Week 12: Happy Thanksgiving!

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, we’ll have an abbreviated post today with the 3 Thursday games. The remainder of the games will be posted on Friday. 50/50 chance that happens. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Chicago (7-3) -3.5 @ DETROIT (4-6)

The Bears played a tough division game on Sunday night and now have to play on the shortest of rest early Thursday at Detroit. Mitchell Trubisky is likely out for the Bears leaving the game in the hands of Chase Daniel. No matter how many times the Bears sack Matt Stafford, there is no way you can trust a Chase Daniel’s led offense on short rest.

In honor of the holiday and the Bears vs. Lions match-up, we’ll turn to the Bill Swerski’s Super Fans for their opinion on the game.

Even though the Bears will be leading 96-14 at halftime, I think the Lions pull it together for the back door cover. Matt Stafford always plays well on Thanksgiving and he’ll out duel Chase Daniels.

PICK: Da Lions +3.5

1 Fireball Shot

DALLAS (5-5) -7.5 vs. Washington (6-4)

We may or may not be sitting on a NY Giants win the NFC East ticket at 12 - 1, so our opinions on any NFC East game should be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, if the Cowboys win this game, they will pull into a tie for the division lead with the Redskins at 6-5. When the Giants beat the Eagles on Sunday, both those teams will be at 4-7 and only two games back.

Colt McCoy will be starting for the Redskins after Alex Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury last week. In a horrible coincidence, the leg break cam on the anniversary of Lawrence Taylor breaking Joe Theismann’s leg on Monday night football. It’s been 33 years and I still vividly remember watching that live. I feel very badly for Alex Smith, but for the Redskins the change to McCoy is not a drop off at all. It’s a short week for sure, but McCoy is a seasoned veteran back-up and he should be able to handle it.

The craziest story of the week is that the Redskins signed Mark Sanchez to back up McCoy. The brought in Sanchez, TJ Yates and EJ Manual to audition for the roll. No Colin Kaepernick (not surprising). Hearing these three names got me thinking about the current state of back-up QBs in the NFL. The majority of teams had a serviceable back-up - at least in name alone. But digging deeper into depth charts, get a load of this list of back-up QBs (who the hell are these guys?):

  • Miami - David Fales

  • Dallas - Cooper Rush and Mike White

  • Cincinnati - Jeff Driskel

  • Carolina - Garrett Gilbert

  • LA Rams - Sean Marrion

The last two paragraphs should be enough evidence for Kaepernick to win his collusion suit against the NFL.

Dallas is getting super over-rated coming off a wins in Philly and Atlanta. Redskins are better with McCoy at QB. This line is an over-reaction, so we’re happy to take the extra points.

PICK: Washington +7.5

1 Fireball Shot

NEW ORLEANS (9-1) -12.5 vs. Atlanta (4-6)

Below are results of the last 17 games between the Falcons and Saints, dating back to the start of the 2010 season.

  • 2018: 43-37 (OT) - Saints

  • 2017: 20-17 - Falcons

  • 2017: 23-13 - Saints

  • 2016: 45-32 - Falcons

  • 2016: 38-32 - Falcons

  • 2015: 31-21 - Saints

  • 2015: 20-17 - Saints

  • 2014: 37-34 (OT) - Falcons

  • 2014: 30-14 - Falcons

  • 2013: 23-17 - Saints

  • 2013: 17-13 - Saints

  • 2012: 31-27 - Saints

  • 2012: 23-12 - Falcons

  • 2011: 26-23 (OT) - Saints

  • 2011: 45-16 - Saints

  • 2010: 27-24 (OT) - Falcons

  • 2010: 17-14 - Saints

Average margin of victory is 7.76 points with only 3 games finishing with a margin greater than this week’s 12.5 point spread. In fact, 4 of the 17 games went to OT including the first match-up this year. And, 11 of the 17 games have been decided by 6 points or less. Even though the Saints have been on fire and the Falcons have been killed by injuries, this game will be close.

These teams hate each other. The Falcons, struggling through a lost season, would love nothing better than stopping the Saints 9 game winning streak in this prime-time “island” game. More than 60% of the bets are on New Orleans, but more that 70% of the money is on Atlanta. We’re going to side with the sharps and take the points.

PICK: Atlanta +12.5

3 Fireball Shots

Remainder of Week 12 games will be posted Friday. Happy Thanksgiving!