NFL Odds, Picks: Thanksgiving Best Bets for Patriots vs Vikings

NFL Odds, Picks: Thanksgiving Best Bets for Patriots vs Vikings article feature image

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Patriots vs Vikings Picks

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Bills vs. Lions
12:30 p.m. ET
Giants vs. Cowboys
4:30 p.m. ET
Patriots vs. Vikings
8:20 p.m. ET

Lions +10
Best Book

John LanFranca: I believe the momentum the Lions are carrying into this game is simply too much to ignore. Their offense has scored 30-plus points in back-to-back weeks on the road en route to three straight outright victories as underdogs.

I find myself wondering if the Lions had beaten the Dolphins back in Week 8 (a game in which they had a 62% win expectancy in the second half), what the spread of this game would be. The Lions were 3.5 point dogs at home versus the Dolphins in that contest; are we sure the Bills are a full six points better than Miami? Since that game, the Lions’ pass defense ranks eighth in DVOA and the defense as a whole is clearly playing its best football.

In contrast, the Bills have some issues they are working through. Their defense, dealing with the injury bug, has given up 25.3 points per game over the last three. Buffalo has failed to cover in four straight games now, as it’s being priced as one of the top offenses in the NFL, but rank only 19th in pass offense DVOA over that time period (behind the Jets and Jaguars).

Not only is this line inflated, but the Lions are playing with a new level of confidence, carrying all of the momentum into their national spotlight game in their own building. Home underdogs of more than a touchdown are 6-0 against the spread this season. I expect a competitive game – play Detroit +10 alternate line -120 at Caesars (up to -125).

Dawson Knox Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+200)
Best Book

Nick Giffen: Anytime I can get Dawson Knox at +200 or longer, I’m taking it.

Knox has taken over 80% of snaps over his last five games. He caught all seven of his targets at this same location (Ford Field) against a similar poor pass defense (Browns) last week.

Since the Lions can’t stop anyone, why not pick the guy with the best projection value vs. odds? This is the best value in this game per projections, and my colleagues Sean Koerner and Chris Raybon agree.

Fair value for this Knox play is +195.

Pick: Dawson Knox Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+200)

Jamaal Williams Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+120)
Best Book

Ricky Henne: This one is a no-brainer for me, especially at what I consider favorable odds.

Not only does Jamaal Williams lead the NFL with 12 touchdowns, but he’s on fire right now. He’s scored four touchdowns in the Lions’ last two games, and six in their last four.

Detroit loves feeding him in goal-to-go situations. He leads the league with 19 carries inside the five-yard line, while also pacing the league in carries inside the red zone (33) and the 10-yard line (25).

This will be one of Williams’ tougher tests all season. Buffalo bows up in the red zone, with opponents scoring a touchdown only 45.15% of the time, which is third best in the NFL. That doesn’t scare me, though. Few players in the league match Williams in both opportunity and productivity. Detroit gets the ball in his hands 47.2% of the time in the red zone, and the results speak for themselves.

If you enjoy betting players to score several touchdowns, this might be a spot to do so as Williams has multiple touchdowns in five of the six games he’s scored in. Personally, I find that to be a risky proposition in general, which is why my focus is on a single anytime touchdown.

Considering his success, I’m betting this week after week until the wheels fall off.

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Giants +10 (bet to +7.5)
Best Book

Blake Krass: The Cowboys are coming off of an absolute trouncing of the Vikings, while the Giants are coming off of an embarrassing loss to the Lions. That sets up a perfect bounce-back spot for New York.

Daniel Jones has been fantastic in spots like this. He is 14-7 ATS (66.6%) in his career on the road. He is also an incredible 7-0 ATS on short rest since 2020, the best of any QB in the NFL. As a team, the Giants are a remarkable 5-1 ATS and SU as underdogs this season.

The Cowboys have not been successful on Thanksgiving. They are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 Thanksgiving games and Dak Prescott specifically is 1-4 ATS.

The Giants also match up reasonably well. While the Cowboys defense is elite, they are 10th in defensive rush DVOA, which pales in comparison to their No. 2 ranking in defensive pass DVOA. That benefits the run-first Giants. I expect both teams to lean on the run, limiting possessions and giving the dog a better chance to cover.

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Michael Gallup Over 38.5 Receiving Yards
Best Book

Nick Bretwisch: Simply put, this is a fantastic matchup for every player on the Cowboys, but more so the receivers out wide as the Giants’ top cover corners, Adoree Jackson and Fabian Moreau, are likely to be ruled out.

The Giants run a lot of Cover-1 man defense, a coverage where Gallup has been targeted at a significantly higher rate – in terms of targets per routes run – since Dak Prescott returned.

The adjusted expected total yards model predicts Gallup for 50 receiving yards, but with a game script that could very well get out of hand and make the Cowboys let off the gas, I'd set the more likely, conservative outcome around 44 receiving yards.

With the conservative projection, we're still looking at a 13% edge on Gallup going over this total. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Micah Parsons Over 0.25 Sacks (-165)
Best Book

Cody Goggin: Parsons has the potential to have one of his best career games on Thanksgiving.

