- NFL betting is back after another winning weekend.
- Three games will be played for this season’s Thanksgiving NFL schedule.
- Here are NFL betting recommendations for all three games.
Another Thanksgiving Day is finally here, so it’s time to bet on NFL again.
As I do at the end of every week during the fall, I’m sharing three of my favorite NFL betting lines for the three upcoming Week 12 games that will be played on Thanksgiving. Tail or fade at your leisure.
NFL Best Bets: Week 12 NFL Predictions for Thanksgiving
After I’ve handicapped the whole board each week, I will publish my three best plays from the wider canon of NFL odds.
I’ll provide a short explanation of why I like each bet, so you don’t have to go on faith alone.
If you prefer an audio version of this weekly article, you can always subscribe to The Lion’s Edge, my weekly handicapping podcast for BetMGM. More on that in a little bit.
One rule to keep in mind: Any time there’s an underdog in the range of +3 to +7, I’m almost always sprinkling a quarter-unit moneyline play on top of the spread play.
Last week’s picks were 2-1. NFL picks in this column are now 18-13 on the season. Let’s get to the Thanksgiving picks.
Bills at Lions (+9.5)
As a general year-to-year rule, pretty much every online sportsbook needs the Lions to cover on Thanksgiving. People love to bet against the Lions every year on Turkey Day.
If the Lions don't lose on Thanksgiving, the terrorists win.
— Chase Kiddy (@chaseakiddy) November 28, 2013
One of the key takeaways from this sportsbook reality is that Detroit point spreads are likely a little cushy. This is truer every year, with new states bringing betting online all the time. (Hello, Maryland sports betting!)
This number opened north of 10, which was almost certainly a deterrent for the tidal wave of Bills bettors and teasers that was awaiting. As a result, sharp bettors have come in on the juicy number for Detroit, and the number has inched down to Lions +9.5.
Even at the reduced number, I’m still willing to take a shot with the Lions. They play hard, and their 60-minutes-of-effort offense means the backdoor is always open. Josh Allen doesn’t look fully healthy, and the Detroit defense has quietly been much better over the last month.
There are a lot of reasons to like the Lions here.
Play: Lions +9.5
Giants at Cowboys (-9.5)
Just as the sportsbook typically needs a Detroit cover every Thanksgiving, it also usually needs a Cowboys loss.
Something funny is happening with America’s Team right now, though – the public likes the Giants and the points.
This is true even after the Cowboys rocked the Vikings in last week’s featured afternoon game. The blowout was so brutal that the network actually switched to another game. Yikes.
Taking 9.5 points in a divisional rivalry between two teams with identical 7-3 records may seem like a wise betting move, but in this spot, I’m not so sure.
New York’s recent run of games doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that it’s a top-end contender. It’s 2-2 against the Jaguars, Seahawks, Texans and Lions.
Let’s ask the obvious question: If this game is supposed to be competitive, why would the sportsbook hang this number north of a touchdown in the first place? I suspect it’s because Dallas is a markedly better team.
The Giants lost to the Cowboys by a touchdown in their first meeting this year. That was at home, against backup quarterback Cooper Rush.
Now, the Giants must go on the road on a short week and play a healthier Dallas team. I believe there’s a reason this number is so high, and I’m happy to fade a Giants spot that appears to be beloved by public bettors.
Play: Cowboys -9.5
Patriots at Vikings (-2.5)
The Patriots are in a spot not too dissimilar from the Giants. They’ve run up a record good enough to flirt with Wild Card relevance by beating teams that aren’t very good: Jets, Colts, Jets, Bears, Browns, Lions, Packers. They went 5-2 against that lineup. How much should I actually care about any of that?
In September, the Pats played their only two playoff-caliber opponents of the season thus far. In games against the Ravens and Dolphins… they lost both by double-digits.
Minnesota is off an all-time bad spot and will be looking to prove it doesn’t completely suck. What have we seen from the Patriots – and, specifically, from embattled quarterback Mac Jones – that says they can beat a playoff team on the road?
I liked this bet at Minnesota -3, but I love it at -2.5.
Play: Vikings -2.5
NFL Thanksgiving Predictions
Want to check out the full NFL Week 12 podcast? Don’t forget to subscribe to The Lion’s Edge for intelligent, weekly insights into trends and betting tips across the online sports betting world. It’s available on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
You can also listen to it in the web player below.
NFL Draft Betting Odds
Online sports betting is the best way to add more excitement to this year’s NFL Draft.
BetMGM has you covered with updated NFL Draft betting odds for the No. 1 overall pick, player props, and more. Visit the online sportsbook today to place your NFL Draft bets!