Three Late NFL Games Plus the Monday Night Game are Here for the Taking

Matt Ryan knows he and the Falcons are under .500 but they still lead the division heading into today's game with Arizona.

Arizona (-1.5) at Atlanta (O/U 44.5) – The Cardinals finally cam back to Earth last Sunday with a very humiliating loss to Seattle. Arizona was dominated in each facet of the game and now has to travel across the country to Atlanta where the Falcons are waiting.

Atlanta will know the fate of New Orleans when they kickoff so a win would give them a game lead in the NFC South should the Saints lose in Pittsburgh and the Falcons take care of business against Arizona.

The question is simply this; can Drew Stanton shake off last week’s poor performance? If he can, the Cards can maintain their lead in the NFC West but if not thing could start to unravel for them with Seattle breathing down their necks.

Trends: Arizona is 5-2 straight up in their last seven games on the road… The total has gone UNDER in six of Atlanta’s last seven games… The Cardinals are 2-4 against the spread in their last six games on the road in Atlanta… The Falcons are 5-0 straight up in their last five games at home against the Cardinals.

The Pick: Everything tells me to go with Arizona here but I’m not. Take the Falcons to win at home and take the UNDER.

Eddie Lacy may be the most important Packer on offense today against the Patriots.

New England (+3) at Green Bay (O/U 58.5) – This one is being touted as a potential Super Bowl preview as only the media can do it. I’m not ready to go that far just yet but it’s clear these are two of the better teams in football at the moment. Regardless of the elements, the Patriots are used to the same weather the Packers are so throw that out the window.

Look for both teams to establish the run by throwing early. Limiting pressure on their respective quarterbacks will go a long ways towards victory.

Trends: The total has gone OVER in four of New England’s last five games on the road… The Packers are 4-0-1 against the spread in their last five home games… The Patriots are 5-10-1 ATS in their last 16 road games… Green Bay is 5-0 in their last five games at home.

The Pick: This is the type of game where Bill Belichick and Tom Brady thrive at home but on the road? I’m not so sure. Take the Packers to cover with a late score and the UNDER is a good way to go here too.

Denver (-1.5) at Kansas City (O/U 49.5) – The Broncos are dinged up at key positions and have struggled in recent weeks but they put things together in time to come back and beat Miami in the fourth quarter last week. The Chiefs are coming off of a sobering loss to the Oakland Raiders which was their first win of the season.

With a difficult remaining schedule, that loss could prove especially costly if they drop this one at home today. Look for Andy Reid to get the running and play-action game going early. The real key is whether the Chiefs pass rushers can get to Peyton Manning.

Trends: Denver is 14-5 straight up in their last 19 road games… The total has gone UNDER in six of the Chiefs’ last eight games at home against Denver… The Broncos are 4-1 SU in their last five meeting s with the Chiefs in KC… The Chiefs are 1-4 against the spread in their last five games at home against the Broncos.

The Pick: Take the home dog Chiefs and the UNDER.

Monday Night

Miami (-7) at NY Jets (O/U 42) – The Jets are going back to Geno Smith at quarterback but I don’t think it really matters. Miami is really good defensively and unless the Jets run the ball well early I expect multiple turnovers from Smith.

Trends: The total has gone UNDER in six of Miami’s last seven games on the road against the Jets… The Jets are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games at home… The Dolphins are 5-1 straight up in their last six games against the Jets… New York is 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven home games against Miami.

The Pick: That’s a huge number on the road and it scares me enough to take the Jets and the points although Miami wins and take the UNDER.

Patriots vs Packers, Brady vs Rodgers, Super Bowl 49?

A late fall afternoon NFL matchup in Wisconsin could be a prelude to Super Bowl 49 when the New England Patriots visit the Green Bay Packers. Both teams are playing very well, with both playing as well or better than any other team in their respective conferences.

The Packers playing at home are currently 3-point favorites according to Bovada and

Taking Green Bay would not be a bad idea since the Packers are 5-0 SU and 4-0-1 ATS this season at Lambeau Field.

In addition, Green Bay on the season is 8-3 straight up and 6-4-1 against the number. According to topbet and betonline, the Packers are 6-1-1 ATS as a favorite this season.

However, New England is a formidable opponent. The Patriots are 9-2 straight up and 7-4 against the spread. As an underdog, the Patriots are almost too good to pass up. New England is 4-0 SU and ATS when playing the role of dogs, including a recent straight up rout of Indianapolis.

