Thanksgiving is a warming get together with family and friends. We reminisce, break out traditions, watch football and eat food until our pants split. In some ways, it’s a bizarre tradition, although I get it and rather enjoy it, to be honest. It is funny though, considering the need to piece together thirty-eight side dishes and try to cram portions of each into the same-sized plates we use on a daily basis. When full, we keep eating anyway. When it’s time for dessert, we choose to have multiple options, because picking one… well… why would we do that on this day? So, to match the volume of food, fun, and relaxation that we enjoy on this day, I’m doubling up on football prognostication. That’s for both my top College Football picks and my Week 12 NFL Bets.
As I pick five games in both College and the NFL this week, I’ll stick with our contest format, adding in which games rank are my top five (from $50 down to $10).
But before we move forward, I want to speak more to Thanksgiving. We don’t just eat and watch football. It’s more about spending quality time and celebrating what we are thankful for. I’m thankful for my readers at TWHS. I am also thankful for my buddy, the SportsChump, who dives into this contest every year and collaborates in all sorts of sports (and not just this). Finally, I’m thankful for good health and my family – a group of fun-loving people that put up with my shenanigans each and every day. To my family and friends, I love you all – and hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving.
Now, time for picks.
Here are our TOP FIVE Best Bets for the week (all against the spread), including our Week 12 NFL Bets and Week 13 College Football Best Bets. This includes picks from the SportsChump and double the helping from The Wife Hates Sports.
Our lists are ranked in order of confidence, from 50 “points” down to 10. Please note that the lines for my picks are all taken from DraftKings Sportsbook (maybe some day they’ll notice).
DraftKings Sportsbook: Week 12 NFL Lines | Week 13 College Football Lines
The Wife Hates SportsChump: Week 12 NFL Bets and College Picks
KP’s Picks: TWHS NFL Thanksgiving Five
$50: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5) at Cleveland Browns 50
Here we are, circling back to Tom Brady and the Bucs as a top choice. The Browns succeed when the run game pushes them forward. I still trust this defense, despite the fact that Tampa Bay has slipped back to 15th against the run. It’s getting closer to the time of the year where Brady rises to the top. I’m not saying that will for sure be the case this year, but I trust Tampa Bay in this situation. Bucs cover on the road.
$40: Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins (-13.5)
Let’s stick with the NFL for the top two confidence games. The Dolphins had a week to prepare and get home field following a bye. Their opponent is the Houston Texans, who have flipped to Kyle Allen as starting QB. We know the Texans are now looking forward to draft order and taking one of the future QB’s in the first round. The Dolphins have Tua’s efficiency and a strong offensive duo in Waddle and Hill. The Texans are brutal against the run, but either way, balance from Miami can carry this team to an easy win coming off the bye. Dolphins cover at home.
Los Angeles Chargers (-3) at Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray is set to potentially return. If he does, that changes the complexity of this game. Still, the Chargers are getting healthier, and getting Keenan Allen back is like adding a marquee free agent acquisition. Mike Williams is up in the air with an ankle injury. Both teams rank in the bottom ten in total defense, but overall I like the talent of the Chargers assuming health. With some of the health factors up in the air, I’m not taking it with high confidence, but give me the Chargers to cover on the road.
Los Angeles Rams at Kansas City Chiefs (-15.5)
Bryce Perkins is in line to start for the Rams. L.A. also cut Henderson, its most consistent running back this season. Will we see Akers or Williams take over the backfield? JuJu is likely to return from a concussion. Patrick Mahomes getting weapons back is only going to help. In the end, the talent gap is getting wider for these teams – and in surprising fashion. On paper, this is all in Kansas City’s favor, especially playing at home. Therefore, give me the Chiefs to cover at home.
Atlanta Falcons at Washington Commanders (-4.5)
The Commanders continue to roll with Taylor Heinicke under center. Chase Young returns for a Washington defense that is already headed in the right direction over the last few weeks. Atlanta ranks in the bottom half of the league against the run, so I expect Scott Turner to build a game plan around Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson. Washington has balance offensively and is really improving defensively, so give me the Commanders to cover at home.
