Last Sunday after Thanksgiving, NFL home teams went a 9-3 ATS including covering in all eight of the early games on the closing lines. This was after all three Thanksgiving road teams won S/U and in a year where home teams had been just 67-91-4, for barely 42 percent success ATS heading into Sunday. Those looking to make sense of some sort of Thanksgiving hangover logic for the road teams don’t have the historical numbers as Sunday home teams after Thanksgiving were just 13-23 ATS the previous three seasons. Only the Baltimore Ravens are undefeated S/U at home this season as home field advantage is not what is used to be.
After three very high scoring Thanksgiving Thursday NFL games that all went ‘over’, Sunday saw a big day for the ‘under’, going 9-3 for the day. With one game left in Week 12, totals are now dead even with perfect balance at 85/85/5 for the season in the NFL on the closing numbers.
In the NFL division races, there may not be much drama at all, only the NFC North has a race that is within a game at this point in the season and every AFC race already features a three-game margin. The wild card races could feature tremendous drama with likely six teams still in play for the final spot in the NFC. In the AFC the feel-good Colts hold the top wild card by a game but the Colts have a very tough schedule ahead including having to play Houston twice. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh also have tough slates which could open the door for a team like Miami or even one of four 4-7 teams that might feel out of the picture at the moment.
There is no drama in the BCS rankings this season as the SEC Championship will serve as a play-in game to match-up with Notre Dame. Florida bests both Georgia and Alabama in six of the seven BCS formula computer rankings but the Gators will be the 11-1 team without a shot, despite having four high quality wins compared with a singular high quality win for both of the SEC finalists. The SEC champion will get a huge boost with the quality win this week but it would be a very interesting test case for the BCS formula had Alabama fallen further than fifth in the polls after its loss and Florida had leaped ahead of the Crimson Tide and currently sat as the #2 team. It is puzzling how Alabama was able to jump Georgia to be the #2 team in the polls, and thus the #2 team in the BCS rankings two weeks ago after beating Western Carolina, a boost that the computers agree they did not deserve. Florida has not been as consistent as Alabama as they had close calls, notably against Louisiana-Lafayette but they have four wins over top 13 BCS teams and boast perhaps the best defenses in the nation. The Gators will finish in the top 4 and get a guaranteed BCS bowl spot however as it will still be a great breakthrough season. The SEC championship loser will be a big loser in the BCS process with Florida holding a guaranteed BCS spot for being in the top 4 as there will not be room for another SEC team in the BCS bowl slots. The Cotton Bowl has eyes on a great Texas A&M/Texas match-up, leaving Georgia or Alabama to an underwhelming Capital One Bowl slot vs. a Big Ten team. Alabama might even have to play Michigan again in re-match of clunker early season blowout.
The Heisman race is also going to be very interesting with a defensive player and a freshman as leading candidates for a great chance of an unprecedented winner. Best of Luck, on to this week’s slate…