Thanksgiving Day & Weekend Previews

THE JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK 29TH ANNUAL TURKEY SHOOT ROLLS ON WITH A MAJOR MENU OF HOLIDAY GAMES

By Jim Hurley

Hope the Thanksgiving holiday week/weekend is treating you well – now let’s see who’s “gobbling” up Saturday/Sunday wins on the gridiron.

We remind you …

My handicappers and bloggers are in the holiday spirit and so we’ll be winning the 29th Annual Jim Hurley Turkey Shoot all weekend long and so that means lots of winners in NCAA Football, NFL Week 13 action plus on the hardwood, too with NBA and NCAA Hoops.

Don’t get left out in the cold – win all week and cash in big with both Football and Basketball when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network either here online at www.jimhurley.com or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.

Check with us Friday morning after 10 a.m. ET as there are a whopping 16 College Football games plus a ton of hoops action on this day-after-Thanksgiving menu and then be back with us after 10 a.m. ET on Saturday/Sunday for more Turkey Shoot Winners …

Now, feast your orbs on these NFL Week 13 Thanksgiving Day tilts ...

GREEN BAY (5-5-1) at DETROIT (6-5) - 12:30 p.m. ET, Fox
The old "slim-to-none" phrase was tossed out there the other day regarding the playing status here of injured GB Packers QB Aaron Rodgers -- and that's too bad. A showdown between Rodgers and Detroit slinger Matthew Stafford would have been a real holiday treat but instead you can't sugar-coat things as the Pack heads into this NFC North clash on a sour 0-3-1 SU (straight-up) run while the Lions come off bitter back-to-back losses at Pittsburgh and against Tampa Bay.

No doubt Stafford remains a feast-or-famine guy with 24 TDs but 12 picks and 14 sacks - last weekend's 24-21 loss to the 7-point underdog Bucs featured three Stafford scoring strikes and four INTs although you've gotta put that last one on all-pro WR Calvin Johnson who played dropsy inside the 10-yard line on what turned into the game-sealing interception.

Remember the Packers won the first meeting this year 22-9 at Lambeau Field as the Lions played that one without the aforementioned Johnson while Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby booted five field goals including a 52-yarder.

Spread Notes - Detroit has failed to cover its last four consecutive games when placed in the favorite's role this season and note the Lions are a shabby 3-12 ATS (against the spread) in their last 15 head-to-head showdowns against Green Bay. On the flip side, the Packers enter this holiday bash on a four-game spread losing skein and did you realize that G-Bay is 1-5-1 versus the vig in its last seven away games? Yikes!


OAKLAND (4-7) at DALLAS (6-5) - 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS

How 'bout them Cowboys is right! Last weekend's 24-21 gut-check win against the NY Giants at MetLife Stadium featured three late-game QB Tony Romo third-down passes that went for first downs (two of 'em to embattled WR Dez Bryant and one to underrated slot guy Cole Beasley) that set up the game-winning field goal by PK Dan Bailey but will there be a Turkey Day letdown from the 'Boys after that clean sweep of the hated Giants?

If Romo (234 yards passing against the Giants) comes out chuckin' here, the Raiders could be in serious trouble as keep in mind Oakland surrendered seven scoring strikes a few weeks back to Philadelphia QB Nick Foles and just last Sunday the AFC West crew surrendered a QB Ryan Fitzpatrick TD strike with 10 seconds left in that 23-19 home loss versus Tennessee.

If the heavy-duty dog Raiders have any shot here, than the QB Matt McGloin-to-WR Rod Streater combo must click after this duo teamed up to average 18.6 per play on five connections last weekend against the Titans.

Spread Notes - Dallas is a sizzling 8-3 against the odds this season (a .727 winning rate) and the Cowboys have covered four of their last five games played against AFC competition. Meanwhile, Oakland is 7-4 spreadwise overall this year and the silver-and-black are 18-12-1 ATS as underdog sides since the start of the 2011 season.


PITTSBURGH (5-6) at BALTIMORE (5-6) - 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC

Say this for the Pittsburgh Steelers: They talked-the-talk and didn't wave the white flag after that 0-4 and 2-6 start as Mike Tomlin's club has tacked together back-to-back-to-back wins against Buffalo, Detroit and Cleveland and suddenly there's the black-and-gold on the "playoff hopeful" list that gets splashed across the TV screens every NFL game.

