Jazz: For the three Thanksgiving games I managed to go 1-2, though on a different set than Ed, bringing my season total to 34-42. With Dame Fortune on my side, however, I can still make it to .500 with a net of 8 wins in the stretch. I had the Lions correct, but nobody saw them crushing it like they did. The other games were something of a blur thanks to the chaos at my in-laws and my dog getting into a fight with a much larger dog. (Fred did not do well.) On to bigger and better things today!
Ed: Hope all Hot Air readers had a happier Thanksgiving than the Packers, Cowboys, and Eagles. I’m back from my California trip — which also didn’t go all that well, but that’s another story — I’m coming back with a 1-2 record too, which pushes my season to 54-22. I’m thankful to be back home, and am looking to pick things up with a few good picks today.
Jazz: None of our usual teams played on Thanksgiving so we’re going to do all three and then four more for seven today. The Jets face off at home with the frequently hapless Dolphins, (1:00 PM, CBS) but we’re short several key players and things have not been looking good. Still, even if New York is looking weak, the Fins look weaker. Jets take this one to get back above .500 with a 27-12 blowout. The Steelers visit the Seahawks (4:25, CBS) and for some odd reason, Vegas has Seattle as a 3.5 point favorite. I’m going to try to steal one from Ed here and go with the gamblers. Seattle in a close defensive match, 17-14. The Vikings are at Atlanta facing a tough game. (1:00 pm, FOX) But Matt Ryan has a tendency to toss to people wearing the wrong color uniform so I’ll go with an upset over the Vegas line and take Minnesota for a tight win 27-20.
Ed: The Steelers come off of their bye week with Big Ben healthy but without LaVeon Bell. The Seahawks go into this game with their usually fearsome home-field rep in disrepair. The two teams are almost evenly matched in points scored and points allowed, but the Steelers are on more of a roll. Pittsburgh 27-21 over Seattle. The Jets outmatch the Dolphins in both sides of the ball, so I’ll go with the J-E-T-S at home, 23-20. Minnesota’s defense is #3 in points allowed, but their offense is not terribly impressive. Both teams have playoff issues looming large, but I’ve got to go with the inconsistent Falcons at home, 26-19.
Jazz: Surely we can scrape four more games out of the dregs.
- Giants at Redskins (1:00 pm, FOX) – Eli Manning has a history of not doing well when visiting Washington and this game is always a massive division rivalry. The Giants have a lot on the line, though, with a chance to extend their lead toward a division championship. They’re less banged up than the skins so I’ll go with New York, 26-21.
- Raiders at Titans (1:00 pm, CBS) – Marcus Mariota has that off putting mobility of a rookie that surprises everyone and he’s pumping some energy into the Titans. The Raiders have been looking far better than anyone expected at the beginning of the season and they are a slim one point favorite this week, but I’ll take the Titans in a minor upset, 21-17.
- Patriots at Broncos (8:30 pm, NBC) – Ed put this game in over my objections, either because he found it very interesting or because he’s mean spirited and wanted to force me to pick the cheating Patriots. Sadly, that’s exactly what I’m going to do rather than giving up a point I could really use. I would LOVE to see Denver find a way to win this, but the Brady Bunch will probably take it easily 34-24.
- Ravens at Browns (8:30 pm Monday, ESPN) – Whenever the Ravens are playing Ed wants them to lose and I think this week his wish will come true. The Browns haven’t been that impressive but I’ll take the big home town win for Cleveland, 31-20.
- Giants at Redskins (1:00 pm, FOX) – The Redskins have been wildly inconsistent lately, but at least they’re playing at home. They’re essentially even on defense, while the Giants score more per game than Washington. Tom Coughlin’s teams play better in the second half of the season, so look for the Giants to eke one out here, 21-17.
- Raiders at Titans (1:00 pm, CBS) – Any chance I could pick both teams to lose? The Raiders have been inconsistent, but the Titans have just been bad, especially at home. Raiders in a walk, 31-17.
- Patriots at Broncos (8:30 pm, NBC) – A couple of weeks ago, this would have been the Hall of Fame Game, pairing Tom Brady and Peyton Manning against each other for the 17th time. This time, it might be more the start of the Brock Osweiler era in Denver. All due respect to the new Broncos QB, but Brady’s got a lot of football still left in him, and their defense is just as good as Denver’s. Pats 24-20 over the Broncos.
- Ravens at Browns (8:30 pm Monday, ESPN) – Joe Flacco’s out for the season, and Baltimore’s defense is mediocre. Cleveland’s even worse, though, with a soap opera at the QB position and an offense and defense that’s even lower ranked than the Ravens. I’ll go with the Ravens, believe it or not, with a 17-13 snoozer.