KP’s Picks: TWHS College Football Thanksgiving Five
$30: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (+35) at Georgia Bulldogs
It feels crazy to take this game considering all the other options. Still, I believe in momentum, and Georgia Tech knocked off a ranked North Carolina team last week. Georgia has dominated in this series as of late, but covering a five TD spread in a rivalry game is a tall order. Also, Georgia Tech ranks 56th in pass defense (218.7 ypg), while allowing just 15 TD through the air, with 11 INT. Those numbers are solid, especially when feeling confident after a big win. Give me the Yellow Jackets and the points.
$20: Michigan State Spartans (+19) at Penn State Nittany Lions
The Nittany Lions are on a strong run following its recent 55-10 win over Rutgers. Dive deeper into that game, where Penn State had two defensive TD’s and a Special Teams touchdown. That’s 21 points. I know… I did the math. That doesn’t happen every game. The PSU offense floundered a bit, especially without top WR Parker Washington, who is out for the year. Michigan State isn’t great against the run, so this could get out of hand if the duo of Singleton and Allen take over. I’m going to bank on that not happening. Michigan State can earn a bowl game with a win and while I don’t think Sparty wins, I do think they’ll keep this game competitive. Give me the Spartans and the points on the road.
$10: Purdue Boilermakers at Indiana Hoosiers (+10.5)
Three of the last four games in this rivalry have been decided by a touchdown or less. The home team is 6-3 straight up and 5-4 ATS in recent years. The Hoosiers are coming off a momentum-building overtime win over Michigan State. When facing Purdue, it comes back to pass defense. Indiana isn’t great in this department, ranking 115th against the pass, while also allowing 28 TD’s through the air (with just 7 INT). Despite that, it’s a rivalry game and I trust this one to be closer than the other big games. Give me the Hoosiers and the points at home.
Michigan Wolverines (+7.5) at Ohio State Buckeyes
They call it “The Game”. I call it a lot of annoying and obnoxious sports fans getting together to yell at each other. I might be biased a bit on that one. Sue me. Either way, this game features the #2 and #3 teams in the College Football Playoff coming together to gain an advantage in the Big Ten. Harbaugh learned how to beat Ohio State last year. Nothing has separated these teams this season and it’s hard to imagine this not being a hard fought battle. Specifically, a one score game. Give me Michigan and the points.
South Carolina Gamecocks (+14.5) at Clemson Tigers
The theme this week is rivalry games and momentum. The Gamecocks have both, facing rival Clemson and coming off an upset win over Tennessee where South Carolina scored 63 points. Spencer Rattler has the talent to keep the ‘Cocks in the mix. Clemson is fighting to get into playoff position, but not a team that consistently blows teams out. They have recently in this rivalry, but this year’s South Carolina team has more talent. Give me the Gamecocks and the points on the road.
$50 on Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles (- 6 ½)
It wasn’t all that long ago that Philly was shocked in prime time at home by the Washington Commanders. In one of the most surprising outcomes of the season, Ron Rivera took his Washington team into Philly and handed the Eagles their first loss of the season, on Monday night, for all of America to see. That won’t happen again. This Sunday night, the Eagles host the Green Bay Packers and while the Packers have been playing better lately, with Aaron Rodgers finally finding a receiver that can catch the ball in Christian Watson, they’re in for it this week. We recently found out that not only has Rodgers been playing over half the season with a salty attitude and an even worse haircut, he has also had a broken thumb.
I’m not sure how close the Packers are to shelving Rodgers for the season but they’d be wise to. They’re 4-7 and all but eliminated from any post-season livelihood. They’ve be stupid to risk any further injury to their third best quarterback ever. Plus, they want to ensure back-up Jordan Love is capable of eventually taking over the reins when Rodgers retires, a fact of which they’re still uncertain. But this game is more about Philadelphia. The race for the NFC’s top seed remains theirs for the taking and they don’t want to lose grip of it, the cushion becoming one game more comfortable with the Vikings getting dismantled by Dallas.
This line is only six-and-a-half but potentially without Rodgers, it should be considerably higher. Look for the Eagles to do what they do, manage clock, sustain drives, and frustrate Rodgers or whoever is playing quarterback for the Packers into some bad decisions. Eagles won’t blow another big home game in prime time. They cover the six-and-a-half. Slaughterhouse One!