The point total has gone as high as 59 but is currently on 58.5, which by NFL standards is very high.

If the total is your play, Green Bay is 9-2 cashing to the OVER and New England is 8-3 to the OVER.

New England has a record of 6-4 ATS as road dog during the regular season against clubs from the NFC, under Bill Belichick their head coach. The Patriots are 5-5 SU in those ten games as underdogs on the road.

Green Bay is 20-14 SU and 20-13-1 ATS versus opponents from the AFC under Mike McCarthy’s tutelage as the Packers head coach.

Overall, under Belichick, the Patriots have won 54.5% of their games as an underdog and are 45-21 ATS as an underdog under Belichick.

However, New England is 0-8 against the number in its past eight games played on natural grass.

The Packers offense will need to solve the tough secondary for New England. The Packers two top wide receivers Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson will have to find a way to get open against Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis.

New England’s strong running game could take advantage of a poor rushing defense for Green Bay. The Packers are allowing over 136 yards a game on the ground and 4.5 yards per carry.

Two of the best quarterbacks in football will meet in this matchup. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers has a touchdown to interception ratio of 30 to 3. Tom Brady the New England quarterback has 22 touchdowns to 4 interceptions.

The weather will be cold but just light winds are expected so it should not be much of a factor.

Picks: New England has played very well and getting three points is a good line to take.

The score likely will not be as high as the over/under is selling at. I like the Pats and the UNDER.

Rice Wins Appeal; Could Be Bad News for Goodell

Ray Rice can play football again but we know it won't be with the Ravens. Will it be anyone for that matter?

In a relatively unsurprising decision, Ray Rice has been reinstated and can be signed by any team. Former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones heard the appeal and released the decision yesterday. The following are excepts from her statement:

“In this arbitration, the NFL argues that Commissioner Goodell was misled when he disciplined Rice the first time. Because, after careful consideration of all of the evidence, I am not persuaded that Rice lied to, or misled, the NFL at his June interview, I find that the indefinite suspension was an abuse of discretion and must be vacated,” Jones’ decision stated.

“I find that the NFLPA carried its burden of showing that Rice did not mislead the Commissioner at the June 16th meeting, and therefore, that the imposition of a second suspension based on the same incident and the same known facts about the incident, was arbitrary,” Jones also wrote.

“The Commissioner needed to be fair and consistent in his imposition of discipline.”

Jones went on to essentially say that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell abused power and was reckless in his laying of it. This is exactly what the NFLPA has been arguing all along not just in this case but in several other disciplinary situations.

Perhaps the take-down by US District Judge Barbara S. Jones will finally force Goodell to give up some power.

Goodell was brought in as commissioner with great fanfare because he was going to be the guy to “clean up the league.” We can point to some areas where he has but largely we can point to case upon case where his subjective and biased rule has been the norm.

The decision by Jones to reinstate Rice is the correct one. The league office has already accepted it; knowing that it’s binding there isn’t much area for recourse. This won’t end with Jones’ decision however.

What Jones implies in her findings is that someone isn’t telling the truth and that “someone” has to be Goodell and the NFL. Rice and his now-wife Janay have stuck to their story since the beginning and, according to Jones, it has been the NFL, Goodell and potentially the Ravens who have been talking from both sides of their mouths.

For her part, Janay Rice spoke with ESPN’s Jemele Hill and these were her first actual comments to the press. I find Hill getting the story to be odd since she has had a subjective look on athletes and their off-field problems since day one but that’s for another article.

What I took from this interview was that I don’t believe we are getting the truth and that’s fine as long as nothing ever happens again. Mrs. Rice explained what happened in the elevator and the comment about “as soon as Ray looked at his phone he spit at me and slapped me” speaks volumes to me. She claims she doesn’t know what they had been bickering about but remembers the phone coming out.

Nothing makes a woman more upset then when a man starts looking at his phone during an argument.

The other thing she says that concerns me is that “this was the only time he’s ever done this.” I call BS on that and if I’m wrong I’ll gladly eat crow but you just don’t defend someone so quickly who knocks you cold without something similar having happened previously. This is just my opinion but I’ve been on the planet long enough to see how these things work.

My gut feeling is that Rice will not get picked up this season simply because of the sideshow that will follow. I do think he’ll get a shot at training camps next summer but whether he joins a team or not I don’t know. What I do know is that Roger Goodell isn’t out of the woods just yet on this matter.