The Steelers rode the two-TD passing performance of veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger to a 27-11 triumph at 2 ½-point fav Cleveland last week and now challenge a Baltimore secondary that was barely tested in last week's 19-3 win against the anemic New York Jets - tell us right now that top-flight Steelers WR Antonio Brown (82 catches for 1,045 yards this year) will hit a "home run" or two here and we'll let you know whether the Steelers' win streak goes to four straight.

P.S., Ravens RB Ray Rice last weekend rushed the ball 16 times for 30 yards - can it all be the O-line's fault anymore?

Spread Notes - Pittsburgh's covered its last three consecutive games and note the Steelers have not enjoyed a four-game ATS winning streak since 2010. Conversely, Baltimore is 5-4-2 ATS overall this season and the Ravens are 6-0-1 ATS in their last eight home games dating back to late 2012.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL THURSDAY/FRIDAY GAME PREVIEWS

Now, here's the NCAA Football action for Thursday Night:

TEXAS TECH (7-4, 4-4 Big 12) at TEXAS (7-3, 6-1 Big 12) - 7:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
Let's head to Austin for this Thanksgiving Night tilt and we'll quickly remind you that the Texas Longhorns have won the last four in a row in this heated rivalry and now catch Texas Tech on a four-game losing skid this year - the Red Raiders were once-upon-a-time 7-and-oh SU but losses to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Baylor by a collective 78 points has rocked rookie coach Kliff Kingsbury's season and the Techsters head into this duel ranked 76th nationally in team defense ... ugh!

Texas Tech's top-rated passing game has utilized both QBs Baker Mayfield (2,078 yards passing with 12 TDs) and Davis Webb (2,315 yards passing with 16 TDs) but it's tough when your defense allows 50.5 ppg the past month, right?

If Texas can get its ground game purring here - and we'll be eyeballing better numbers from RB Malcolm Brown who has rushed for just 162 yards on 53 totes in recent back-to-back tilts against West Virginia and Okie State - than 4 ½-point fav Texas could roll closer to a New Year's Day bowl.

Spread Note - Texas has copped pointspread wins in six of its last nine head-to-head showdowns with Texas Tech and that includes last year's 31-22 win as 6 ½-point dogs in Lubbock.
 
OLE MISS (7-4. 3-4 SEC) at MISS STATE (5-6, 2-5 SEC) - 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
The annual Egg Bowl game has been split down the middle at five wins apiece for both sides the past 10 years - note that Ole Miss snagged a 41-24 win a year ago as one-point home dogs but here the Rebels are comin' in off a bummer 24-10 loss to Missouri and we don't want to hear any excuses about how Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace was "sick" for that game - the whole Rebels offense looked sick to us!

Now, let's see if Miss State can keep up its recent fine play - the Bulldogs have covered their last three in a row including last week's 24-17 OT win at Arkansas - but keep in mind QB Tyler Russell (263 yards passing and two TDs a week ago) suffered a shoulder injury late in that SEC game and so get ready to see some "wildcat" plays should Russell be out of action here.

Spread Note - Ole Miss has covered seven of its last 10 away games while dating back to the start of last year.

On Friday, it's ...

ARKANSAS (3-8, 0-7 SEC) at #17 LSU (8-3, 4-3 SEC) - 2:30 p.m. ET, CBS
You saw that right - the LSU Tigers are a whopping 25-point betting favorite for this annual day-after-Thanksgiving tilt against archrival Arkansas which staggers into this one on an eight-game losing skid.

The storyline here for LSU is the Bengals are still in the hunt for a fourth consecutive double-digit win season and there are a slew of January 1st bowl games that would like 'em part of their game but will QB Zach Mettenberger (2,926 yards passing with 22 TDs and 7 INTs) and Company be mentally sharp after going full-tilt to beat Texas A&M last weekend?

Spread Note - Believe it or not, LSU is a wobbly 1-5 against the odds in its last seven hoedowns against the Hogs.


OREGON STATE (6-5, 4-4 Pac-12) at #13 OREGON (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) - 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

Let's just say the Oregon Ducks didn't endear themselves to a lot of folks in the college football world last week with those negative comments regarding the Rose Bowl followed by the ugly 42-16 loss at three-TD dog Arizona - but all rookie head coach Mark Helfrich's team can do now is right the ship and try to get QB Marcus Mariota straightened away as the one-time Heisman Trophy candidate has looked lost in recent losses to Stanford and 'Zona.