$40 on Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins (-13 ½)
As we progress into Week 12, we find more and more teams have experienced their bye weeks. The Dolphins are without a doubt one of the most exciting offenses in the NFL. Did you know that Tua Tagovailoa has thrown for 18 touchdowns this season and only three interceptions. He leads the league in quarterback rating, yes, over Patrick Mahomes. Furthermore, he is impossible to get off the field on third downs. He is completing a whopping 72% of his passes for seven touchdowns and zero picks, giving him a 142.7 passer rating in those situations, which is the third highest third down passer rating IN NFL HISTORY! And miraculously, people are still questioning whether he can lead this offense.
Remember, this Dolphins team beat the Buffalo Bills before it was fashionable to do so. Meanwhile, the Houston Texans are 1-8-1. They’ve benched Davis Mills for a quarterback you’ve never heard of (Kyle Allen) and have the second worst point differential (-71) in the league. The Dolphins’ defense isn’t all that good but they won’t need to be. Look for them to shore things up as the season winds down while the Dolphins offense continues to set records and likely not play much in the fourth quarter of this football game. Dolphins cover for Slaughterhouse Two.
$30 on New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers (-9 ½)
Did you see poor Colt McCoy running for his life last Monday night against an amped up San Francisco defense? The Niners D compiled three sacks, nine tackles for a loss and nine quarterback hits. The post-game ice bath for McCoy couldn’t come soon enough as we watched the rejuvenated Niners suddenly become the NFC’s hottest ticket. This Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints might send Andy Dalton into early retirement. Dalton already can’t hit his wide receivers without pressure never mind all the looks San Fran will throw at him. For some reason (we all know why), Jameis Winston rides the pine while the Red Rocket struggles to use Alvin Kamara effectively.
The San Francisco backfield one-two punch of Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell have become the most dangerous in the game. McCaffrey not having to shoulder the burden of an entire offense should ensure he’s healthy (by his standards) as December and January approach. Meanwhile, Jimmy G does what Jimmy G does, manage football games on the way to wins. Saints are outmatched in this one. Niners continue to iron out their wrinkles against one of the more disappointing teams in the league and continue their torrid streak in search of favorable playoff seeding. Niners cover for Slaughterhouse Three.
$20 on South Carolina Gamecocks at Clemson Tigers (-14 ½)
I was dead wrong about the South Carolina Gamecocks the last two weeks. Not only did they knock off Florida, which is not difficult to do, they hung 63 points on Tennessee in a blowout nobody saw coming. Seriously, they punted only once and had no field goal attempts. All they did was score touchdowns. This week they take that hotness into Clemson and while it might seem silly to bet against a team that has scored over 100 points in their last two games, I’m going to do just that. It is not entirely outside the realm of possibility that Clemson somehow finds its way into the mix here. They’re ranked 8th in the nation and are considerably better defensively than either Florida or Tennessee.
This point spread is surprisingly high at 14 ½ considering the last two games South Carolina has played, which tells me it would be even higher if they weren’t on that scorcher. I haven’t been all that high on Clemson this season, which is ironic considering they’re 10-1 and the best team in the ACC but here they are once again doing what they do. They’ll do it at home against South Carolina, licking the cocks and covering the number for Slaughterhouse Four.
$10 on Auburn Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide (-22)
Alabama is 9-2 and still reeling from what is considered by their standards a disappointing season. They will be sitting at home next week and watching LSU represent the SEC West and take on Georgia for the SEC crown. This is a relatively rare place for them to be. Don’t believe me? The Tide has represented the West in seven of the last eleven SEC title games. As Saban ages, rumors of his departure get louder and louder but I’m inclined to think the old man still has plenty left in the tank. Meanwhile, the season for Auburn was considerably more tumultuous and even more disappointing. A team that’s normally in contention went an unheard of 2-5 in conference and are about to go 2-6.
Auburn has fired their head coach and at no point in the season have been considered in any way relevant. Nick Saban is still pissed off about not being invited to the party where he’s usually the emcee and Bryce Young has all but seen his chances at becoming only the second player ever to win two Heisman Trophies disappear into the Alabama night. The last time Auburn traveled to Tuscaloosa, they got beat by thirty. Expect that to happen again. I love the Cadillac Anderson story but it won’t be enough. Alabama covers the twenty-two-and-half for Slaughterhouse Five.
Chime in with top picks for the week. Also, if you have interest in being a guest picker, please let us know via the comments below. Thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
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