Thanksgiving is finally here. While Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays because of all of the food, friends, and family, there is one other “F" word that sports fans in the United States love about the holiday. That is, of course, football.
Once again, the NFL will bring a three-game Thanksgiving Day schedule to Week 12’s slate of games leading off with the Bills vs Lions at 12:30 p.m. ET. While this game may be getting out of hand early, we can look forward to the two later games on the slate, which are primed to be more balanced and competitive.
We get the Giants vs Cowboys at 4:30 p.m. ET followed by the 8:20 p.m. ET Patriots vs Vikings nightcap.
Let’s take a look at my Thanksgiving Day NFL Week 12 best bets and betting tips for the entire Thursday slate.
Anthony Cervino’s 2022 NFL Best Bets Record: 26-35 (-11.5 Units)
All NFL odds and lines are current as of 2 p.m. ET, on Monday, Nov. 21, at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Bills vs Lions Best Bet
Over 53.5 Points (-115) at FanDuel Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
When it comes to betting on the Lions at home, the safest play has been taking the Over, which is what we are focusing on here. In fact, while the Over is 7-3 in 10 Lions games this season, it is also 4-1 at home.
And let’s face it - the one game that the total went Under, against the Packers a few weeks back, was an anomaly. A 15-9 Lions-Packers game in Detroit? Give me a break.
Keep track of our full slate of NFL betting lines up until kickoff of all three Thanksgiving games:
We know what the Lions can do well and what they don’t do well. While the Lions can run the football well, their defense is hardly suspect. In fact, it’s downright bad.
Now that terrible defense will have its hands full containing a Bills offense that is scoring 28.1 points per game, second-best in the NFL. For context, the Lions’ defense is allowing 28.2 points per game, the worst in the league.
The question when attacking this total is if the Lions’ offense will do its part. While the Lions have the eighth-best scoring offense at 25 points per game, the Bills have the fourth-best scoring defense at 17.4 ppg.
However, the Bills have given up 20-plus points in three straight games, including games with 23 and 33 points conceded, which bodes well for the Lions moving the football. (Read our full Bills vs Lions prediction.)
Giants vs Cowboys Best Bet
Cowboys -8.5 (-106) at FanDuel Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
Both tied at 7-3 with the NFC East still up for grabs, the Giants will visit the Cowboys in the Thanksgiving late-afternoon time slot. While the Cowboys demolished the Vikings last week, the Giants are coming off of one of the greatest letdowns of 2022, losing to the Lions convincingly, despite what the scoreboard said.
While the Cowboys are as healthy as an NFL team can be in late December, the Giants did not leave Week 11’s loss unscathed. Both cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson suffered knee injuries.
While Jackson will return later this season, Robinson is done for the year. Both are significant losses for the Giants on both sides of the ball.
- Find more betting tips in our Giants vs Cowboys prediction.
When it comes to the best bet for this Giants and Cowboys matchup, look for the Cowboys to cover. While the Cowboys were seven points better than the Giants earlier this year sans Dak Prescott in a game played in New York, one could make the case that the Cowboys should blow this game open at home.
In the past three games, the Giants are 1-2 ATS while the Cowboys are 3-1 in their past four and 7-3 on the season overall. Furthermore, the Cowboys are also 4-0 ATS in their past four home games while the Giants are 0-4 ATS in their past four games facing NFC East foes.
Being 9-2 ATS in the past 11 games against the Giants, the Cowboys should roll and cover easily on Turkey Day.
Patriots vs Vikings Best Bet
Patriots +3 (-110) at FanDuel Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
While the Vikings are 8-2 and playing at home in the Thanksgiving nightcap, they are only three-point favorites over the 6-4 Patriots. The bookmakers are suggesting that these teams are closer than their record suggests. This could be a result of how well Bill Belichick has his team playing on both sides of the ball.
Although the New England offense has had its struggles at times, the Patriots are winning behind a Belichick defense that finds ways to get the job done when it matters the most.
The Vikings are a team that wins close games after trailing for most of the contest, finding a way to get ahead and steal a victory. As a result, the Vikings are 4-5-1 ATS this season while the Patriots are 6-1 ATS in their past seven games, covering in three straight. The Pats are also 5-1 outright in their past six overall.
- See all Patriots vs Vikings bet tips.
Let’s call it what it is: the Patriots have defeated teams they should have defeated during this run. Meanwhile, the Vikings will be their greatest test since the Ravens in September.
If the Patriots can make the Vikings’ offense dimensional and get to Kirk Cousins like the Cowboys did last week, it won’t take much for New England to keep this game close enough to cover or even win it outright.