Baylor Bears Need to Impress CFP Committee against Texas Tech

College football’s weekend of rivalries continues on Saturday with a number of great betting choices.

On such game features, the Baylor Bears against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

The Bears are ranked No. 7 in the country and need a huge showing today to help their chances of landing one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff.

Bettors have noticed the importance of a huge game by Baylor after TCU routed Texas.

The Bears opened as 23-point chalk but that has grown to 27 points.

Baylor could leapfrog TCU with strong wins in its last two regular season games versus Texas Tech and next week Kansas State.

Baylor defeated TCU October 11 by a score of 61-58 staging a huge comeback. Both teams might have to enlist the help of Ole Miss and the winner of the Big 10 game on Saturday between Wisconsin and Minnesota to reach the final four.

Ole Miss hosts Mississippi State Saturday in the annual Egg Bowl. The Badgers or Golden Gophers will play Ohio State in the Big 10 Championship.

Baylor needs the No. 6 Buckeyes to lose one of their final two games.

Ohio State is on the outside looking in and needs to impress the CFP selection committee. The Buckeyes host Michigan Saturday as 20.5-point chalk.

Ohio State is expected to be a strong favorite against either Wisconsin or Minnesota but defeating Michigan and either team after that will not mean the same as Baylor winning its last two games.

Mississippi State is in the No. 4 spot in the CFP rankings and could drop out even with a win over Ole Miss due to the way TCU manhandled Texas.

Baylor will also have work to do and it will not be easy. The Bears have to impress against Texas Tech. If they play well and cover the spread the Bears could pass Ohio State if the Buckeyes struggle against Michigan or lose.

Big Line Moves

Cincinnati went from a -4 to -7 versus Temple.

Wisconsin is up to -14 after opening at -11.5 versus Minnesota.

Tennessee has seen its line increased from -14.5 to -17 on the road at Vanderbilt.

Arkansas State opened at -21 but has been bet up to -23.5 at home to New Mexico State.

The point spread and over/under total points are constantly changing and one much always be on the lookout leading up to the games. Bovada, betonline, topbet and are all legitimate and reputable companies in the sports betting realm.

Lots of Leftovers for Your Wagering Plate

Saturday is likely the end for Brady Hoke's tenure at Michigan.

Today would normally be a day to sit down and give you the breakdown on a handful of college games that are going on today and tomorrow. Instead, I’m going to give you much more. Kind of like how you went back for more turkey, stuffing, potatoes, etc.

Loosen your belt and enjoy. (My picks are in BOLD)

Northern Illinois (+7) at Western Michigan – Both teams are tied atop the MAC West with Toledo at 6-1. WMU has won six-straight but needs help while a NIU win gives them the title.

Virginia (-1) at Virginia Tech – Both teams enter at 5-6. The winner goes bowling while the loser goes home and perhaps starts searching for a new head coach.

Nebraska (EVEN) at Iowa – There are some suggesting this game could determine Bo Pelini’s fate in Lincoln while Kirk Ferentz appears to be in Iowa City for life.

Arkansas (-3) at Missouri – The Razorbacks are playing as well right now as any team in the country. They’ve posted back-to-back shutouts over LSU and Ole Miss. A Mizzou win gives them the SEC East title.

Rich Rodriguez and his Wildcats host rival Arizona State in a game with major implications.

Arizona State (+2.5) at Arizona – This one is simple. The winner stays alive in the Pac-12 South race while the loser is out. This is one of the great rivalries in college football that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Stanford (+6) at UCLA – The disappointing season of Stanford finishes in the Rose Bowl where it all unraveled last season in a loss to Michigan State. The Bruins appear to be peaking and remain a long-shot for the college football playoff should chaos ensue at the top.

Saturday’s Action

Michigan (+21) at Ohio State – Brady Hoke needs a win just to make UM officials even consider keeping him. The Buckeyes have been heavy favorites before against the Wolverines but have struggled to win. Not today… This one will get ugly.

Minnesota (+14) at Wisconsin – Minnesota has to be ticked at being a two-touchdown dog at Wisconsin. The Gophers have played well in wins and losses this season and this one is for the Big 10 West title. Look for lots of running in this one.

Washington (-3) at Washington State – The Battle for the Apple Cup features the bowl-bound Huskies against a Cougars’ team that has struggled all season. Mike Leach’s job security in Pullman can only be described as “not very good” at the moment.