No Rose Bowl berth or any sort of national championship implications on the line here and who knew that Oregon State - losers of five in a row in this series - would be trying to salvage its season too after a heady 6-1 SU start? The stats these days for State QB Sean Mannion read 34 TDs and 13 INTs and he's thrown a slew of picks during his team's current four-game SU losing streak.

Spread Note - Since 2003, the Oregon Ducks are 7-3 ATS in their Civil War showdowns against Oregon State.

 

In NFL Week 13 divisional play, it’s …

DENVER (9-2) at KANSAS CITY (9-2) – 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

For the very first time this year BOTH the Broncos and Chiefs are comin’ off a loss, but the $64,000 question is just how does Denver respond after blowing that 24-0 lead in a 34-31 OT loss at New England last Sunday night?

Maybe what’s most disturbing about that game for the Broncos is they rushed for a whopping 280 yards (or 5.8 ypg), lost, and may not have a healthy RB Knowshon Moreno after he ran for 224 yards against the Pats. Ugh!

No doubt the KayCee Chiefs had their own bit of soul-searching to do following last weekend’s bitter back-and-forth 41-38 home loss versus San Diego, but what gives here with a defense that didn’t force a single SD turnover, and now will be without pass-rushing LB Justin Houston (dislocated elbow) and could be without LB Tamba Hali (ankle sprain).

The Chiefs allowed 31 second-half points to the Chargers last week after both difference-makers were sidelined, and so forgive Denver QB Peyton Manning for salivating a bit here.

Two quickie notes on the Broncos:

*Their pass defense ranks a shoddy 29th in the league while yielding 283.2 ypg – Kansas City slinger Alex Smith should get to try out at least a half-dozen long flings to WRs Dwayne Bowe and friends here – and acting head coach Jack Del Rio is starting to feel the heat of stepping in for the sidelined John Fox.

Might Del Rio and Company (see offensive coordinator Adam Gase) get a bit “too conservative” here?

Spread Notes – Denver is 6-4 against the odds so far this season, and the Broncos have covered six-of-nine AFC West duels since the start of last year. On the flip side, Kansas City’s now dropped four of its last five spread verdicts after a tasty 5-1 ATS (against the spread) start. Note that the Chiefs are 6-11 spreadwise as underdogs since the start of 2012.

TAMPA BAY (3-8) at CAROLINA (8-3) – 1 p.m. ET, Fox

You have to go all the way back to October 6th to find the last time the Carolina Panthers tasted defeat – and if QB Cam Newton and mates are gonna tack on to this NFL-best seven-game SU (straight-up) winning streak, then getting major pressure on rookie QB Mike Glennon is key here.

Hey, the former N.C. State star threw for 247 yards and a pair of touchdown strikes to WR Tiquan Underwood in last Sunday’s 24-21 comeback win against 7-point fav Detroit, and it’s worth noting the Lions did sack Glennon four times – look for some off-the-corner blitzes of Glennon here and maybe a “pick six” or two for the home team.

The Panthers are allowing just 13.3 ppg during this aforementioned win streak, while Tampa Bay’s scored a grand total of 87 points during its current three-game win streak. Note that Carolina won the first meeting this year 31-13 as 7-point road favs back in Week 8 play.

Spread Notes – Carolina has notched spread wins in six of its seven SU (straight-up) wins since mid-October, and did you know the Panthers are 6-2 ATS in divisional games since the start of last year? Meanwhile, Tampa Bay rolls into this NFC South clash riding a four-game spread winning streak, and the Bucs are a collective 18-13 ATS in divisional road games the past 10-plus seasons.

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On Friday in NCAA Football Action, it's ...

ARKANSAS (3-8, 0-7 SEC) at #17 LSU (8-3, 4-3 SEC) - 2:30 p.m. ET, CBS
You saw that right - the LSU Tigers are a whopping 25-point betting favorite for this annual day-after-Thanksgiving tilt against archrival Arkansas which staggers into this one on an eight-game losing skid.

The storyline here for LSU is the Bengals are still in the hunt for a fourth consecutive double-digit win season and there are a slew of January 1st bowl games that would like 'em part of their game but will QB Zach Mettenberger (2,926 yards passing with 22 TDs and 7 INTs) and Company be mentally sharp after going full-tilt to beat Texas A&M last weekend?

Spread Note - Believe it or not, LSU is a wobbly 1-5 against the odds in its last seven hoedowns against the Hogs.

