Thanksgiving NFL Postponement Provides Blow To Sportsbooks

Thanksgiving NFL Postponement Provides Blow To Sportsbooks article feature image
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Patrick Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: Lamar Jackson.

Thanksgiving football took a hit on Wednesday as the Steelers-Ravens game was postponed until Sunday because of Baltimore’s issues with COVID-19.

What did that mean to the sports betting world?

It was a huge blow.

Not only is a lot of money usually rolled up until the last game of the day on parlays, but Baltimore’s visit to Pittsburgh presented the only matchup of the day that featured two teams that were any good. The Ravens will enter the game at 6-4, while the Steelers are 10-0 and the NFL’s last remaining unbeaten team.

The absence of Steelers-Ravens means that for the first time since 1959, we will be forced to watch Thanksgiving games that don’t feature a single team with a winning record.

On Nov. 26, 1959, the 4-5 Green Bay Packers played the 2-6-1 Detroit Lions at Briggs Stadium. Every Thanksgiving since then, there has been at least one NFL team in the green.

So, the 3-7 Texans vs. the 4-6 Lions and the 3-7 Redskins vs. the 3-7 Cowboys it is.

“Thanksgiving is a huge day for the casual bettor,” Eric Osterman of the Superbook in Vegas said. “We usually have a large crowd by the end of the day.”

Despite being the home team, the Lions are getting faded. At FanDuel, 75% of bets and 81% of the money is on the Texans (-3).

If you were thinking about making a moneyline bet on the Lions, history isn’t on your side. Home underdogs on Thanksgiving are 2-23 straight-up over the last 20 years.

The public likes the over in this game with 72% of the money at DraftKings on the over of 51.5. The overs on totals above 50 this season are 28-24-2, with the average over going over by a field goal.

The Cowboys (-3) have 79% of the money at DraftKings on them, while the under (46.5) is actually getting 64% of the money at FanDuel.

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