Baylor (-25) at Texas Tech – TCU is in the clubhouse at 11-1 after drubbing Texas. Baylor now must hold serve in order to keep their playoff chances alive. The Red Raiders can score points but their defense is…. Going to be abused today. Normally anything over 21 points scares me but not today.

Georgia Tech (+13) at Georgia – The Yellow Jackets are already in the ACC Title game against Florida State. The Bulldogs will already know if they are in the SEC Title game by the time they wake up today. Either way, I expect home-field to be important.

Oregon (-20) at Oregon State – What a disappointing season this has been for the Beavers. I expected so much more from Sean Mannion and company… The Ducks know the drill; win today and win the Pac-12 title and they’re in the playoff. OSU won’t go easily though and keeps it close.

Auburn (+9) at Alabama – Nothing can top last year’s game so let’s forget that right now. Bama has been a machine at home this season while Auburn has really fallen apart in recent weeks.

Florida (+7.5) at Florida State – The Seminoles have done nothing easy all season and that will continue today. In Will Muschamp’s final game coaching the Gators, I expect them to keep it close.

Rivalries, Injuries and Iron Bowl Highlight Holiday Weekend Action

Thanksgiving weekend marks one of rivalries and this weekend will have also have games with implications for the inaugural College Football Playoff.

One big game pits the Florida Gators against the Florida State Seminoles. Florida has won 4 of its past 5 games played at Florida State, including handing Florida State its last loss two seasons ago in Tallahassee.

In 2004, Ron Zook led Florida to victory over FSU 20-3 after being fired at UF. Will Muschamp hopes for the same type of success this weekend in what will be his last game coaching Florida.

Florida State is 1-8 ATS in its past 9 games as a favorite by 7 or more points this year. In this matchup, the Seminoles are 7.5-point chalk at home.

Auburn wide receiver Duke Williams missed two straight games since his leg injury November 8. However, he likely will play in the Iron Bowl on Saturday on the road at Alabama. Williams has 38 receptions to lead the team and 5 touchdowns. However, Nick Marshall the Auburn quarterback might have a hard time finding Williams due to the pressure he could receive from the Alabama defense.

Stanford will be without Ty Montgomery its best playmaker when they meet UCLA on Friday. He has an injured shoulder and cannot play.

Stanford is 6-0 SU in its past 6 games against UCLA.

Brandon Allen the Arkansas quarterback injured a hip last week in the Razorbacks win against Ole Miss. He is questionable for Friday’s matchup with Missouri.

Anu Solomon the starting quarterback for Arizona sprained his ankle against Utah last week and sat out the second half. He remains questionable for the Wildcats game at home against rival Arizona State.

Clint Trickett the starting quarterback for West Virginia is questionable for the Mountaineers game on Saturday against Iowa State.

The game featuring South Carolina against Clemson has not been on the board this week due to the uncertainty of Deshaun Watson the quarterback of Clemson who is questionable and his status will be determined at game time.

Iron Bowl: Auburn vs. Alabama

The Crimson Tide is favored at home by 9.5 points. Alabama must take advantage of an Auburn defense that has had more holes than Swiss cheese of late. Auburn has allowed 31 or more points in five straight SEC games.

Alabama has won 5 of its 6 games at home this season by 21 or more points.

Pick: Take the Tide to Roll in this game 35-17.

It’s Time to Give Thanks for Some Great and Maybe Not-So-Great Moments in Sports

Although I'm not a Yankees' fan, I'm thankful for the career of Derek Jeter.

I have an extensive list as to why Thanksgiving Day is the best holiday of them all but I’m not going in to that. I’ll boil it down this way for you; food and football. Does there really need to be anything other than those two things when we really get right down to it?

Today is a good day for me to give thanks to many things from the world of sports in the last calendar year so let’s not wait any longer.

I’m thankful for…

Derek Jeter. No one did it as professionally and as respectfully as the captain for 20 straight years.

The San Antonio Spurs who proved that winning basketball titles is still about how well you play as a team, not as a group of individuals.

The people at North Carolina who finally had the courage to come out with the news of the academic fraud that had been happening for years.

Ed O’Bannon and the other players who put a stop to the NCAA and EA Sports using their likenesses without compensation in video games. The time I have saved this year not playing the newest version of NCAA Football on Xbox 360 is immeasurable.

Playoff hockey which no matter who is playing it’s still the most thrilling playoff in sports.

The Tallahassee Police Department who continue to make the Keystone Cops look like CIA agents.

The people who bought Devon Still jerseys even if they weren’t Bengals’ fans.