OREGON STATE (6-5, 4-4 Pac-12) at #13 OREGON (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) - 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
Let's just say the Oregon Ducks didn't endear themselves to a lot of folks in the college football world last week with those negative comments regarding the Rose Bowl followed by the ugly 42-16 loss at three-TD dog Arizona - but all rookie head coach Mark Helfrich's team can do now is right the ship and try to get QB Marcus Mariota straightened away as the one-time Heisman Trophy candidate has looked lost in recent losses to Stanford and 'Zona.

No Rose Bowl berth or any sort of national championship implications on the line here and who knew that Oregon State - losers of five in a row in this series - would be trying to salvage its season too after a heady 6-1 SU start? The stats these days for State QB Sean Mannion read 34 TDs and 13 INTs and he's thrown a slew of picks during his team's current four-game SU losing streak.

Spread Note - Since 2003, the Oregon Ducks are 7-3 ATS in their Civil War showdowns against Oregon State.


On Saturday, it’s …

#3 OHIO STATE (11-0, 7-0 Big 10) at MICHIGAN (7-4, 3-4 Big 10) – 12 p.m. ET, ABC

The Ohio State Buckeyes have not given up the hope for playing for a BCS crown this year – yes, Urban Meyer’s crew (averaging 55.3 ppg in its last four outings) have become big Auburn Tigers fans this holiday weekend but first things first and that means dispatching erratic Michigan inside the famed “Big House” and for that Buckeyes’ RB Carlos Hyde must keep up the beat that’s seen him rush for 938 yards (or 8.1 ypc) and 14 TDs in his last six games.

Hey, Ohio State’s handed the Wolverines some major beatings in recent years – see 37-7 back in 2010 and 42-7 in the 2008 season – so this two-TD road favorite’s price may not be out of whack especially if the Michigan O-line can’t protect QB Devin Gardner, who has been sacked a gazillion times this year.

Can Gardner move-and-juke his way around this Buckeyes defense to make some big pass plays downfield and can a Michigan rushing attack that ranks 100th nationally (just 128.8 ypg this year) come alive … or this game headed for another Ohio State blowout as Meyer’s guys have won eight games by 18-or-more points.

Spread Notes – Ohio State has hardly been the money-maker you might think this year as the Buckeyes are a modest 6-5 ATS so far and they’re 13-10 spreadwise in the Meyer Era (not quite as good as you thought, right?). Note Ohio State’s 7-1-1 spreadwise in its last nine head-to-head showdowns against the maize-and-blue. Meanwhile, despite the angst of this current campaign the Michigan Wolverines still are 6-5 against the odds and that includes underdog covers the past two weeks at Northwestern and at Iowa.

#2 FLORIDA STATE (11-0, 8-0 ACC) at FLORIDA (4-7, 3-5 SEC) – 12 p.m. ET, CBS

Let’s say things are playing out like a three-part theatre act in/around Tallahassee these days:

There’s the pursuit of the first national championship since 1999 for these here-and-now Florida State Seminoles;

There’s the quest to win this year’s Heisman Trophy for now-runaway leader QB Jameis Winston;

And then there’s the legal issues involving Winston that may or may not kayo him for whatever bowl game the ‘Noles play in this year... to say nothing of his pending status as a free man.

Now, let’s throw another log on the fire and bring up the fact that underachieving – but still arch-rival – Florida serves here as a four-TD home underdog, and Florida State could be in for a tougher fit than imagined with under-siege Gators head coach Will Muschamp likely leaving no stone unturned here.

If Winston and mates can gallop out to their usual quicksilver start, then the not-so-mighty Gators will be left in the dust and keep in mind that FSU has scored 607 points this year and has exceeded the 40-point mark in 11 consecutive games. Not only has Winston thrown for 3,163 yards with 32 TDs and 7 INTs, but this State defense leads the country with 23 interceptions.

Spread Notes – Florida State is an electric 9-2 versus the vig this season and the Seminoles have covered three-of-four road games after going a dismal 1-6 ATS away in 2012. Note that Florida is an ugly 4-7 against the Las Vegas price tags this season and that makes the Gators 16-19 ATS in the Muschamp Era. P.S., the betting favorite has covered seven of the last 10 games in this Sunshine State series.

NOTE: There’s plenty more NCAA Football and NFL Week 13 Previews/Forecasts straight ahead in the next couple of editions of Jim Sez … so don’t dare miss out as tomorrow we’ll check out the biggest/best College Football game on the Saturday:

It’s #1 Alabama at #6 Auburn!

 

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