The Home Dawgs: Turkey Day, where the football reigns supreme

By Brandon Hurley

Sports Editor
sports@beeherald.com

@BrandonJHurley

Prepare your pockets to be filled with some delicious moola – Turkey Day is nearly here, which means a day full of delectable food-induced betting.
Ah, we finally get our first shot at legal Thanksgiving Day betting. Personally, I’m looking forward to it. Now I can have some action on the lowly Lions and the dreaded Cowboys, we don’t have to endure those fake conversations about cousin Jimmy’s baby or what jail cell Sally has visited lately.
We can fend off all distractions by finally having a concrete reason to watch the onslaught of Thanksgiving football. What’s better than stuffing your face with turkey and all those delicious sides, then recovering with hard-hitting gridiron action?
I say very little. And hey, if you don’t win much money Thursday, at least we had fun doing it. These Thanksgiving lines are tricky, for the simple fact that I’m writing this column on Monday morning, a three full days before the teams take the field. It’s a tough task for anyone, especially those blinded by the excitement of legal sports gambling.
The Thanksgiving slate isn’t all that excites me either, we’ve got some real doozies in the college slate as well. So buckle in and let’s get rolling. I’m absolutely fired up. I’m seeing the board incredibly well this week, I’m feeling these lines, big time. Hopefully, that doesn’t mean I lose everything.

Last week was another monster one, as of this writing we were on a delicious 3-1 tear with the Monday Night game (Rams +3) still in the works. That puts the Home Dawgs record over the last three weeks 11-3, three straight weekends with a profit. Here’s to another winning week. And for that matter, our season record is now 11 games over .500 (27-16). If you’ve been following along, we’ve won you some significant money. I know for a fact I need some extra Christmas cash to feed all my minions.

B-Hurl’s Season Record: 27-17
    Last week: 3-2
        - Lines via William Hill Sportsbook
        - Winners in bold

1. Bears (-1) at Lions (11:30 a.m. Thanksgiving)
To kick things off we get this ugly NFC North matchup. The Lions are without Matthew Stafford, who has a broken hand, coming off an embarrassing loss to the Redskins, who came in with just a single win.
The Bears haven’t been great recently, but their defense remains one of the league’s best, holding teams to 17.1 points per game, which is fourth in the NFL. Mitch Trubisky actually looked decent last week, completing 61 of his passes for 278 yards and a score, while rushing for another. Detroit allows 26.5 ppg (25th) and gives up a lot through the air (275 ypg), which is 30th in the league. Theoretically, the Bears should win this one, but who knows. I’m rocking Chi-Town.

2. Bills (+7) at Cowboys (3:30 p.m. Thanksgiving Day)
Easy pickings here for a multitude of reasons. First, as per CBSsports.com, the Lions are a dismal 1-7 against the spread in their last eight Thanksgiving Day games. Secondly, the Cowboys have yet to beat a team with a winning record this year. And lastly, the Bill have one of the best defenses in the league, allowing the third least yards (288.8 ypg) and the third least points per game (15.7). This is an easy cover, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills win outright, especially since they have the blueprint to slow Dallas after the Patriots held them to nine points.

3. Saints at Falcons (+7) (7:20 p.m. Thanksgiving Night)
I like the home underdog here. The Falcons already shocked New Orleans, 26-9, just a few weeks ago as a 14-point road underdog, and I don’t think much has changed despite losing to Tampa Bay last week. The Falcons torched Carolina, 29-3 in Week 11, the same team the Saints gave up 31 points to this past week. This one, with a hyped up home crowd on Thanksgiving night, stays close.

4. Iowa at Nebraska (+6) (1:30 p.m. Friday)
We don’t have to wait long for things to get cooking again, as the annual Iowa and Nebraska rivalry fires up again. If the Hawkeyes had any type of offense that could consistently punch the ball in the end zone instead of settling for field goals, I’d take them to cover. But no, their main scoring production is from a kicker. Even though the Hawks got out to a big lead a year ago, they nearly coughed it up. I see more of the same happening, with Nebraska hanging tough. Nebraska is getting a ton of points, at home, with bowl eligibility on the line. The smart play is to fade the public and take the Huskers.

5. B-HURL’S SPICY MUSTARD HOT DOG LOCK OF THE WEEK: Ohio State at Michigan (+9) (11 a.m. Saturday)
Holy crap... I know Ohio State has been crushing teams, but Michigan has been pounding foes lately as well. Giving the Wolverines nine points at home in the Big House? Give it to me all freaking day. During their four game winning streak since losing to Penn State, Michigan is scoring at a remarkable rate of 41.5 points per game. They smashed a good Notre Dame team, 45-14 to start the tear, then absolutely dismantled a very solid Indiana squad last week, 39-14. Michigan and Jim Harbaugh need this game, so give me those points.

6. Iowa State at Kansas State (+4) (6 p.m. Saturday)
I don't really know what to feel about this one, but a night game in Manhattan, Kansas in the regular season finale screams take K-State. The Wildcats are a confusing team, they absolutely demolished Oklahoma, then lost to West Virginia. They barely squeaked one out over Texas Tech, and narrowly lost to Texas. This squad doesn't make sense. Historically, this series is remarkably tight, with the last five contests decided by five points or less each time.
For that reason and the Wildcats' ability to run the ball, I choose K-State to hang within four, maybe even win outright.

 

I could go on and on this week, but I don’t want to toss out too much for ya. So go enjoy a fabulous slate and win some money, I know I will.

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