Talbs and his Theories:Thanksgiving leftovers
Hopefully everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day and enjoyed Thursday’s football game.
As I arrived on campus Thursday morning just before 9:30, I was surprised to not see Athol on the turf. I had assumed they were in the locker room only to be made aware of the situation by the Mahar coaching staff.
I thought it was strange and wondered why Athol head coach Bill LaRose wouldn’t want his team there early to prepare. In discussion, I was advised the Raiders were warming up on O’Brien Field and was impressed with their march around the building with the jersey of Mark Brighenti Jr. in hand. It was the kind of moment that gave chills.
After Athol’s arrival, I joked that LaRose’s head might end up on a stick if his team found themselves in a big hole early. After back-to-back Thanksgiving Day wins, he’s more likely to end up in a shrine.
I may have gotten my Athol-Mahar prediction wrong (seem to every year), but I was a perfect 3-0 against the spread on my NFL plays. Let’s take a look at the rest of Week 12:
Saints at Texans (-3)
New Orleans has probably the worst secondary in football and the Texans have Deandre Hopkins. With Houston’s defense looking vastly improved in recent weeks, it’s tough not to love them. Texans 31-24.
Vikings at Falcons (-1.5)
It’s looking like Atlanta will be without Devonta Freeman. Factor that in with their recent struggles — they’ve lost four of five — and it’s easy to predict a Minnesota victory. Vikings 23-20.
Rams at Bengals (-8.5)
St. Louis is having significant issues with the quarterback position and Todd Gurley can only do so much. Still, Cincy has been up-and-down against the run and the Rams’ defense is viable. Bengals 23-17.
Bucs at Colts (-3)
This Tampa team isn’t half bad with Jameis Winston under center. The Colts have somehow managed to win three games with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback. Is there any chance he can make it four? Bucs 23-21.
Giants (-3) at Redskins
We haven’t seen the Giants since they nearly beat the Patriots two weeks ago. Can they get amped up for Washington or will they slowly fade away? Washington has lost five straight in this rivalry. Let’s make it a six-pace. Giants 28-24.
Raiders (-1) at Titans
When Oakland beat the New York Jets back on Nov. 1, many thought they could be a playoff contender. They’ve proceeded to lose three straight. Tennessee isn’t exactly a scary opponent, but this could be a game where Marcus Mariota has his way. Titans 31-27.
Bills at Chiefs (-6.5)
Kansas City’s defense has been incredible of late, but Buffalo is no slouch. I’m really surprised to see the line this high and have no problem taking the points for a Bills team that could win outright. Bills 21-20.
Dolphins at Jets (-4)
New York has dropped four of five with its only win coming against the Jaguars. Chris Ivory ran all over Miami the last time the teams met. That could happen again, but I’m not sure New York has that in them any longer. Dolphins 24-23.
Chargers at Jaguars (-4.5)
Phillip Rivers is doing his best to ruin my fantasy season with another dud last week. I expect him to rebound this week in what should be a shootout. Jacksonville might even have more talent than the Chargers, but Rivers will do enough to get the cover. Jaguars 31-30.
Cardinals (-10) at 49ers
If you bet against Blaine Gabbert every week, I’d be stunned if you weren’t in the positives at the end of the season. Cardinals 34-13.
Steelers at Seahawks (-3.5)
Seattle continues to disappoint and now will be without Marshwn Lynch. Expect Ben Roethlisberger to have a strong game and keep Pittsburgh in it before ultimately coming up short. Seahawks 24-21.
Patriots (-3) at Broncos
At first glance, getting Tom Brady at minus-3 against Brock Osweiler is a steal. With that said, Denver’s defense is legit and the Patriots are without a number of weapons. New England will find a way, they always do, but it’s not going to be pretty. Patriots 20-13.
Ravens at Browns (-3)
I didn’t even know Matt Schaub was still in the league. This might be the worst Monday night game in history. If you bet on this game, you should seek treatment. Browns 20-14.