Ryan Mayer

Thanksgiving is upon us which means that the food-induced comas will begin in earnest. As you doze on the couch and feast upon leftovers, there’s plenty of great sports television to keep you company once you get tired of the conversation with your relatives. So, loosen up your belt, kick your feet up, and keep your remote nearby, here’s the lineup of best games that sports have to offer this week/weekend.

Thursday, November 24th

Thanksgiving is always a day for football. Whether it’s your own backyard football game with friends in the morning or your local high school’s rivalry game, you probably have some football of your own to play/watch. But, once you’re back home and preparing for the big dinner, the NFL has a couple of big match-ups scheduled for you that are worth paying attention to.

12:30 pm- Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions (CBS)

In a turn that many probably didn’t expect at the beginning of this season, this game has big NFC North implications. The Vikings and Lions come in at 6-4 atop the division. However, the Lions currently hold the tiebreaker via their 22-16 win over the Vikes earlier in the season. So, a Vikings win, puts them in first place with five games left. The Lions win, and they have a huge advantage over the Vikings having swept the season series.

Another good thing about this game? You’ll be able to stream this game live on CBSSports.com by clicking through to this link. Although you won’t be able to watch on your phone or through the CBS Sports app, you’ll be able to watch on almost any other device, including: Apple TV, Roku, XBox One, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast.

4:30 pm- Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys (FOX)

The Redskins at 6-3-1 are two games back of the Cowboys in the loss column. The ‘Boys are the hottest team in the NFL with nine straight wins and the electric rookie combo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. Oh, and if you needed more reason to watch? The Cowboys escaped with a 27-23 win at Washington in Week 2. 

7:30 pm- #16 LSU @ #25 Texas A&M (ESPN)

That’s right, the NFL isn’t the only football available to you on Thanksgiving. The SEC is giving you some top action as well. Granted, the Tigers and Aggies aren’t factors in the West because the Tide are running away with the division, but, both are still fighting for mid-to-high tier bowl games and there’s plenty of future NFL talent on the field. Leonard Fournette, Myles Garrett, Armani Watts, Arden Key, just a few of the names to pay attention to in this game.

8:30 pm- Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts (NBC)

This game actually has big implications for these two teams as well. Both are 5-5 coming in. Pittsburgh is tied for first in the AFC North while Indy is one game back of Houston in the AFC South. Both are still firmly in the playoff picture. Add to that two explosive offenses and below average defenses? Should be some fireworks in primetime on Thursday.

Friday, November 25th

Friday belongs to college football but, there’s some NBA/NHL action as well. You can kick off your day of sports watching after some early morning shopping with a match-up of two fun NBA teams.

1:00 pm- San Antonio Spurs @ Boston Celtics

The Spurs have gotten off to a 10-3 start and are expected to be a contender in the West. Boston has started a little slower at 7-6, but Brad Stevens team is loaded with young talent. A match-up of two of the league’s best coaches is a good way to kick-off the day. You may have to head to a bar if you’re not in the regional coverage area or don’t have NBA Game Pass. But, let’s be honest after a morning of shopping, you’ll likely need a drink.

3:30 pm- #6 Washington @ #22 Washington State (Fox Sports 1)

The Apple Cup this year is going to be even more fun than usual. Both teams are good and playing at a high level and oh, by the way, the winner takes the Pac-12 North divisional crown. Yeah, there’s a lot at stake for the Huskies and Cougars in Pullman in this afternoon game.

6:00 pm- Winnipeg Jets @ Nashville Predators

Yeah, that’s right, get some hockey in. We’re trying to expand your horizons this year people. The records of these two teams won’t make your eyes pop, but they have some of the best young players in the NHL right now. The Jets in particular have been boosted by the play of rookie Patrik Laine, who’s currently tied for the league lead in goals with 12, and has made the rookie of the year conversation no longer a Auston Matthews vs. everybody else talk.

Saturday, November 26th

This, this, is college football’s true day of reckoning. So, grab that Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich. Don’t judge me, you definitely put turkey, stuffing, mac-and-cheese etc. on a roll too and eat it. No? Just me? Well, maybe you should join the club. Anyway, grab your favorite food stuffs and watch the following games.

12:00 pm- #3 Michigan Wolverines @ #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (ABC)

This rivalry is heated without potential playoff hopes riding on it. Now, it’s ramped up by the fact that it feels like a play-in game for the playoff. If Ohio State wins, they finish the season 11-1 and Penn State plays for the Big Ten title. The Buckeyes, as things look now, would likely get a spot in the playoff due to their resume despite not winning the Big Ten. If Michigan wins, they move to the Big Ten title game and the Buckeyes are likely left out in the cold again this year. Enjoy.

3:30 pm- #1 Alabama Crimson Tide @ #15 Auburn Tigers (CBS)

The Iron Bowl. Again, like the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry, this one is always heated. There’s less heat now that the Tide have definitively locked up the SEC West by virtue of Auburn’s loss to Georgia in Week 11. That said, it’s also one of Uncle Verne’s last broadcasts for SEC on CBS and that alone is reason to watch. And, you know, watching Alabama’s defense bury people generally makes for good TV too.

3:30 pm- #8 Penn State Nittany Lions @ Michigan State Spartans (ESPN)

So, after the Buckeyes and Wolverines play for their playoff lives, Penn State could have a chance to play for theirs. With a Buckeyes win, all Penn State would have to do is beat the Spartans in East Lansing to book a trip to Indy. However, we saw last week against Ohio State that the Spartans, despite their 3-8 record, aren’t going to just roll over. Potential for an upset here.

7:30 pm- #12 Utah Utes @ #10 Colorado Buffaloes (FOX)

The Buffs can wrap up the Pac-12 South with a win over the Utes at home, which would complete a remarkable turnaround from last year’s 4-9 finish. If Utah wins, USC, yes USC, goes to the Pac-12 title game. 

10:15 pm- Wyoming Cowboys @ New Mexico Lobos (ESPN 2)

Huh? I’m telling you to watch a Wyoming game? Why? Well, reader, the Cowboys are one win away from reaching the Mountain West conference title game and setting up a rematch with San Diego State, whom they beat last week 34-33. Yeah, that’s why you should watch Craig Bohl’s squad.


The NFL returns with a couple of solid match-ups in the afternoon to end your Thanksgiving weekend in style.

1:00 pm- Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons (FOX)

The Cardinals are fighting for their playoff lives while the Falcons are trying to stay atop the NFC South.

4:25 pm- Carolina Panthers @ Oakland Raiders (CBS)

The Panthers are still alive in the NFC South and depending on what happens in the above contest, could find themselves just one game back of the Falcons for the division. The Raiders have proven themselves to be one of the league’s best this season and bring a potent offense to the table against a struggling Panthers defense.

8:30 pm- Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos (NBC)

This game was flexed to this spot for a reason. Two likely playoff teams, still in the divisional hunt, and two of the better defenses in the league against some average offenses. 

Then, it’s back to work on Monday as the calendar approaches December. But, for four glorious days, you can enjoy a pretty good slate of sports in order to distract yourself from whatever arguments inevitably arise due to extended members of the family getting together.