We have a lot to be thankful for on AT media. We are certainly thankful the readers and listeners that consume our content.
For that gratitude, I’m going to cook up a special edition of the column on Thanksgiving. Betting on this terrific day is the best way to distract from an argument of the dinner table, or just avoiding the awkward conversation of trying to explain to your great aunt Mildred why you’re still single. It is also the best way to pass the time when dinner is being made. Football and turkey simply go together.
We will break down the three thanksgiving games gifted to us, and we will throw in some college basketball in the mix too. So without further to do, here is where our action lies on Thanksgiving day.
Chicago at Detroit
Spread: Chicago (-2.5)
The annual Detroit Thanksgiving game - ahh, there is nothing like it. This year, football fans get the extra treat of watching two back up QBs commanding the league’s two worst offenses. We are going to keep this right up short and sweet.
Detroit is starting Tim Boyle at QB. Against Cleveland in his first career start Boyle completed 15 passes for 77 yards and threw two interceptions. Boyle played his college ball at Aaron Torres’s alma matter UConn. At UConn Boyle put up some amazing stats - he had a career completion percentage just over 50 percent and had a TD to interception ratio of 1 to 13. That’s not good folks.
Andy Dalton is not going to lite the world on fire, but he is a competent back up. Dalton will be facing a Detroit defense that ranks 31st against the pass and is getting pressure at the 4th lowest rate. Chicago should be able to run the ball with David Montgomery as well. Don’t over think it, Chicago is bad but they are not Detroit. I usually don’t take road favorites, but making an exception here.
The pick: Bears -2.5
Las Vegas at Dallas
Spread: Dallas -7.5
We get two of the most recognizable brands in sports going head-to-head at each other. Las Vegas has been through a lot this season, from the email controversy surrounding Jon Gruden and Henry Ruggs III’s arrest and subsequent release from the team. On the field, Vegas has dropped their last three games, is this a spot to bounce back?
For Dallas, it had been a magical season so far - even despite what happened last Sunday in Kansas City. Dallas dropped a game against Kansas City last week where the offense looked underwhelming for the first time all season. However, Dak Prescott is in MVP form and Dallas is firmly in control of the NFC East and they are fighting for one of the NFC’s top seeds. I think this is simply a good spot for Las Vegas. Las Vegas’s fans will travel in bunches.
Derek Carr will benefit facing a Dallas defense struggling hampered with injuries. Dallas has been vulnerable defending deep passes and Carr is third in the NFL in air yards despite losing Ruggs. Las Vegas’s defense will have to step up against Dallas’s potent offense. I think they do just enough to keep this one close.
The pick: Las Vegas +7.5
Buffalo at New Orleans
Spread: Buffalo (-6.5)
I knew Buffalo was fraudulent, and I still fell for them last week. Meanwhile, New Orleans' defense got taken to the woodshed by Philadelphia’s offensive line. Thankfully this week, Buffalo does not have the run game to move New Orleans off the line like they did last week. When a defense gets manhandled the way they were, I expect New Orleans to respond.
Buffalo’s top defensive numbers were aided by playing limited offenses and bad quarterbacks. Here are the names of the QB’s they have beaten, Tua (2x), David Mills, Mike White, and Taylor Heinicke. Is that something we are supposed to be impressed with.
New Orleans is a physically imposing offense that ranks 11th in offensive line yards, and they can push this D-Line around. Taysom Hill cleared concussion protocol, and he is going to be a huge weapon in this matchup. This is a win or go home type of game, and giving New Orleans six points at home is too much.
The pick: New Orleans +6.5
In addition to pro football - I have a couple college hoops bets to share as well.
LETS. DO. THIS!!!
VCU vs Baylor (Battle 4 Atlantis Quarterfinal)
The spread is unavailable at the time I’m writing this, but I would legitimately take this number up to 15. Baylor dominated ASU in their last contest from the 12th minute mark in the first half to the last four minutes of the second. Baylor had a 20-point lead with four minutes to go.
While Baylor lost a lot from their championship roster, the tough defensive culture Scott Drew has built still exists. Baylor ranks 6th in defensive efficiency, they force teams to turn the ball over at the 7th highest rate, and they don’t let you get points in the paint. VCU is a team that has struggled to score on anyone.
The Rams rank 241st in offensive efficiency, they are turning the ball over at 343rd highest rate, and they are shooting 61 percent from the free throw line. On the flip side of VCU is a great defensive team ranking 14th in defensive efficiency, 3rd in effective field goal percentage, and 4th best team defending the three.
However, they have not faced an offense has potent and athletic as Baylor. The Bears will have plenty of opportunities to run out on transition off of VCU turnovers. Give me the Bears up to 15.
The Pick: Baylor up to (-15)
UAB vs New Mexico
Spread: UAB (-12)
We have featured the Lobos a lot in this column. I enjoy watching them play. But the Lobos don’t play a lick of defense. New Mexico ranks 268th in defensive efficiency and play at the 23rd fastest tempo and has scored 85 in four out five of their games. They are also hitting threes at a 38.5 percent efficient clip. Jaelan House is a guard who can score at will.
Meanwhile, UAB plays at an above average pace. The Blazers have struggled defending the three-point line allowing teams to shoot 35.6 percent from behind the arc. UAB has scored over 85 in four out of five of their games as well. Simply this is a game that is going to have a lot of points. If New Mexico can keep this game responsibly close, it’s going to be because of their offense, not their defense. Root for points, give me the over.
The Pick: Over 147.5
Follow Austin on Twitter @AMontgomeryLive
Football is ROLLING and our partners at DraftKings Sportsbook have an INCREDIBLE offer for you football junkies.
For new users, bet $1 - JUST $1 on any game - and if your team scores one point, you get $100 in free bets.
Yes, you read that correctly: ONE DOLLAR, ONE GAME, $100 in free bets!!! Here's what you do:
1. Click this link and sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit.
2.) Make a $1 bet on any team
3.) And if your team scores ONE POINT, you get an automatic $100 thanks to our friends at DraftKings.
It's the best offer going in sports betting - so act now! If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN).*21+ (18+ WY). AZ/CO/IL/IN/IA/MI/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Min $5 deposit. Min $1 wagerEligibility restrictions apply.
See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.