The last time these two teams played, Parsons wasn’t able to put up any sacks, but he did have six pressures, four hurries and two quarterback hits. This season, Parsons is third in the league with 49 pressures, which he has converted into 10 sacks.

The Giants offensive line is banged up at almost every spot. Evan Neal will be out once again, which he is probably thankful for after he allowed three sacks in the last matchup. Jon Feliciano, who has been starting at center, has been ruled out with a neck injury, as well as guards Shane Lemieux and Joshua Ezeudu.

Left tackle Andrew Thomas has arguably been the Giants' best player this season, but he has been questionable this week with an illness. It’s likely he plays, but he may not be at 100% — not ideal for one of your toughest tests of the season. Backup tackle Tyre Phillips is also questionable with a neck injury, but he was a limited participant in practice on Tuesday.

Assuming Thomas plays, that would leave the Giants with either a backup or third stringer at right tackle, a backup center and a third-string left guard. New York has already not been great at pass blocking this season, but things may get even worse for Daniel Jones, who has the second-highest average time to throw in the league.

Dallas has the highest stunt rate and the highest pressure rate, according to Pro Football Focus' Arjun Menon. Meanwhile, New York has allowed the second most pressures on stunts.

I know that laying -165 is steep, but there is still a lot of value here. Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will be throwing everything he has at the Giants, and Parsons is an all-world talent who will be able to cash in on New York’s injury misfortunes.

At -0.25, even just a half sack will get this bet home. I would take anything at -110 up to 1 sack. With a line at 0.25, I would bet this to -190.

Lawrence Cager Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+750)
Best Book

Nick Giffen: Since New York’s bye in Week 9, Cager has been the Giants' TE1, averaging 70% of snaps.

If Dallas’ stout defense is weak anywhere, it’s through the air. Specifically, tight ends give this unit trouble. The Cowboys are 15th in DVOA against the position and allow the fifth-most targets per game.

I project +618 as fair value for 18.4% expected ROI.

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Patriots +2.5
Best Book

Simon Hunter: What a gift from the gambling gods: Kirk Cousins in primetime on Thanksgiving.

How can we not bet the Patriots? The Vikings are 8-2 straight-up (SU) but have a negative point differential.

Bill Belichick has faced 11 teams in November or later with a record over .500 and a negative point differential. Those teams are 1-9 SU and 0-10 against the spread.

Belichick is a genius, which we all know, when it comes to shutting down subpar quarterbacks. No defensive mind has done it better. He made Zach Wilson lose his job. Now, give Belichick a top-three defensive line and we’ll see what he can do.

New England hasn’t given up a touchdown in its last two games, which is bad news for the Vikings.

Minnesota will be without All Pro offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw, who will be the third missing starter on the line. We saw the backups get torched last week against the Cowboys, who I have graded as a slightly better defensive team than the Patriots.

Look for New England to copy that Dallas game plan of rushing four and dropping everyone else into coverage.

On the Patriots offense, I like Rhamondre Stevenson to have a big game and for them to control the clock.

This number might get back to +3 since the public will be all over the Vikings. I’ll take it as long as it’s more than 2.

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Under 42.5 (to 41)
Best Book

John LanFranca: Pretty straightforward handicap of the total on Thursday night.

The Vikings defense was embarrassed last Sunday, and I am expecting a bounce-back performance from this unit. They have been solid versus the run all season, ranking 13th in DVOA with only 4.4 yards allowed per carry. The way to attack this Minnesota defense is through the air, and the Patriots simply do not have the ability to capitalize.

Mac Jones has four touchdowns and seven interceptions; the only three quarterbacks who have a lower passer rating – who haven't been benched – are Davis Mills, Baker Mayfield and Kenny Pickett. The Patriots offense has scored touchdowns on only two of their past 39 offensive possessions (worst in the NFL). When they reach the red zone, they rank 31st in touchdown scoring efficiency.

In contrast, the Patriots defense has allowed a touchdown on just 13.9% of opponents possessions this season, which is second in the NFL. Their pressure rate on opposing quarterbacks is 36.2% (third) and Kirk Cousins has not fared well when bothered. Cousins’ passer rating drops from 95.9 when kept clean to 64.4 when pressured.

With both defenses having the matchup advantage, I will gladly play the under.

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K.J. Osborn Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+380)
Best Book

Nick Giffen: I’m not in love with primetime Kirk Cousins, but if there’s anywhere he’ll be adequate, it’s short balls over the middle.

Cousins is better than league average on passes thrown to the middle-third of the field — 20 yards or fewer — according to Next Gen Stats. New England is weakest against passes under 15 yards in the middle of the field, per FO DVOA, so this is a perfect fit as Osborn has an aDOT of 8.5.

Osborn has nine touchdowns in 27 games, which equates to +200. I got him at +440 before the line moved, and as you know, we had luck with the picks that end in 40 over the past week (Davante Adams +140, Jalen Hurts +140, Marcus Mariota +240 and Curtis Samuel +340).

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