I know it’s Thanksgiving but I would be wrong if I didn’t start by wishing a Happy Birthday to my son Lincoln. I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since I became a dad. It feels like just yesterday I found out the news on the Maury Povich show. Looking back on my past decisions and his current report card, I can’t say I was ready for the gig, but sometimes you’ve gotta make like Jason Pierre Paul and play the hand you’re dealt.
Which brings me back to Thanksgiving. I don’t know what your family traditions are. Some people like to wait until the food is served to curse each other out, others like to go h.a.m before the ham and have an awkward silence for dessert. In the interest of full disclosure I come from neither and it’s not because we don’t booze it up and I can assure you, we DO NOT suffer a shortage of loud-mouthed buffoons. In fact, it’s quite possible the Failla family leads the league in loud-mouthed buffoonery. And I say that with all due respect to the Stephen A. Smith show.
What’s our secret? We’re too busy screaming at the TV to curse each other out because I come from a hardcore gambling family. Always gambling, all the time. We fly Spirit Airlines. We eat White Castle. Heck, I once had an Uncle who bought sushi at a gas station. God rest his soul.
But the big action has always been on NFL football and this Thanksgiving I’m suggesting you do the same – because not only is betting football an exciting distraction from your family, but it can make you money. Which is way cooler than arguing with your Prius-driving sister in law about the dangers of the Keystone Pipeline. And unlike your Prius-driving sister in law, the great majority of people LIKE football.
Bet a few games, make a few bucks, and your family will seem way cooler in the long run. “But Jimmy,” you might say, “I don’t know anything about football.”
Let me handle the dirty work on that. You go polish your stance on Black Lives Matter in case the Trump argument goes into overtime.
Lions Over Eagles
Start the day by betting the Detroit Lions, at pick em, (PK) over the Philadelphia Eagles. I am fully aware that the Lions are having a better year in Zimbabwe than they are in Detroit. But Mathew Stafford and the boys are on a two game winning streak and the good majority of their roster has played on Thanksgiving 3-4 times now. As a franchise, they’ve hosted 75 Turkey day games, while as a franchise the Eagles are going the way of Orange Julius. There’s not too many of them left.
Quarterback Sam Bradford gets hurt more than a college kid’s feelings and he’s out again this week. Which puts Mark “Butt Fumble” Sanchez under center for the Eagles. As a New York guy who watched Sanchez up close for 4 seasons, I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’d hire Adrian Peterson to babysit my kid before I hired Mark Sanchez to quarterback my team. There’s been rumblings that Eagles coach Chip Kelly wants to go back to college and I think he should because after losing this one, he won’t find any “safe spaces” in Philly.
Cowboys Over Panthers
Up next is my Thanksgiving bet of the century. No, it’s not the over 13 shots of police escorting Phil Simms’ All-Iron trophies into the stadium, but I like that bet. The team I’m on, BIG, is the Dallas Cowboys, minus one point, (-1) over the Carolina Panthers. Everything you need to know about this game can be summed up by the fact that Carolina is 10-0 yet somehow they are a slight underdog to the 3-7 Cowboys. This is the classic definition of a sucker bet, although for further reading, you can look up O’Malley, Martin.
Why is it a sucker bet? Because while Dallas may not be America’s team anymore 70% of the money in this game is on Carolina, which makes Dallas the bookie’s team. Not only that but the Cowboys are 3-0 when Tony Romo starts this year and they’re way more experienced on Thanksgiving Day. I like this Panthers team a lot. And I love that Cam Newton is dancing like nobody is watching, which would be easier to do if he played in Jacksonville, might I add. But the Cowboys take this one in walk, assuming Greg Hardy is able to walk through the metal detectors without incident.
Packers Over Bears
The night game between the Packers and the Bears is going to be filled with pomp and circumstance, as Pack Nation will be retiring Brett Favre’s Jersey number at halftime. Incidentally, they’re not the only team to honor him this year: the New York Jets will also be retiring his cell phone number for the all the good late night work he did with their female staffers.
But back to the field for a minute, which is how long it should take for the Packers to end this thing. Take Green Bay, minus 9 (-9) and have another slice of Pumpkin Pie to celebrate your good fortune. The Pack have beat the Bears 12 of their last 14, including a 31-23 win in Chicago earlier this year. And if that weren’t enough, the Bears just lost, at home, to Brock Osweiler and the Denver Broncos. If you can’t beat a guy making his first start in your home building, there’s no way you get by Aaron Rogers, who’s been tested more times than Charlie Sheen’s exes.
I know some of you didn’t like that last one but what would Thanksgiving be without someone getting offended? In closing, I’d like to wish the happiest of Thanksgivings to you and yours. And best of luck with your Black Friday shopping. I’d love to join you, but I don’t have the time or the health insurance.