Current Slack Lines standings:
The Improper’s Nick Altschuller: 29-14-1
Parlor Sports/Trina’s Beau Sturm: 27-16-1
Rory “Thigh Meat” Duyon: 25-18-1
Matt “Giblets” Roberts: 24-20
Green St. Grill’s Greg Reeves: 24-20
Silvertone’s Cedric Adams: 21-23

Happy Thanksgiving to all. No time for chit-chat today, though, because:

1. It's a holiday, so it's time for family/drinking.
2. I'm at home, so there are lots of chores I need to pretend to do.
3. My only football goal for this week is to identify this man:

I spotted him a couple weeks ago on the Niners sideline. He is by far the chillest, slack lineingist assistant coach—ok, probably equipment manager—I’ve ever seen. If I can only complete one football mission for the rest of this season, it’s to find this epic dude, befriend him, run away with him, then together we’ll lead a life as roadies/private investigators.

On to the picks!

Beau on: Atlanta @ Tampa Bay (+1)Tampa is getting points at home. This is tempting to any gambler. Plus, they’re coming off a gritty win over the Panthers (Cam Newton is a dirt bag), and alternatively Atlanta is coming off of an embarrassing loss to Arizona where Boston’s favorite QB not named Brady, Mattie Ice, threw five picks and coughed up one more turnover.

On paper, Atlanta should run away with this game. However, I think that these two teams are going in opposite directions: Atlanta is cooling off, and Tampa and their new, and GREAT, head coach are starting to gel. I like Tampa, but I have to say, Josh Freeman should grow his afro back. That thing was awesome!

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Slackers and our loyal readers (thanks again mom and dad, and Mr. and Mrs. Altschuller). Beau’s Pick: Buccaneers
Locks of the Week:Jaguars (+3) Chad Henne is good at football.

Panthers (-2) over the Philly Quitters (I hate Cam Newton.)
The “Bet the Other Way” College Pick: USC (+5.5) to cover at Notre Dame


Matt on: Seattle @ Miami (+3)
One thing you can set your watch to in this game: Petesy Carroll will be pumped and jacked. Take the OVER on fist pumps and aggressive gum chewing. The defense thrives off the energy shown by the coach and the home Seattle crowd, so we'll see how they respond in the Sunshine State.

In a remarkable turn of events, it appears the Dolphins brass may, *may* not have made another huge mistake in the draft. While all the votes still haven't been counted on the potential of Ryan Tannehill—Karl Rove is still waiting on some precincts in Hamilton County to report—so far he looks the part as an NFL quarterback. The direction of the team under Jeff "Is Your Mother a Prostitute?" Ireland has been terrible at best, but he looks to have gotten the QB right.

I'm going against the tired and lazy adage of "never bet on a West Coast team traveling east for a 1 pm game" and riding with the 'Hawks to cover. Matt’s pick: Seahawks
Locks of the Week:
Bucs (+1)  The Falcons finally get their comeuppance.
Packers (+3)  Rodgers torches the Giants secondary; Tom Coughlin scowls.
Jaguars (+3)  Home dog that’s been playing better against a below-average Titans team? Yes, please.


Cedric on: Baltimore @ San Diego (+1)
Happy Thanksgiving to all, especially those who serve in our armed forces!

It’s the final swan song for Norv Turner and crybaby quarterback Philip Rivers. Expect the injury-ravaged San Francisco defense to continue their Turkey Feast on the Chargers’ pathetic offensive.

Philips doesn’t like pressure and will be on the run all day. Running back Ryan Matthews won’t gain more than 50 yards against the Ravens’ front seven. Expect the Chargers receivers to hear footsteps all day and drop/short arm a few balls, intimidated by the Baltimore D. When the Ravens have the ball, expect their running game, a.k.a. Ray Rice, to dominate, leading to lot of play action opportunities for Falco to torch the San Diego secondary. Cedric’s Pick: Ravens
Locks:

Packers (+3) over Giants. Statement game for both teams. Will Rogers start his late-season push for MVP?
Bronco's (-10.5) over Chiefs. Hey, Romeo Crennel, the Patriots will be looking for a secondary coach at the end of the season. Come on home!
49er's (-1) over Saints. Game two of the Kaepernick era. Nice knowing you, Alex.


Rory on: San Francisco @ New Orleans (+1)
The Saints’ impressive run has gotten them back in playoff contention, but with the 49ers, Falcons and Giants ahead in the next three weeks, the climb has only just begun.

The Colin Kaepernick Experiment went better than expected Monday night, and the

49ers appear to be the class of the NFC, but can you really bet against a home dog playing so well? Especially as they host a team on a short week that just finished beating up Jason Campbell?

I’m impressed by what San Francisco was able to do on offense, but defensively what they did was to be expected. If you’re not good enough to keep the Redskins starting job in your prime, I think that says a lot about your abilities as a quarterback and a human being.

Ok, that was mean and uncalled for. Jason Campbell might be a good guy, but he’s a crappy quarterback, and I stand by that. Besides, I think even the casual sports fan knows that New Orleans is 10-1 against the spread in their last 11 games played in the month of November. Rory’s Pick: Saints
Lock Three Times:
Falcons (-1)  The Bucs are 8-2 against the spread this year, but you have to feel like the overrated Falcons are going to come to play after two lackluster weeks. I just stepped in the trap, didn’t I?
Panthers (-2)  The question isn’t whether the Eagles will fire Andy Reid, but whether they’ll wait until after the season.
Steelers (-1)  Beau has some kind of crazy cosmic powers. Every time I try to talk a little trash with him, he gets stronger. This is my offering to whatever gambling god that Beau is working with.


Greg on: Green Bay vs. NY Giants (-3)
The Packers come into MetLife on a roll, with Aaron Rodgers throwing touchdowns all over the place. Both of these teams have top-rated offenses, but they’re heading in different directions.

The Giants know a thing or two about second half slides. Eli has gone from ELIte to shELI very quickly. The GMEN’s defense has been inconsistent at best, and their pass rush has under performed all year. The Pack do come in limping, with Mathews, Woodson, Shields and Jennings out. The GMEN will need Victor Cruz to do some salsa dancing and Eli to remember how to throw TDs again if they’re going to have a shot. Greg’s Pick: Packers
Locks:
Ravens (-1) San Diego is coached by Norv Turner, so look for the Ravens to roll.
Steelers (-1)  Charlie Batch will be the difference. Yes, I did say Charlie Batch will be the difference.
Seahawks (-3)  Marshawn Lynch hasn’t stopped in over two and a half years. Reggie has fizzled out quickly this year. Bruce Irvin is from West Virginia (ode to Beau) and is good at rushing the passer.


Nick on: Carolina @ Philadelphia (+2)
During the first two years of Slack Lines, I asked my mom to pick a game every week. It did not go well. But last week, Beau turned to his dad for three picks, and his old man went undefeated.

Since she can’t escape me in this house, I cornered my ma and asked her about this game. My mom likes the Eagles. Apparently, my mom also thinks they play in Washington. Nick’s Pick: Eagles
Lockingjays:
Jags (+3)  I feel like now is finally my chance to not regret drafting Justin Blackmon.
Bears (-1)  Just put the girlfriend’s iPod through the wash. Betting on her team outta make up for that.
St. Louis @ Arizona (Over 37)  I am just BEGGING to go 0-4.

Until next week.

Email Nick at nick@improper.com