College Football finally getting rid of the BCS.

Brady Hoke, Bo Pelini and Will Muschamp for giving me so much to write about this fall.

The Kansas City Royals who once again showed how great sports can really be.

Roger Goodell who as long as he is running the NFL will give me plenty to rant about.

J.J. Watt who proves that great players can be great people too.

O’Dell Beckham’s amazing catch which took attention away from talking about the Cowboys.

Why shouldn't we be thankful to Justin Verlander for giving us more opportunities to see Kate Upton?

Justin Verlander who keeps giving us more opportunities to see Kate Upton.

Not having to hear the name “Richie Incognito” this season.

Every player that scores in the waning moments just to make my betting pick look good.

College Gameday Signs which never stop making me laugh and cry for our nation at the same time.

Jon Gruden who makes watching Monday Night Football interesting from either a football standpoint or a “What the hell did he just say?” standpoint.

Officials in all sports and at all levels. It’s the most thankless job in all of sports.

Penn State who continues to wear the same uniform week in and week out rather than something new and flashy every week in an effort to sell jerseys.

California Chrome who gave us another amazing shot at the Triple Crown.

Batters who don’t need to re-adjust their batting gloves, body armor or cup between every single pitch.

Coaches who actually answer questions in their press conferences rather than give the same, tired responses each week.

An A-Rod free baseball season.

For Twitter which reminds me how great and horrible sports’ fans can be in just two tweets.

Jerry Jones who reminds all of us of the dangers of too much plastic surgery.

Jim Harbaugh who makes it OK for us guys to wear Wal-Mart pants. On second thought…

Two more months of NFL football.

Isn’t it nice to be thankful?





Thanksgiving Day NFL and College Football Lineup

Thanksgiving has arrived and that means family, friends, fowl, fixings and football.

The NFL tradition of playing on Thanksgiving continues today with three great games. Add to that two college football games and bettors have a smorgasbord to choose from.

For some football fans and odds makers alike, this Thanksgiving lineup is the best there has been in quite some time especially when it come to the three NFL games.

NFL Thanksgiving Day Games

Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions

According to Bovada and topbet, the Lions are favored by 7 points with the total points sitting on 47.5. The offense for Detroit has sputtered of late, but their defense comes to play each week, which could make the UNDER almost automatic in this game. However, Chicago could win this outright and receiving a touchdown is almost too much to pass up in this bitter rivalry.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys

Dallas is favored by 3 points, with the point total at 55. Both teams are tied for first place in the NFC East with identical records. The Dallas offense led by DeMarco Murray is explosive and can put up points just as well as the Eagles offense can. Defensively both teams have struggled at times this season. Could a last possession score determine the winner, stay tuned.

Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are favored by one point, with the point total on just 40. This game is for all intents and purposes a tossup. The teams have identical 7-4 records and trail Arizona by two games in the NFC West. The teams have split the past 4 head-to-head games, with each game won by the home team. A late field goal wins this one.

College Football

TCU vs. Texas

The TCU Horned Frogs are favored in this matchup by 6.5 points with the point total on 56.5. Texas has not beaten major opponents but has gained a great deal of confidence with winning four of its past five games overall.

The Longhorns defense is No. 12 in the nation in yards allowed per play at 4.6. That is one reason, according to and betonline, the UNDER has cashed so many times for Texas. The Longhorns could surprise the Horned Frogs and not only cover, but win outright.

LSU vs. Texas A&M

LSU is favored by 3 points, with the point total on 50.5 in this matchup. The offense for LSU has done little all season. The Texas A&M Aggies have not faced such a strong defense this season and that could prove too much for their offense to handle. The Tigers should cover this with the points staying UNDER.

A Trio of Thanksgiving Games For Your Plate

Jay Cutler needs to take full advantage of his weapons if the Bears are to defeat Detroit on Thursday.

I’m getting you you’re Thanksgiving Day games early because I know many of you will be on the road or sleeping in or you’ll be stuck at work so here is my take on al three games for Turkey Day.

Chicago (+7) at Detroit (O/U 47) – At 5-6, the Chicago Bears are in no position to lose games. Thursday will mark the first of two meetings with the Lions in the final five weeks of the season. For Detroit, they cannot afford to fall any further behind Green Bay who they will face in Lambeau Field on the final day of the season. And they haven’t won there in about 25 years.

Defensively, the Bears have struggled all year and that’s good news for a Detroit offense that is also struggling. The key match-up for this one is the Detroit defense against the Chicago offense. If the Bears can’t generate any offense then this could get ugly.

