NFL Week 12 Preview: Thankful for Football
By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
Take note of the moment and be thankful on Thanksgiving, they say. For us, we’re just thankful the Lions are finally worth picking on Turkey Day. While things like peace on earth and our health and well being are on the list for many this week, football fans know that Thanksgiving is the gift that gives football…every year without fail. Thanksgiving weekend football also emphasizes that crunch time is here and teams are jockeying for playoff positioning and conference seeding. What better time to feast on our NFL weekly contests to fund your holiday shopping and sit atop the board?
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The board this week is scattered to say the least as we have three Thursday games while we stuff our faces, an AFC East Black Friday football showdown while we scroll through deals and a slate of Sunday games that put divisional rallies on showcase. It will all be capped by watching the Chiefs and Eagles and thinking that a Super Bowl matchup is even more likely this year. Now, let’s get to the highlights of the upcoming week twelve calendar:
Games of the Week
49ers vs Seahawks (+7) - 8:20 pm ET (Thursday) - I’ve got your football Thanksgiving Day Couch Potato preview out this week as well, but the best watch of Turkey Day should be the west coast nightcap. Geno Smith’s status is a bit uncertain but he looks to be probable, and they’ll need his best against the stingy Niners defense.
Dolphins @ Jets (+9.5) - 3 pm ET (Friday) - Black Friday Football?! Believe it. Jeff Bezos continues to quest to conquer the NFL by grabbing another showcase game during the holidays. The Jets will go with Tim Boyle in all likelihood, and I actually think they could be frisky in this short week, cold climate spot at home.
Steelers @ Bengals (+1) - 1 pm ET - A couple of AFC North franchises in flux - The Steelers dropped a tough one against the Browns and might lose touch with the Ravens, while the Bengals just lost Joe Burrow for the season. This is an all-heart game as both teams have every reason to not show up, but I have a hard time backing the Bengals with Jake Browning under center.
Chiefs @ Raiders (+9) - 4:25 pm ET - Antonio Pierce is decently filling the void after Josh McDaniels’ firing, and the Raiders are 4-1 at home this season. Are they sturdy enough on defense to beat the Chiefs ? Doubtful, but a cover is foreseeable as the Chiefs come off a Monday night performance where their offense was frozen for a full half.
Bills @ Eagles (-3.5) - 4:25 pm ET - Meanwhile, the defending NFC Champs did the Eagles thing where they hung around long enough to make plays to win a hard fought game in KC. The public will likely play Buffalo thinking the Birds are spent, but I think their defense is built differently than the oddsmakers suggest.
Fishy Lines to Watch
Patriots @ Giants (+3) - 1 pm ET - I’m sorry, the Patriots are favored on the road to a Giants team that looked formidable even with a third string QB? That does not add up. As much as I would love to see a little life from my hometown team, they’ll be lucky to win by 1 point on a last second field goal at Metlife. Stay far away from this one or take the Giants and the points while you have them.
Commanders @ Cowboys (-10.5) - 4:30 pm ET (Thursday) - Cowboys have a history of losing or not covering in this spot, therefore making Sam Howell a very live dog as we stuff our faces.
The Primetime Pick
Ravens @ Chargers (+4) - 8:15 pm ET (Sunday) - It’s a mini-bye for Baltimore after winning at home last Thursday night, and now Lamar Jackson takes his speed out west to a dome turf field where he should thrive. The Ravens are quietly getting it done week by week in the AFC and should continue the good vibes.
Week Twelve Plays To Watch
(20-10 last six weeks)
Seahawks +7 - to help fund your Black Friday.
Jets +9.5 - Watch Tim Boyle get this offense going, the ultimate irony.
Steelers -1 - A cringey pick so it probably plays out well for us.
Eagles -3.5 - On their way to another 14-15 win season.
Ravens -4 - We’re getting MVP Lamar vibes this season.
Lock of the Week (4-4 this season)
Commanders +10.5 - Dallas is always sketchy in this Turkey Day spot. Book it.
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