This is our first Thanksgiving without the legendary John Madden. Thanksgiving football hasn’t been the same since he left the broadcast booth, but it really won’t be the same knowing that he is no longer here with us. With that in mind, here are my top 5 Thanksgiving traditions of all time:
- John Madden handing out the turkey leg award after the Thanksgiving game
- Going to the bathroom to check scores during the meal
- “Taking a walk” with your cousins
- Your racist uncle saying something wildly inappropriate after his 3rd bourbon which forces your mom to enforce rules about what can be discussed at the table
- Doing an early morning grocery run so you can get out of helping out the rest of the day while the games are on
This year’s degen Thanksgiving is extra special because we get four World Cup matches to go along with the NFL, college football, and college basketball slates. So in this preview, I will have my best bets for all four sports to go along with the degen Thanksgiving schedule that everyone should follow. Cheers. God Bless. Go America.
DEGEN THANKSGIVING SCHEDULE
10:00 PM Wednesday night- Put in your draw bet for Cameroon/Switzerland. You know you won’t wake up early enough for the 5 AM kickoff but you still need the action, even in your sleep.
6:00 AM- Wake up early to watch the second half of Cameroon/Switzerland. Let’s sweat out this draw together.
7:30 AM- Take your winnings from the early AM to make a coffee and beer run. Beat the liquor store rush and fuel up for a long day.
8:00 AM- South Korea/Uruguay should be one of the best matches of the week. Take this one in as the family starts to wake up. A Nunez/Son AGS, SK +1.5 parlay will be glorious.
10:00 AM- Offer to make a morning grocery run for the family. Once the second match of the day ends, it is pedal to the medal from 11:00 AM on. There will be no time for chores or errands or any of that bullshit. So by helping out here, you can get some alone time and then use this as an excuse all day to not have to help with anything else.
11:00 AM- Pour your first drink of the day. Ghana/Portugal is starting and you are going to need a buzz to watch that tap-in merchant Penaldo. You know he will be getting the calls and luck so I’m taking Portugal -1.5. I personally will be going screwdriver in this time slot, but you can’t go wrong with a mimosa, bloody mary, or even an ice-cold beer.
12:00 PM- This might be the most important step of all: I know it’s hard, but try to have all your bets in for the day before the first game starts and before you start drinking heavily. When you’ve had a few beers and are looking for any possible excuse to avoid your family, it’s easy to start betting the o/u on Daniel Jones rushing yards but that’s how you end up losing all your money by dinner time and taking your anger out on your least favorite cousin. Get the action in early and just enjoy the day.
12:30 PM- The first NFL game of the day kicks off with Bills/Lions and it would be sac-relig to John Smith and Pocahontas to not take the over 54 in this game. Josh Allen played in this stadium four days ago and should feel at home against this awful Lions’ defense. Also, Jared Goff turns into Joe Montana at home so let’s root for points here.
2:00 PM- Another World Cup game kicks off here. This could be the most fun game of the World Cup group stage. Brazil is always electric and this Serbia side is so underrated. That’s why we’re taking Serbia and the over. Your uncle will definitely ask you why you are watching soccer and then tell you that they used to call soccer players “cleat fairies” when he was in high school.
4:00 PM- First NFL game ends. You’ve had several dad beers. Depending on when your family does the meal, this could be the witching hour in the kitchen. Everything is close to being done and it’s now a madhouse to try to get everything ready at the same time. Perfect time to find an upstairs bathroom, toss in a Zyn, clear out the system before the big meal, and look at Instagram stories of everyone else’s Thanksgiving plates even though you don’t care at all.
4:30 PM- Second NFL game of the day. We’re starting to feel it now. You don’t even feel nervous about taking the points with Daniel Jones on the big stage. I love going with the underdog Giants +10 and the under in this one. The players (especially Zeke) will probably eat some Thanksgiving brunch before the game and come out feeling heavy.
5:00 PM- Dinner is served. If you can, try to score a seat at the table where you can see the TV. In my family, not everyone is going to fit at the dining room table this year, so my dad and I quickly volunteered to sit at the kid’s table in the kitchen where we’ll have our own TV and don’t even have to pretend to not be watching football. Vet move.
6:30 PM- You’ve eaten more than even you thought you could. You feel sick to your stomach and you can’t tell if you’re too drunk, too full, or if it’s because the Giants have only scored 6 points and it’s midway through the 3rd (HINT: it’s all three). Take a nap on the couch. Best case you wake up and the Giants covered, worst case you lost but you’re rejuvenated for a few more hours of degeneracy!
7:00 PM- You wake up to the voice of Matt Barrie getting the party started in Oxford as he talks about his virtual locks for the weekend. We are rolling with Captain Leach and the Cowbells +3 one last time here. Lane is halfway out the door but Mike Leach has nowhere else to go. Will Rogers is going for 400 here.
8:20 PM- Hopefully you’re back home or wherever you’re staying for the night and don’t have to worry about pretending to socialize anymore. Get the Egg Bowl on one screen, Vikings/Patriots on the other, and fall asleep with a Great Lakes Christmas Ale in your hand as primetime Kick Cousins and Mac Jones Chevrolet duke it out. This game will suck so I’m just taking the Pats as a teaser leg with Carolina later in the week. Hopefully, you wake up late in the fourth quarter to the Cowbells and the Pats both leading.
2:16 AM- Wake up in a cold sweat on the couch wondering what happened, where you are, and how much you’re going to have to win the rest of the weekend to make back your biggest bet of the day which for some reason was Rhamondre Stevenson to score 2+ TDs.
-When your family asks why you’re so invested in a Lions/Bills game, tell them it’s because of fantasy football. Even cool families can get weird if you talk about gambling.
-Find the cool uncle/cousin/parent that knows you gamble and hopefully gambles themselves so you can vent with them throughout the day. You’ll need the support.
-In all seriousness, eat all you can eat, drink all you can drink, and bet whatever you’re willing to lose because it truly is one of the most special days of the year. Enjoy the family time and the sports galore- you CAN do both and you’ll regret missing out on either aspect.
-Sprinkle in CBB bets during every football slate so you have something to watch in case one of the games is awful.
Full Betting Card:
1u Cameroon/Switzerland DRAW +250
1u South Korea +0.5 vs. Uruguay; Nunez/Son AGS Parlay
1u Portugal -1.5
1.5u Bills/Lions o54; Jamaal Williams Anytime TD -110; Gabe Davis Anytime TD +105
0.25u Serbia +600 vs. Brazil
1u Serbia +1.5 vs. Brazil
1u Serbia/Brazil o2.5
1.5u Giants +10 @ Cowboys; Daniel Jones Anytime TD +240
1u Giants/Cowboys u45.5
1u Miss State +3 @ Ole Miss
1.5u Pats +8.5 /Panthers +8.5 Teaser; Rhamondre Stevenson Anytime TD +110
CBB to come later once the lines are finalized.
Hopefully this is some helpful advice for all of you beautiful people. I appreciate all of the support from the people that have been reading these all year and for the people reading one of my previews for the first time. Let’s have a big weekend, a big bowl SZN, and beyond. And as always…