The Degenerate: Week 12 – Thanksgiving Picks, The Turkey Day Threesome

It’s Thanksgiving week. You know, the week when you get sloppy drunk with old high school friends (“OH MY GOD WE SHOULD TOTALLY HANG OUT MORE!”), you pretend to start Christmas shopping before giving up after an hour, and… FOOTBALL!

Can we wrap this up? I have money on the Cowboys game.

Growing up, Thanksgiving day football was always a mess (except 1989 when the Eagles shut out the Cowboys 27-0, a.k.a Bounty Bowl). Detroit would play, Barry Sanders would get 175 yards rushing and they would still lose. Then we had to sit through a Dallas Cowboys game. No matter how much I hate the Cowboys, I always watched every play (mainly for gambling or fantasy football purposes, but still). And then, a few years ago, the greatest invention ever was created, the Thursday Night Thanksgiving game. Why did it take so long? Thanksgiving is perfect for a night game. The day is done, the food is gone, your family has all gone their separate ways, your stomach is bloated and you want nothing else than to sit in the recliner and watch football. Well, the NFL felt your pain and a few years ago they started the Thanksgiving night game. God Bless the NFL.

This year the Thanksgiving matchups are actually pretty decent. Miami at Dallas looks ugly on paper, but the Dolphins aren’t playing too bad lately. I could see a lot of points in this one.

Green Bay at Detroit? Nice. We finally have a Detroit Thanksgiving game that is worth a crap. This one should be a battle, the Packers are trying to keep their unbeaten season alive and the Lions are fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive. I’m actually looking forward to this one.

The night game is San Francisco at Baltimore. The Harbaugh Bowl, or whatever. Honestly, I’m already sick of the hype on this one. We get it, the coaches are brothers. Their mom said she is hoping for a tie. Whatever. Two great defenses are banging heads, this one should be a fight.

There are three great games on tap for Thursday, and guess what sports fans? I’m making a pick in all of them. Why not? I’m 13-11 on the season. I slugged through last weekend at 1-2. I’ve been pretty picky about my selections, and it’s only gotten me to two games over .500. Maybe shooting from the hip will get us some luck. I’ll call it “The Three Course Thanksgiving Cornucopia”.

So, here we go with the TCTC, as always this is for amusement purposes only. You can use this as your guide when making those $5 bets with your Uncle Frank. I’m going to breakdown the three games quickly since I know we all have better things to do today…

Bet #1: (a.k.a The “If Cam Newton can put up 35 points on Detroit…” pick) Green Bay -6.5 over Detroit

80 years and finally a good matchup.

I know, the cool thing to say is “yeah, I think Detroit knocks off the Packers and gives them their first loss.” But I don’t think it’s going to happen. I expect another big game from Aaron Rogers and company. Green Bay has been favored by less than a TD four times this season, covering all four games. They’re averaging 35 points per game so far this season.

The Detroit defense is good, I know that. But last week they sure didn’t look like it, giving up 35 points to Cam Newton and the Panthers. Could they have been looking ahead to this game? Probably. But I think the Packers are focused on the undefeated season, and this is a major hurdle, so they will be ready. Aaron Rogers is locked in right now, he will be tough to stop.

Detroit started the season 5-0, but have only gone 2-3 since then. Matt Stafford is hurting, but he sure didn’t look like it on Sunday, throwing five TD passes. They’re missing their #1 RB, but fill-in Kevin Smith had a good game last week. But I’m worried more about the defense. How can they give up 35 points to Carolina?

It could be a long day for the Lions. Vegas sets the Total at 56 points, so they’re looking for around a 31-24 game. I think it will be more lopsided. How about Aaron Rogers and Jordy Nelson keep rolling and the Packers win 38-21.

Bet #2 (a.k.a The “At least you aren’t picking the Cowboys” pick) Dallas / Miami OVER 44

Who knew Miami fans were so gangsta?

Miami has shut down the last three teams they have played. KC scored three, Washington scored nine and Buffalo scored eight. But take look at those teams, none of them have been playing well lately.

Yeah, Washington almost beat Dallas last week, but that was pretty much the Redskins’ Super Bowl. They gave Dallas all they could and still couldn’t get it done.

Dallas has put up 20+ in four of the last five games, they seem like a different team with DeMarco Murray in the backfield. Miami is averaging 29 points the last 3 games, ever since Reggie Bush remembered he was a Heisman winner. Both offenses are moving the ball well.

And playing on a short week, I’d give the advantage to the offense.

Add to that Miami has not gone OVER at all this season, eight UNDERs, one Push. All streaks end at some point, and I think this one ends this week. DeMarco Murray and the Dallas WR/TE’s (Bryant, Robinson, Witten) should have big days. As much as I would like to see the Cowboys lose to help the Eagles, I don’t see it happening. Romo and Murray get Dallas a 34-20 win.

Bet #3 (a.k.a The “Home cooking always tastes better” pick) Baltimore -3 over San Francisco

I know, I know, I said I’d never put my money on Joe Flaccid. But in this one, I’m putting my money on Joe Flaccid (but never again, I swear 😉 ).

Flacco is not a great QB, I know that. But I’m looking for less Flacco and more Ray Rice in this one.

Could be a big night for Ray Rice

Both defenses are solid (San Fran is #3, Baltimore is #1), and both offenses are average (San Fran is #19, Baltimore #21). Seems like a recipe for a low scoring game, Vegas set the total at 38 points.

This one comes down to two things for me: 1) San Francisco is coming off of a battle against the Giants on Sunday that pretty much came down to the last play, and 2) San Francisco is travelling across the country on a short week to play in a game that has been pretty hyped up.

San Francisco is a young team, I think the hype around this game could be distracting for them. Baltimore is at home, and they are a veteran team. I don’t think Ray Lewis, Ray Rice and Ed Reed will let the team lose focus on this one. Baltimore is battling the Steelers for the lead in the AFC Central, while the 49ers have already wrapped up the NFC West. This isn’t a great spot for the 49ers.

The 49ers are 9-0-1 vs. the spread, that is unconscious. It can’t keep up and I think this is the week they finally lose a game vs. the pointspread.

So, we have a veteran team at home, on a short week against a young, hot team off a tough win travelling cross country. I think Baltimore settles in and knocks off the 49ers, and it might not even be that close. I’m saying Ravens 27-10.

Let’s hope we sweep the board on Thursday and celebrate Turkey day with some winners.

*No pick from me on the Birds game. Patriots are laying 4 right now, no Over/Under posted yet. I’ll just sit back and hope for the best. I’m still ALL IN, but if they can manage to pull this one out? Oh boy, the hype machine starts up all over again.

I’ll be back next week with a full slate of posts. But for now, enjoy the holiday weekend!

 

Fantasource

 

 

 

Season Record: 13-11. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.

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