Best Bets for Thanksgiving Weekend's College and NFL Games
Let's go get some spending money for Black Friday!
Joel Kramer via Flickr creative commons
So after a painful 2-4 ATS wagering record two weeks ago, we got back on the winning track this past weekend with a serviceable 3-2-1 record ATS, and with Black Friday coming up this weekend and the holiday shopping season upon us, I have just two words for you — YOU'RE WELCOME!
It is known that Thanksgiving weekend is a time for families to gather together, from points on the map far and wide, and share in the joy of a successful six-team parlay. Yes, I am bringing families together this holiday season. So without further ado, here is our ticket to untold riches and a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy 6-0 weekend, everybody!
VIRGINIA TECH -18.5 over Virginia
A little ACC action for ya...or as I like to call it, ACC-tion!! Virginia Tech, fresh off a rousing comeback win over Notre Dame in South Bend (making them like the seventh team to be roused this season against the Fighting Irish, not exactly an exclusive club), can clinch a division title and a spot in the ACC title game against Clemson. Virginia has to travel back-to-back weekends just to avoid a tenth loss, something I suspect college kids aren't all that psyched to do over a holiday weekend.
Auburn/ALABAMA UNDER 47
I think it goes without saying (but I will say it anyway) that Alabama a) is far and away the best team in the country, and b) could lose one of their final two games — this Iron Bowl game or the SEC title game versus Florida — and still secure a spot in the College Football Playoff. The more interesting question is "What if Alabama lost two close games to Auburn and Florida? Would two close losses at the end of the year negate the Crimson Tide's dominance all season?" It won't matter. The Tide are going to win both of these games, and it starts Saturday against Auburn. The Tigers actually have significant stakes in this thing as well, as Alabama's making the playoff opens up the Sugar Bowl for the next-highest-ranked SEC team, a status that Auburn would seem to have pole position on with a win over (or even a close loss to) Alabama, and Florida losing to Florida State and/or the Crimson Tide. Gus Malzahn's offense is going to have a hard time moving the ball on the road. I see this as a 27-6 kind of game, way under the 47-point posted total.
Giants -7 over BROWNS
There's really not much to find wrong with this play. The Browns are not doing a very good job at competitively avoiding becoming the first winless team since the Lions in 2008, and their ATS record is a terrible 2-9. The Giants like to play fast, and this is a Browns team that has a pass defense that may as well have one of those huge "WELCOME TO OUR SECONDARY" billboards you see when travelers cross over state borders. They give up more than 8 yards per pass attempt. Add in the fact that the Browns haven't had a bye week yet, and the fact that the Giants have won five in a row. All of this is enough for me to ignore the many faces of Eli Manning...
SAINTS -7 over Rams
So you're telling me I get Drew Brees at home against beleaguered Jared Goff making his second start in his career, and I only need to lay one touchdown? Well, okay then...
Patriots -8.5 over JETS
If Brock Osweiler's "pretty okay" performance on Monday night accomplished anything, perhaps it made us feel somewhat optimistic that his $37 million guaranteed will eventually feel like money better spent than the Jets' dropping $12 million on Ryan Fitzpatrick. I mean, neither guy has been good, but at least Osweiler has presided over twice as many wins and has some upside. (I SWEAR, THERE IS UPSIDE IN THERE SOMEWHERE.) The Patriots are about as safe a bet as you'll find each weekend, with an 8-2 record both SU and ATS, with one of the two losses a brutal backdoor cover by the Niners last weekend. This feels like another surgical win in the neighborhood of 31-10 for the Pats.
EAGLES -3 over Packers
At 4-6, the Packers' season is spinning wildly out of control. They're likely one more loss away from cashing it in for 2016, and apparently everybody secretly hates Aaron Rodgers. Meanwhile, the Eagles have something to play for in every game that Carson Wentz starts, as every game he gets under his belt is one less game worth of experience he needs in future seasons. This is the second prime time game in a row that the Packers will play against an NFC East team ON THE ROAD, having gotten smoked by the Redskins this past Sunday night. The Eagles are 4-0 both SU and ATS this season at home. The Eagles continue Green Bay's downward spiral, feeding a downtrodden 4-7 bunch to the Texans in Week 13.
Last Week: 3-2-1
Season Record: 45-26-1
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.
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