by Jeremy Dennis
The week of Thanksgiving in the National Football League means the start of the home stretch for the playoffs and the end of bye weeks. Excuse me? Two teams have a bye in Week 13? Crap. Anywho, we celebrate this time by overdosing on tryptophan and arguing about politics with family. Oh, the joy! Naturally, I could write an article about how thankful I am for various things in the past year, but that is soooo cliche. I will spare you all the nonsense and get right to the picks!
(By the way, very thankful for being 17-10-1 over the last two weeks, but I digress)
Last week YTD
Record 9-5 82-75-2 (52.2%)
Top Picks 3-0 18-18 (50.0%)
Betting Result UP 29 Units DOWN 65.7 Units
TOP PICKS (10 Units)
Las Vegas (-3) at Atlanta
Don’t know about you, but I had a little heart palpitation when it was announced that Taysom Hill was starting for New Orleans against the Falcons last week after I had picked the Saints to cover. Then I forgot that he was playing against the Falcons defense. The Raiders just got done putting up 31 against the Super Bowl Champions. Let’s see if Atlanta is thinking about vacation yet.
Houston (-2.5) at Detroit
What has happened to the Lions? Almost lost to the WFT two weeks ago then got shut out by the Panthers. The computer has a hard time believing that the Lions are going to stop the Texans.
Kansas City (-3) at Tampa Bay
Is there really any team in the NFC that you would feel comfortable in picking against the Kansas City Chiefs? Neutral site, away from home, the Moon? Sorry, Brady, don’t see this happening after a short week and a loss to the L.A. Rams.
THE LEFTOVERS (5 Units)
Arizona (-2.5) at New England
A little uneasy about this one as New England almost beat Seattle and tripped up Baltimore at home.
Washington (+3) at Dallas
Could an NFC Hot Garbage Division team cover three games in a row?
New Orleans (-5.5) at Denver
Taysom Hill, you say? I honestly didn’t see that one coming. Of course, that is why I am not an NFL GM. Denver’s surprise against Miami was nice, but probably an anomaly.
Baltimore (+4.5) at Pittsburgh
Just like the matchup at Baltimore that landed in favor of the Steelers. The favorite probably wins, but the number is too big.
Miami (-7) at N.Y. Jets
Can the Dolphins recover after getting upset at Denver? Can the Jets sneak in another cover like they did against the Chargers?
Carolina (+4.5) at Minnesota
After undervaluing the Panthers the last two weeks, the computer has learned its lesson. Minnesota is just not a good football team after losing to Dallas at home.
Jacksonville (+6.5) vs Cleveland
The computer thinks that Cleveland is overvalued. Luton had a tough game against the Steelers but that is the best defense in the league. I don’t think that the Browns qualify as such.
L.A. Chargers (+5.5) at Buffalo
As long as the Chargers don’t get a double-digit lead, we should be okay here.
Seattle (-5) at Philadelphia
While Seattle’s defense ain’t great, Carson Wentz is now battling some serious demons. Seattle will be looking to get a playoff push after ceding the NFC West to the L.A. Rams.
Indianapolis (-3.5) vs Tennessee
This is the play due to the Indy defense. The human element is worried as Tennessee does a pretty good job covering on the road (and winning outright).
Then there are these three games that I am NOT thankful for. I cannot defend these picks. They will probably cover anyway...
San Francisco (+7.5) at L.A. Rams
Chicago (+10) at Green Bay
Cincinnati (+6) vs N.Y. Giants
If you venture out, stay safe out there. This will be a tough holiday (especially if you are in an area with restrictions on gatherings), but try to make it a good one!