Streaming this weekend? 5 games you need to see

Here’s what SportsPickle editor DJ Gallo will be watching

Sandro Schuh / Unsplash

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on life’s blessings. Specifically, it’s a time to give thanks for all the games that are on over the holiday weekend— games that help you pass the time when family gatherings go a bit too long.

There are lots of games to watch over Thanksgiving, but some will attract more traffic than others. More streaming traffic means more strain on networks, and a greater potential for bandwidth shortages that can result in broadcast issues. But living networks, which virtualize in the cloud, can learn, adapt, and grow to meet fluctuating demand.

Which games are likely to attract the most traffic this weekend? IBM Industries asked SportsPickle editor DJ Gallo to give us a play by play of the most exciting matchups. Here’s what he told us:

Vikings at Lions — Thanksgiving Day at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX

Most years, the Lions are so bad that they make your aunt’s green bean casserole look good by comparison. But after making the playoffs as a wild card a year ago, the Lions are back in contention for the playoffs again this year at 6–4. Yet they’re 2-point home underdogs against the Vikings, who have emerged as one of the top teams in the NFL behind a strong defense and a surprisingly effective quarterback-receiver combo of Case Keenum and Adam Thielen. You’ll want to eat in front of the TV for this one. (Although you’ll still want to avoid that nasty green bean casserole.)

Chargers at Cowboys — Thanksgiving Day at 4:30 p.m. ET on CBS

If Vikings-Lions is the main course, this game is a slightly disappointing dessert. Let’s call it store-bought apple pie. Both the Chargers and Cowboys have a ton of talent, but they’ve underwhelmed so far this season and are in a distant second place in their respective divisions. The good news for us, though, is that both teams are desperate for a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, so this should be a hard-fought, take no prisoners confrontation. Yes, maybe even as brutal as when politics comes up at your Thanksgiving dinner.

Giants at Washington — Thanksgiving night at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC

Okay, so if Vikings-Lions is the main course and Chargers-Cowboys is dessert, this game is what happens when you eat way too much food for an entire day and then pour a gallon of alcohol on top of it and feel absolutely awful and want to throw up. Yeah, it’s not a good game. Eli and the 2–8 Giants versus a 4–6 team with a name whose simple utterance could start a political argument with your relatives. Sigh. But football is football. And if nothing else, watching this game will help you fall asleep after a long day of eating and drinking.

№9 Ohio State at №24 Michigan — Saturday at 12:00 p.m. ET on FOX

While the NFL dominates Thanksgiving Day, don’t forget that the holiday weekend is also huge for college football. Mississippi and Mississippi State play Thanksgiving night, three more ranked teams play on Friday, and Saturday gives us some of the biggest rivalry games in the sport. Ohio State and Michigan, for example. Ohio State needs a win to keep alive its fleeting hopes at a playoff spot, while Michigan needs a win to keep Jim Harbaugh from becoming a college football punchline. You should probably start working on your Harbaugh jokes.

№1 Alabama at №6 Auburn — Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS

Is Ohio State-Michigan the biggest rivalry in football? Is it Alabama-Auburn? I have no idea. But while you all argue that, I’ll sit back and watch an awesome football game and eat the best of the remaining Thanksgiving leftovers. No, no. Please. Keep arguing. I’m finishing off the cornbread casserole while watching Nick Saban scream at a teenager on national television for not picking up a blitz perfectly. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Check out SportsPickle for more on the teams and games worth watching. And learn more about how IBM’s AI and cloud solutions can create living networks to help keep the game going.

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