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Red Fridays (on Thursday) at the Retirement Home – Thanksgiving Edition

Your weekly NFL picks brought to you by our staff retired gambler, LaCharles himself

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Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus Charles Robinson @CRob5769

A very special edition of the weekly picks, with a trio of (actually interesting) games slated for today as you stuff your faces, drink a little too much probably, and hopefully enjoy family and friends. A very special edition of the weekly picks comes along with a very Happy Thanksgiving to all you. I, for one, am very thankful that I don’t have to stress out about the Chiefs playing this week. A bye week that coincides with Thanksgiving is quite alright by this Chiefs fan. 

While we don’t necessarily have any premium heavyweight fights going on today, there are some tilts that feature pretty interesting storylines and potential outcomes, some star power, and some traditional Thanksgiving colors and teams lining up for the battle for the different network turkey legs. The Lions look to get their first win of the season against what might be the last opponent that they feasibly can pull this off against in the Bears sans Justin Fields and in what might be Matt Nagy’s last game at the helm in Chicago. If last week was a do or die for the Raiders in what ended up as a bad loss to the Bengals, this is an absolute must against a Cowboys team that is still banged up Cowboys team that has looked lost 2 of the last 3 weeks offensively against AFC West opponents. And the nightcap features a Buffalo team facing off against the Saints, both of whom have some work to do to prove they are not fraudulent contenders. 

Now, for the holiday picks. Nice opportunity to get a hot 3 game start to the week. I’ll be following up by best week of the (abbreviated) picks slate thus far, both straight up and against the spread. We’ve crept up to 63% (remember, round up) on the year straight up, and it was my first week over .500 against the spread, putting me back to .500 overall. Not too bad for a retired gambler. Still as sharp as a butter knife. 

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As I said up top, this Thursday lineup is pretty enticing, but we have a lot more to look forward to Sunday with some huge matchups heading our way. It will be a perfect cap to an incredible football weekend, with college football Rivalry Week right in the middle of the NFL buffet. Bonus rivalry week pick included at the end of this post.  

Lions (0-8-1) @ Bears (3-7) : Chicago -3; O/U 41.5

I know I said this is an “interesting” matchup, but don’t be mistaken – this will be a terrible game. The Bears come in without anyone that matters on their roster outside of Roquan Smith off of a loss to Baltimore’s backup QB. The Lions come in off of a season full of loss and suffering, but at least they are apparently going to have Jared Goff back. That’s not the brightest of news a team could receive, but when the alternative is Tim Boyle you have to count your blessings. This over under has crawled down to 41.5, and with what these teams have showed thus far in 2021 and the pieces missing from what would be a less than dynamic offensive matchup to begin with, I’d take the under here. I do think Detroit captures the moment today and get their first (and only) win of the season. If Eric Bienemy decides to go elsewhere in the offseason for a head coaching opportunity, the Chiefs may be able to bring Matt Nagy back as OC, because his days in Chicago are certainly numbered. 

Lions 17, Bears 13 (Lions +3, Under 41.5)

Raiders (5-5) @ Cowboys (7-3) : Dallas -7.5; O/U 51

For whatever reason, the teams that the Cowboys have squared off against from the AFC West this season have given their offense the most trouble. Their three lowest point totals of the season (20 vs. the Chargers, 16 vs. the Broncos, and 9 vs. the Chiefs) have come against competition from the AFC West, while against the rest of the NFL they have averaged 35.4 points per game. Could this trend continue? Dallas is still missing Amari Cooper, Tyron Smith, and have Ceedee Lamb coming off of a concussion and Zeke Elliott hobbling with an ankle that was banged up in their humbling loss to the Chiefs just 4 days ago. The Raiders need this game worse than the Cowboys, I just don’t know if they have the talent or ability that they flashed in the first 9 weeks of the season. This one will be close, but I think the Cowboys have just enough to put Vegas basically out to pasture for the 2021 season and get back on track. 

Cowboys 27, Raiders 23 (Raiders +7, Under 51)

Bills (6-4) @ Saints (5-5) : Buffalo -6.5; O/U 45

Two teams that 4 weeks ago were among the class of their respective conferences find themselves at a crossroads in the season. Buffalo sandwiched an offensive explosion against the Jets with embarrassing losses to the Jags and Colts. New Orleans is on their first 3 game losing streak since 2016. Buffalo seems to not be able to run the football at all, and New Orleans is playing with Trevor Siemian at quarterback and no Alvin Kamara. One thing is 100% for sure – both of these teams need this game very, very badly. The New Orleans defense is a talented, proud bunch of football players, so I do not expect Josh Allen and company, particularly lacking confidence and a real identity as they are right now, to come in and run it up on New Orleans. I do think that the Saints offense is going to have a hard time putting up enough point to beat the Bills, though. This one will be tight, but I believe the Bills get back in the win column this week, but will still have questions to answer as they find themselves looking up at the Patriots in the AFC East standings for the first time all season. 

Bills 23, Saints 13 (Buffalo -6.5; Under 45)

Short, sweet, and to the point. Like the best pie debate – pumpkin pie, hands down. Enjoy the turkey, the fixings, and the desserts today Focus Fanatics. But most importantly, if you’re able, enjoy the people around you. This is a great time to relax, reflect, and appreciate the people in your lives that make it easier to get up and do you every day. 

Several sleeps left until we have to stress about the Chiefs again, so rest easy until we get there. We’ll see you all tomorrow for the full Sunday slate! 

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