Trends: Chicago is 9-3 straight up in their last 12 games versus Detroit… The Lions are 6-1-1 against the spread in their last eight games against the Bears… The total has gone OVER in four of Chicago’s last five games when playing in Detroit… The Lions are 1-9 in their last ten Thanksgiving Day Games.

The Pick: I love the Bears getting a touchdown and take the OVER.

The Eagles need Mark Sanchez to take care of the ball and they can do that with a good running game.

Philadelphia (+3) at Dallas (O/U 54.5) – Both teams are 8-3 and a win would go a long way towards a division title but these two will meet again on December 14th in Philly.

It may be cliché to say, but I think whichever team has more success running the ball will have an inside track on winning the game. I say this because Mark Sanchez and to a slightly smaller extent Tony Romo, will turn the ball over.

The better each team can run the ball the better each team’s quarterback play is likely to be. One other thing to keep an eye on… The Eagles excellent special teams unit.

Trends: Philadelphia is 15-5 straight up in their last 20 games… The Cowboys are 8-2 SU in their last 10 games… The total has gone UNDER in five of the Eagles’ last seven games playing in Dallas… The Cowboys have won eight of their last ten games on Thanksgiving Day.

The Pick: I like the Eagles getting three and I like the OVER.

Seattle (EVEN) at San Francisco (O/U 40) – These two NFC West foes will follow the same patter as Dallas and Philadelphia. They’ll play each on Turkey Day then see each other again on December 14th.

With each team at 7-4 and trailing the Arizona Cardinals by two games, this game carries monstrous implications. Arizona will have a very winnable game at Atlanta on Sunday so the loser here could fall back three games with four to play.

The 49ers have struggled to score points recently and that will be a factor here despite their home-field advantage.

Trends: Seattle is 1-4 against the spread in their last five road games… The 49ers are 0-5 ATS in their five games against Seattle… The total has gone UNDER in five of the last 6 times Seattle and San Francisco have played each other… The Seahawks are 1-2 in career Thanksgiving Day Games while the 49ers are 3-1-1 on Turkey Day.

The Pick: I think the Seahawks ride the momentum of their win last week and win in San Francisco. Take the UNDER as well.

San Diego Chargers and Betting Trends for the Week

Back in early October, the San Diego Chargers throttled the New York Jets by 31 points to move into first place in the AFC West over Denver.

At the time, the Chargers appeared to be the biggest challengers to the division supremacy held by Denver.

The Chargers win over the Jets was its fifth consecutive cover against the spread to start their 2014 season.

However, odds have a way of changing. Since beating New York, San Diego has not covered the spread in six consecutive games.

The Chargers have however, won three of those six games outright to move to 7-4 and are tied for the second wildcard in the AFC and a game behind Denver.

However, with five games left in the regular season the focus moves to if the Chargers will be able to hold onto that spot. San Diego faces Baltimore, New England, Denver, San Francisco and Kansas City and all have winning records.

Four of San Diego’s losses of six-point spreads were as favorites and in the next five games, the Chargers are not expected to be favorites in any games. Next week, San Diego is a 4-5 point road dog at Baltimore.

The good news is that San Diego has thrived when an underdog the past two seasons with a mark of 11-5-1 ATS.

San Diego has 8 outright upset wins during that 17-game stretch as well and 5 victories outright as 3.5-point or more underdogs.

San Diego has some appealing attributes as an underdog. The offense is good at playing keep away as it has the No. 6 time of possession in the league. The Chargers are good at the kicking game with Mike Scifres their punter having the ability to flip the field.

However, the running game for San Diego has not been producing and quarterback Philip Rivers is being sacked too often.

In addition, the defense for San Diego has allowed four touchdowns or more in its past three games on the road.

If San Diego reaches the postseason after this stretch of five games, they will definitely be playoff ready and will have earned those who play the underdog, some extra holiday cash as well.

Trends for the Week

Dallas is 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS since 2004 on Thanksgiving.

Detroit during the same period since 2004 on Thanksgiving is 1-9 SU and 2-8 ATS.

Chicago is 2-6 SU and 4-4 ATS since 1978 on Thanksgiving.

Pittsburgh is 6-1 SU and 4-3 ATS coming off a bye during the regular season under coach Mike Tomlin.

Atlanta is 5-7 SU and 6-6 ATS the past two seasons in the Georgia Dome.