Fill your Stomach and Pockets on Thanksgiving Day
Three things we can be certain of in life: death, taxes and an NFL Thanksgiving Day triple-header.
Only one of those gets us excited and the action kicks off with the Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions before the Las Vegas Raiders and Dallas Cowboys go into battle. The NFL parlay ends with the Buffalo Bills vs New Orleans Saints, and we're hoping bettors have not only a full stomach, but full pockets following the action.
The sportsbook is feeling generous with its NFL odds, so let’s tuck in.
Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions
It feels like the Detroit Lions have an awful record playing on Thanksgiving Day, but they're 37-42-2, so it's not all bad news.
There has been no reason to give thanks after going 0-9-1 so far, but there have been signs of improvement over the last two weeks.
The Lions secured a draw against the Pittsburgh Steelers two weeks ago, before losing to the Cleveland Browns by just three points last week. It's a step in the right direction and there could be value with the home side.
NFL betting markets have the Lions at +155 to beat the Bears, and that value could be too good to pass up. The Bears could be without Justin Fields, and although they pushed Baltimore close last week, they haven’t had much momentum at any stage.
Andy Dalton is the likely starter with Fields suffering bruised ribs.
"I prepare the same way I've prepared this whole year," Dalton told ESPN. "So if I'm starting I'll be ready to go."
We don't feel comfortable taking the Bears to win, and the value is with Detroit. Backing a team that has yet to win is not easy, so bettors will need to muster up the courage.
Their luck has to change soon though, and this is an ideal situation for Jared Goff to have a breakout game. He has only eight touchdowns, so he should be given full reign to open up the shoulders and let it fly.
Pick: Detroit Lions +160
Las Vegas Raiders vs Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys produced a head-scratching loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last week, which causes concern for their offense.
It was a sharp downward turn on offense, scoring just nine points. We're not sure why Dallas struggled to put up points on the Kansas City Chiefs defense, but it wasn’t pretty to watch.
We weren't impressed with what the Las Vegas Raiders offered either in their 32-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals either. It was another dismal offensive effort, which is pointing us towards taking the under 50½ on Thursday.
The Raiders and Cowboys are confidence teams, so the confidence levels would have dropped considerably. Due to their poor Week 11 performances, they might try too hard to create offense, which could lead to turnovers.
The short week could help the Cowboys, who want to get right back on the horse and make amends.
"I would say it's a good (week) to get this taste out of our mouth," Cowboys guard Connor McGovern told DallasCowboys.com. "We get back and right into it in four days. I think it will be a good turnaround."
We think it will be a tense and tight game. The 50½ total is a sizable number, and it could be a 30-13 result in Dallas' favor, so take the under in the second leg of our NFL parlay.
Pick: Under 50½
Buffalo Bills vs New Orleans Saints
Despite losing to the Indianapolis Colts 41-15 last week, the Buffalo Bills are our best pick for Thanksgiving Day.
Falling to 6-4 isn't ideal for the Bills, who are now trailing the New England Patriots in the AFC East, but that should spur them on against the New Orleans Saints.
It was a tough loss to stomach, but we still believe in this team and the latest NFL odds have the Bills as only 4½-point favorites against a struggling Saints outfit.
The Saints looked poor against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, losing 40-29. Most of those points came in the fourth quarter when the game was out of hand, so it wasn't a good showing.
We think the Bills will pounce on the Saints and put up a big number. Winning on the road isn’t easy, but playing in the Superdome could help Josh Allen and the Bills offense settle down.
Conditions are perfect and we're expecting the Bills to measure up and regain control in their division.
We're happy with the current points spread line, and money should come for the Bills throughout the week — so act now!
Pick: Buffalo Bills -4½
3-team Thanksgiving Parlay: Detroit Lions +160, Raiders-Cowboys Under 50½ and Buffalo Bills -4½ at +839