Red Fridays (on Thursday) at the Retirement Home

A few men in a control room

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

Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus Charles Robinson @CRob5769

On a week that I thought would crawl by coming off a long holiday weekend, we’ve already made it to Thursday, which can only mean one thing – another lackluster Thursday Night Football matchup. We’ve officially reached the point in these matchups where I can comfortably say that, outside of the Packers/Cardinals matchup from week 8, the Chiefs Chargers game coming up in week 15 will be the only Thursday night game of the year that I’m actually engaged in. And I’m hopeful it’s a positive engagement, and not one similar to our first dance with Herbert and the boys. 

Before we get going on the picks for tonight’s game, let’s look back on how your old buddy LaCharles did last week. I’m only doing this because sometimes you have to go back in order to move forward. And I’m not reminiscing or chasing ghosts like McConaughey in a Lincoln commercial. I’m primarily just clearing the air to let you all know I understand how bad my picks were last week, and I apologize for subjecting you to such uneducated takes and picks. I would also apologize for your gambling losses, but I’ve disclaimered the hell out of almost all of my game pick posts, so as far as I’m concerned I am not liable for any gambling crimes you’ve committed against yourself.

Brutal week straight up, best week yet against the spread. If consistency is the recipe to success, it looks like I have failure in the oven at the moment.  

On to the game. Tonight’s matchup brings us a Cowboys team coming off of back to back losses to AFC West opponents (best division in football? Maybe) matching up against a Saints team that is officially a shell of its former self. I never thought I’d live to see a day where Saints fans are longing for the days when Jameis Winston was healthy, but here we are. The Cowboys should have their entire offensive stable back, with Ceedee Lamb expected to play coming off of a concussion suffered against the Chiefs, and Amari Cooper clearing COVID protocols after missing the last two games. Expect Cooper to see limited action, though, as word from Cowboys camp is that his conditioning isn’t quite to a full game level yet. 

Cowboys (7-4) @ Saints (5-6) : Dallas -4.5; O/U 47.5

As I mentioned above, Dallas is coming in off of a 2 game losing streak that has seen the rest of the NFC East slowly creep up on them in the standings. Two weeks ago the Cowboys were 7-2 with their closest division competition being the 4-6 Eagles (3.5 game lead). Today, they’re 7-4 and the Washington Football team is sitting at 5-6 (2 game lead). So, it could be worse for the Cowboys, but to say they need this game for multiple reasons would be an understatement. The Saints come in having lost 4 in a row and not looking in any way offensively viable for quite a while. On top of that, they’ll again be without Alvin Kamara tonight, as well as starting tackles Ryan Ramczyk (knee) and Terron Armstead (knee). The Saints defense, as I said last week while previewing their game with Buffalo, are a game ready and talented bunch. They still rank 12th in the NFL in total defense and third in the league in rush defense, and Marcus Lattimore is arguably one of the better cover corners in the league. However, with the offensive firepower Dallas will have back on the field, coupled with the Saints having essentially no hope of eating up any clock on offense with Taysom Hill starting at QB and little to no help on that side of the ball, Dallas should dominate this game. They’re 6-0 against the spread in their last 6 games against NFC opponents, and I don’t expect that trend to change against a battered New Orleans team. Look for a somewhat slow first half as Dallas gets their groove back with guys coming back from injury, but the Cowboys creating some distance late in the second quarter and early in the third. The Saints need to start looking to next year’s draft and offseason, and figure out exactly how badly Russell Wilson wants out of Seattle. 

Cowboys 31, Saints 9 (Dallas -4.5; Under 47.5)

There you have it, folks. I’m probably wrong again, and the nation will be captivated tonight by what will forever live in NFL lore as the “Taysom Hill” game. I’ve always been a really hard tryer, and I’m doing my best to sound like I know what I’m talking about here. Enjoy the game, and we’ll be back tomorrow with some more ocular candy for you to snack on. 

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