Our Favorite Thanksgiving NFL Betting Picks: Over/Unders & Prop Bets
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott
- Our experts reveal how they're betting Thanksgiving NFL games.
- You'll find their over/under picks for Bears-Lions, Bills-Cowboys and Saints-Falcons below.
- Sean Koerner also highlights his favorite prop bet and reveals his projections so you can find the best values.
We’ve got a three-course lineup of NFL games to sustain us through Thanksgiving, and if you’re looking for action, our experts have you covered.
You’ll find their favorite picks — featuring over/unders and prop bets (including comparisons to Sean Koerner’s projections!) — for the following games outlined below:
- Bears at Lions: 12:30 p.m. ET
- Bills at Cowboys: 4:30 p.m. ET
- Saints-Falcons: 8:20 p.m. ET
Now let’s dig in!
Chris Raybon: Bears-Lions Under 39
The Lions offense is in dire straits starting a replacement-level QB against a top-six defense.
Meanwhile, over the past five weeks, the Bears have faced three defenses ranked inside the bottom-24 in Football Outsiders’ DVOA — Chargers, 25th; Lions, 24th; Giants, 27th — yet the most points Chicago has mustered in a game over that span is 20. In fact, the Bears’ last five games have each fallen short of the current total: A 17-16 loss to the Chargers, 22-14 loss to the Eagles, 20-13 win over the Lions, 17-7 loss to the Rams and a 19-14 win over the Giants.
I got this at 39 but would bet it down to 37. Follow me in the Action Network App to get alerts for my picks in real time.
Travis Reed: Bills-Cowboys Under 47
The Bills defense is very good, but it may be overshadowed by the Patriots dominate defense in their own division. The under is 8-3 in Bills games this season, going under by an average of 4.1 points. Two of the three games that went over the total were when the Bills played the laughably bad Dolphins defense.
This line opened at 45, and with 76% of the money on the over as of writing (see live public betting data here), it’s moved up to 47. I’m happy to buy back on this line movement and take the under.
The Cowboys offensive metrics scream that they’re one of the best scoring teams in the league, but as long as Jason Garrett is the head coach, they’ll continue to leave points on the field due to poor decisions. I like the under all the way down to 44.5 points.
Mike Randle: Ezekiel Elliott Over 2.5 Receptions (+100)
After criticism of the coaching staff from Jerry Jones, the Cowboys need a home win against a very good Buffalo team.
The Cowboys will need to get Elliott involved in the passing game. His seven targets over the past two weeks have unsurprisingly coincided with consecutive top-10 running back fantasy performances. Elliott usually has strong receiving games at home, with per-game averages of 5.1 targets and 4.2 receptions dating back to last season.
Against a Bills’ defense that’s allowing 5.6 running back receptions per game, look for Elliott to again be a featured weapon against one of the NFL’s best defenses. Per our FantasyLabs props tool, this is a 10-rated prop with an implied total of 2.9 receptions. The +100 juice is simply the icing on the cake.
Roll with Elliott to safely eclipse his 2.9 receptions per-game average and provide a nice Thanksgiving Day return on investment.
Stuckey: Saints-Falcons Under 1H 24/Under 49 Game Split
I expect a fully focused effort from the Saints defense a week after giving up 31 points to the Panthers, especially with revenge on their minds from a home upset loss to these same Falcons a few weeks ago.
I was on Atlanta in that game at +13, which obviously deserved to cover, but the outright win was fairly fortunate despite a 26-9 final. The total yardage was essentially dead even, and the Saints actually averaged more yards per play (4.9-4.5). So, despite losing by 17, they held the Falcons to almost 1.5 yards per play under their season average.
What went wrong? Bad Saints penalties at very inopportune times (12/90 in total) and 0-3 on fourth downs for Sean Payton’s bunch.
Ultimately, I still trust this Saints defense to contain a Falcons offense that has plenty of issues.
Yes, the Falcons have Matt Ryan and a pair of very good receivers in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. But they have no running game to speak of, averaging 3.5 yards per carry (28th) and will likely be down to their third-string tight end — a position that’s very important to the offense, especially in the red zone. And remember that Jones isn’t fully healthy. The offensive line is also a mess and will be going up against a strong Saints defensive from that should win the line of scrimmage battle all night long.
With or without Marshon Lattimore, I don’t expect Atlanta to explode on offense. I also think the Falcons will run it more than usual to shorten the game with an undermanned offense.
The Saints, meanwhile, have their own issues along the offensive line. After already losing starting left guard Andreas Peat, they’ll now be without Terron Armstead, who has been one of the best tackles in the league this season. He’s especially strong in pass protection, where he’ll be sorely missed. Per Pro Football Focus, he ranks fourth among 55 tackles with a minimum of 500 snaps with a pass-blocking grade of 84.3.
Whoever the Saints elect to go with, the pass protection will take a hit, which is concerning against a Falcons defensive front that dominated the trenches in the first matchup. Atlanta got to Drew Brees for six sacks in that Week 10 showdown.
I think you’ll see the Saints go heavier run than normal without their star tackle. Michael Thomas will get his against a very bad Falcons pass defense, but Mike gets his against everyone. This Saints offense is a very slow and conservative attack that ranks 30th in seconds per play in both the first half and full game.
When people think of the Falcons and Saints, they think of explosive offense, which is giving us a touch of value on the under in a Thanksgiving primetime game. I expect both game scripts to be conducive to the under.
I’d look at the Falcons at +7.5 or even potentially a flat 7, though I prefer the under, which I split that between the first half (24) and full game (49). I wouldn’t go below 24 for the first half or 48 for the game.
Sean Koerner: Matt Ryan Most Passing Yards on Thanksgiving (+350)
Drew Brees is correctly priced as the favorite in this market in the +140 to +170 range at most books. Ryan shouldn’t be too far behind as I have his true odds closer to +185, which means there’s a bit of value at his current +350 price.
Ryan will be without Austin Hooper and Jones is shaping up to be a game-time decision, which could be why people are shying away from taking Ryan. I’m under the assumption Jones will be able to suit up tomorrow, but if he’s ruled out, I’d likely stay away from this prop. However, it’s too good to not lock it up now while it’s this far off.
The rest of the field is not very threatening with Mitchell Trubisky, Josh Allen and Jeff Driskel. Dak Prescott has a tougher matchup against the Bills that lowers his ceiling (critical for a market like this).
Ryan’s prop isn’t the only one offering value — here’s a table comparing my projections to the various yardage leader props for Thanksgiving Day.