, but rest assured, we’ll get you through the day with some extra coin in your pocket.
Lions +3.5 vs Bears
12:30 on FOX
I can’t imagine the 0-9-1 Lions hosting the 3-7 Bears is what those present at the first Thanksgiving would have wanted almost a half-millennia later, but alas here we are. This is the ultimate “TV executive just saying eh f*** it, whatever, put anything on” game of the week. In terms of points per game, we have the third-worst offense in Detroit playing the fourth-worst offense in Chicago.
There will be no Justin Fields for Chicago, either. The Lions are 6-4 against the spread this season while the Bears are just 4-6 overall and 2-3 on the road. We have one coach in Dan Campbell who has players that want to run through a dilapidated City of Detroit wall for him, and one coach in Matt Nagy who should’ve listed “LOL” after “offensive genius” in his coaching resume. Give me the points and the home team.
Fresno State/San Jose State U52.5
3:30 on FS1
Fresno State is favored by 7.5 in this one, but it’s the under the interests me. San Jose State’s total has been under 52.5 in eight of its 11 games this season. The Spartans are not bad on defense, allowing under 30 points four of the last five weeks, including just 13 in regulation to a ranked San Diego State team. Their offense is also of the average variety, scoring more than 27 points just twice so far this season.
Fresno State has two shutouts on the year on defense and should come out geared up to play given they still have an outside shot at a division title with a win and an Aztec loss. Betting a touchdown and a hook on a road team that has a loss to Hawaii and a 26-point loss to Boise State on their resume is too tall of an order for me, so give me the under.
Cowboys -7 vs Raiders
4:30 on CBS
It’s difficult to find a much more chaotic season than the Raiders. Losing a coach to emails and a wide receiver to significant legal circumstances is just the start. At one point, they were in line to clinch home field in the playoffs, but they’ve now lost three in a row including to the hapless Giants and by a combined 46 points to the Chiefs and Bengals, both at home.
The Cowboys, on the other hand, seem capable of anything. They sandwiched a blowout home loss to the Broncos and an anemic offensive effort against the maligned Chiefs defense with a 43-3 win over the Falcons. This is a home game against a broken team on a short week coming halfway across the country. This is my favorite bet of the day by far. That’s Dallas.
Mississippi State -1 vs Ole Miss
7:30 on ESPN
This is a reminder that if you’re serving deviled eggs at Thanksgiving, you’re a Class A monster. The Egg Bowl pits a top 10 Ole Miss team against a Bulldog team that appears to be clicking at the right time. Ole Miss was sloppy all game against a horrific Vanderbilt team on Senior Day, winning by two touchdowns because well, have you seen the Commodores?
The Bulldogs flat-out hate Ole Miss, and every Mountain Dew addict in the crowd will be clanging along as Mike Leach’s squad moves the ball down the field. If Vegas thinks a team that’s lost to Memphis and LSU should be favored against a 9-2 team with a Heisman candidate, I’m inclined to believe them. Don’t fall in the trap and take Mississippi State.
Bills -4.5 vs Saints
8:20 on FOX
What in absolute hell are the Bills? Speaking of hell, why the hell do the Saints keep paying Taysom Hill. None of this makes sense and it makes my head hurt. Since going on a four-game win streak that saw Buffalo beat their opponents by a combined 115 points, they are 2-3 with a loss to the Jaguars and a 26-point loss to Carson Wentz in there.
Meanwhile, the Saints have beaten the Packers, Patriots and Buccaneers by a combined 59 points, but are now on a three-game losing streak. I don’t know who or what to believe in with this Saints team, but I do know that good Bills team is still in there somewhere. So after you clear the table, make sure to break it, too. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.