If you're looking for action to get you through the Thanksgiving holiday, you're not alone. Betting on Thanksgiving football is probably my favorite part of the holiday. It's a lot easier to talk to the family when you're winning money at Caesars Sportsbook.
We have a great slate to discuss this year. The Buffalo Bills pay a visit to the Detroit Lions, the New York Giants look to get back on track vs. the rival Dallas Cowboys and then the New England Patriots take on the Minnesota Vikings for our nightcap. It should be a fun day, and between spreads, Over/Unders and player props, there are plenty of opportunities to turn your Thanksgiving into a lucrative one. Let's take a look at some bets we are high on.
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook
Team records on Thanksgiving
Bills (7-3) at Lions (4-6)
Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)
Don't look now, but the Lions are on a three-game win streak! Just three teams have scored 30 or more points in five games this season, and this matchup features two of them. The third is the Kansas City Chiefs. The Lions statistically have the No. 6 offense in the NFL (366.6 yards per game), but the defense is the worst in the NFL. Sill, Jared Goff and Co. and are coming off of a surprising 31-18 beatdown of the Giants last week.
The Lions have lost five straight Thanksgiving games, and are 5-16 on the holiday over the past 21 years. Unfortunately for them, it looks like six straight losses on Thanksgiving are coming Thursday. The Bills have won two straight Thanksgiving games -- including a 31-6 beatdown of the New Orleans Saints last year. Despite falling behind to the Cleveland Browns 10-3 in the second quarter last week, the Bills reeled off 25 unanswered points, and ended up defeating Cleveland by eight points. Interestingly enough, that game was played in Detroit as well due to a Buffalo snowstorm.
Betting against the Lions on Thanksgiving feels sacrilegious, yet profitable. My heart is rooting for Dan Campbell's squad to pull off a monster upset, but I think this could be a get-right spot for the Super Bowl favorites after a weird three weeks. I'm going to lay the points with the favorites. I'll lean to the Under as well.
Prediction: Bills (-9.5) 30-20 over Lions
Props we like
Josh Allen passing yards: Over 281.5 (-127). Allen has actually crossed this line just once over the last four games, but I think he hits the Over here against a bad defense. The star quarterback is averaging a career-high 293 passing yards per game this season.
Tyler Bass made extra points: Over 2.5 (-184). "Will the Bills score three touchdowns where they won't have to go for two." It's juicy, so maybe throw it into a same-game parlay.
Amon-Ra St. Brown receptions: Under 7.5 (-142). I love St. Brown as a receiver, but I think this line is probably too high. He caught seven passes last week, and 10 against the Chicago Bears in Week 10, but Buffalo's secondary should be all over him.
Giants (7-3) at Cowboys (7-3)
Thursday, 4:30 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)
The Cowboys beat the Giants 30-3 in the only Thanksgiving Day meeting between the two teams in 1992. The Giants have lost three straight Thanksgiving games, and also lost to the Cowboys and backup quarterback Cooper Rush in Week 3, 23-16.
This is another big spread, but I want to lay the points with the Cowboys. The Giants have lost two out of their last three games after starting the season 6-1. They've weirdly struggled on first downs -- both on offense and defense. Daniel Jones' unit averages 4.4 yards per play on first downs (second-fewest in the NFL), while the defense allows an average of 6.9 yards per play on first downs (most in the NFL). We saw what the Cowboys did to the Vikings last week. Tony Pollard recorded 189 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns, while the defense didn't allow a single touchdown. As for the Giants, they got blown out by the Lions at home.
I've had the Cowboys in the "contender" category all year, and the Giants in the "pretender" category despite their impressive record. Throw in the facts that the Giants are working through several injuries and that the game is in Dallas, I'm laying the points. I have the Cowboys -9.5 as a best bet, and I lean to the Over. I just feel like these are two teams trending in opposite directions.
Prediction: Cowboys (-9.5) 31-17 over Giants
Props we like
Daniel Jones interceptions: Over 0.5 (-121). I would recommend this prop even at -170 juice. I'm surprised it's so low. Jones went six straight games without throwing a pick before last week, where he threw two against a bad Lions defense. He's thrown three interceptions in five career starts vs. the Cowboys -- including one in the loss to Dallas earlier this season.
Tony Pollard receiving yards: Over 19.5 (-121). Overall, the Cowboys don't use Pollard as a receiver as much as I would. Last week, he caught all six of his targets for 109 yards and two touchdowns. After seeing that kind of performance, you would think he can cross 20 yards receiving against New York.
Patriots (6-4) at Vikings (8-2)
Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC, FuboTV)
Now, this is the most intriguing Thanksgiving game to me. The last time the Patriots played on Thanksgiving, they beat the New York Jets 49-19 in the "Butt Fumble" matchup. Speaking of beating the Jets, that's what the Patriots did last week on an 84-yard punt return touchdown with just five seconds left in the fourth quarter. They looked like the better team all afternoon, but it took them an incredibly long time to prove it. I thought Mac Jones was OK. He completed 23 of 27 passes for 246 yards, which is the highest completion percentage Jones has had this season (85.2%). Wind played a part in this matchup, but the defense was outstanding. They sacked Zach Wilson four times and allowed just 103 yards of total offense! In ranking the teams competing for wild card spots in the AFC, I actually have the Patriots at No. 2. They could go on a second-half run -- just like they did last year.
As for the Vikings, yeah, that 40-3 loss to the Cowboys is going to take some time to get over. Still, they can take a page out of the Cowboys' book and force everyone to forget about it with a dominant win on Thanksgiving. Even with Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson, I can't help but be impressed by New England's defense. This unit has allowed just 7.7 points per game over the past three contests, and is allowing a 19 percent conversion rate on third downs during that same span. The Patriots own the second-highest pressure rate in the NFL this season, while the Vikings allow the fifth-highest pressure rate. I will say that out of the three Thanksgiving contests, I'm the least confident on this one when it comes to picking a side. I'll take the Patriots to surprise here, and I like the Over.
Prediction: Patriots (+2.5) 23-21 over Vikings
Props we like
Nick Folk made field goals: Over 1.5 (+112). REDEMPTION! Folk missed two of three field goals last week due to wind, but there shouldn't be much wind in the dome on Thursday night. Folk went 9-for-9 on field goals in Weeks 8 and 9. I say he gets two this week, and I love the plus money.
T.J. Hockenson to score TD: (+180). Hockenson hasn't scored a touchdown as a Viking, but he's gotten some red zone targets and actually dropped a TD against the Cowboys. I say he scores his first touchdown since Oct. 2 in prime time on Thanksgiving.
Parlays to consider
Bills -2.5 + Cowboys -6.5 = +102
Tyler Bass made extra points: Over 2.5 + Nick Folk made field goals: Over 1.5 = +227
Ezekiel Elliott to score TD + Bills 1st half ML + Winning margin NE 1-6 pts = +1216