College and NFL Football: Thanksgiving Weekend's Best Bets
I don't know what to say. I'm embarrassed, I'm ashamed and now I'm dirt poor thanks to my performance the past two weeks. Consecutive weeks of 1-5 on these best bets is absolutely pathetic, so if I've made you poor with my picks, just know that my family and I are eating SPAM and drinking tap water for Thanksgiving. That hopefully makes you feel better. If you've been fading my picks the past two weeks, congratulations on the purchase of your new boat.
It's a brand-new week with some Turkey Day games, so let's try to get a little something back in our pockets. And we're going all NFL games this week. Screw college football, which has routinely emptied my pockets on a weekly basis…
COWBOYS -1 over Panthers
This is the first time since 1985 that a 10-0 team has been an underdog in its 11th game. That season, it was the Chicago Bears as two-point underdogs against the Dallas Cowboys, ironically with Ron Rivers (current Panthers head coach) playing linebacker. The Bears won that game 44-0. I think this game will be a little different. The obvious eye test says, "Why in the blue hell is Carolina a dog here?" In these cases where something looks obvious, Vegas usually knows something. I know Tony Romo is 3-0 as a starter this season.
PACKERS -9 over Bears
Well, hopefully you took advantage of the three bad games that Aaron Rodgers is going to play in the next five years or so while you had them, because last weekend was a "get right" game for the Packers against the Vikings. Now we get the Packers in a division game at home at night in prime time on a holiday against Jay Cutler and the Bears, who've played better lately, but in this spot, they're still the Bears led by Jay Cutler (1-11 SU vs Green Bay). The Packers are 40-17 ATS in their last 57 division games, 9-2 ATS in their last 11 versus the Bears. Time to get back on the Rodgers-at-home Express.
Buccaneers +3 over COLTS
The Buccaneers can do the Texans the favor that the Falcons couldn't last weekend by knocking off the Colts. The Bucs have won three out of four, and it looks like things are starting to click with Jameis Winston. The Colts are trotting out Matt Hasselbeck, who is somehow 3-0 on the season as a starter. The Bucs are 14-3 ATS in November the last four seasons. We will go with a little wishful thinking here.
Cardinals/49ERS UNDER 44.5
This feels like an ugly 20-9 kind of "let's get this over with" game.
SEAHAWKS -3.5 over Steelers
I feel like every week has been a "must win" for the Seahawks for the last month. At 5-5, a loss here would put the Seahawks margin for error at virtually nil. Both teams are without their star running backs, Le'Veon Bell for the Steelers and Marshawn Lynch for the Seahawks. The Steelers are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games outside the Eastern Time Zone, and the Seahawks are still really good at home, 12-2 ATS in their last 14 home games with a spread of a TD or less.
BROWNS -3 over Ravens
As it turns out, for betting purposes, Johnny Manziel's escapades may have been the best thing to happen to us. His benching means we get the capable Josh McCown against the possibly dead Matt Schaub at home. I can't believe I'm saying the Browns as a favorite is a gift, but it is.
Last Week: 1-5
Season Record: 32-39-1
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.