All-Purpose Playbook: Thanksgiving gobbler picks & DraftKings plays

Welcome to the All-Purpose Playbook, a Buzzer column that is (1) either a guide to many things NFL and wagering, such as underdogs and totals and daily fantasy football or (2) a road map to hell. Check back here on Thursdays for more football picks, a smattering of GIFs and occasional nonsense.

Follow me @brettsmiley on Twitter, and you can email me with any questions or comments at basmiley [at] gmail [dot] com.

Here’s what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving: knowing that I should never, ever, never, ever bet on the Jets or question the ability of the Buffalo Bills to overcome less-than-ideal preparation conditions — at least in a game against the Jets.

underdog picks record which, as a result of the Buccaneers also grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory against the Bears last Sunday, drops me to 10-12. Fortunately I pushed all in on the Ravens +3.5 at the Saints Monday night and on the money line, so last week wasn’t a disaster.

I’ve got a lot of pecan pie to eat so this will be a slightly abbreviated edition today — no reckless teasers or totals for you to fade, just the Turkey Day picks and DraftKings selections for Thursday as well.

advanced line by Westgate LV set for this contest was Lions -6.5.

Here’s the bottom line: the Bears pass defense is terrible. Last week they allowed Josh McCown to throw for 341 yards and now the defense will have to do battle without veteran linebacker Lance Briggs.

Wideout Golden Tate called the Lions’ offensive performance in New England "embarrassing" and of course he’s right, but I’ll make a semi-excuse for Tate & Co., who now rank 28th in the league in points scored: they’ve faced some teams with very good defenses in recent weeks — the Patriots, Cardinals and Dolphins. Calvin Johnson has battled a sprained ankle the past few weeks but there’s only so long you can hold down Megatron. He’ll be up for this game.

The Lions are 4-1 against the spread at home this season (for completeness, the Bears are 3-3 against the number away) and the Bears are 0-4 ATS in their last four meetings at Detroit. But enough with trends — this game is absolutely critical for the Lions’ playoffs chances as the Packers (8-3) look to run away with the NFC North.

Bears rusher Matt Forte will get his … or will he? The Bears managed a putrid 204 total yards against the bottom-feeding Buccaneers’ D last Sunday. THIS IS NOT A GOOD FOOTBALL TEAM.

15 things you're inevitably going to hear during Thanksgiving football

Aside from Bill Belichick’s desire to troll everyone who blew their waiver budget on Jonas Gray, the Patriots hardly bothered attacking the Lions on the ground (53 passes against 20 rushes, most of them in garbage time). So there’s your stuffing: the Lions run defense is excellent. The onus will be on Jay Cutler to beat Detroit with his arm.

If the Lions can’t win this game by a touchdown or better, I am quitting the NFL forever*.


Kelly said. "It’s not like we’re going to have a cornucopia and a turkey on the sideline. We’re just going to go play football."

Nope, no sentimentality. Just cold-hearted X’s and O’s.

he’s still himself. Both defenses are vulnerable in the secondary, so this might be a scoring bonanza. The Giants managed to mostly contain DeMarco Murray, or at least prevent him from killing them (only five rushing first downs) and the Eagles rushing defense is superior. The way it adds up, I think it’s going to be close, and so I’ll take the points.

It’s coming.

You know, from Thanksgiving, two years ago?

Not yet.


"I went up to Bobby in the locker room and I said, ‘Jeez, I didn’t realize what a factor you are,”’ Pete Carroll said Sunday after the Hawks toppled the first-place Cardinals 19-3. "That was great to have him out there. The players were really excited to be playing with him again. He is one of the heartbeat guys for this club.”

Credit the 49ers for keeping it together and stringing together three wins when they could have easily caved at 4-4, but Seattle is the better team and I think they win outright.


If you’re reading this in the first place you probably know what daily fantasy leagues are all about, but if not: You draft a team within the bounds of a salary cap, join a contest, turn on Red Zone Channel and pray. It’s a lot of fun. More information here



Matthew Stafford ($7,200) vs Bears: Only $1,100 separates the cheapest (Kaepernick) and most expensive (Romo) QBs among the six starting Thursday. Stafford is the only one throwing to Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate against the Bears defense. I think they will make him look good this week. I can’t fault you for picking Romo or Sanchez in what may be a shootout, but I think Stafford may blow up.

Running back:

Joique Bell ($4,700) vs. Bears: Even if Reggie Bush plays (ankle), Bell should continue to get the bulk of the work. Granted he hasn’t done a heck of a lot with a good workload this season but this is his tastiest matchup in a while.

Wide receiver:

This Thanksgiving, give yourself the gift of Buzzer on Facebook.

Follow me @brettsmiley on Twitter, and you can email me with any questions or comments at basmiley [at] gmail [dot] com.