NFL Thanksgiving Day Best Bets and Analysis

NFL Thanksgiving Day Best Bets and Analysis

Happy Thanksgiving! This is the time of year when we can sit down with family, talk about what we are thankful for, and have everyone around the table win some football bets. Thanksgiving provides us with an awesome slate of three games to keep us satiated while we drink and catch up with family, what could be better?

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Thanksgiving provides us an interesting avenue to look at when it comes to public betting trends and I am here to provide you that information, so you and your family can win some bets Today. I will still have my article out on Sunday, but I think it’s awesome that I get to have a piece for Turkey Day as well.

We have had a great year this year, and I am looking to stay positive after last week’s 5-4 record. The slate of games today includes the Packers taking on the Lions at 12:30 EST, the Commanders heading to Dallas at 4:30 EST, and the 49ers playing Geno and the Seahawks at 8:20 EST. In this article, I will have a breakdown for each game and pick the spread/total in each matchup. As most of you know from following my posts, it is imperative to take the public betting data into consideration, so I expect I will have updates on my Twitter account for those changes. However, before we get into the games, let’s discuss the trends to data as well as some Thanksgiving trends!

The Public is Better on Thanksgiving?

Yes, you read that right. Aside from the fact that the public is having its best year in a very long time (86-72 ATS, 54%), they get even better on Thanksgiving. Andy and I discussed it a bunch on this week’s Thanksgiving podcast, which you can check out below:

However, I think as people sit down with their families and the drinks start flowing, everyone is finding the right bets to place. Also, favorites are an incredible 46-8 Straight Up and 36-18 ATS on Thanksgiving. The public tends to like to bet on favorites, and when the favorites are doing well, so does the public. Since 2005, the public is 36-18 ATS. This to me means that 2 out of the 3 public choices will cover today. I wish we could take it a little deeper, and see at what percentage ranges the public is best on Thanksgiving. However, I plan on doing this for a while, so we will slowly build up this data I imagine. 

What we do know, is that when the public is on the favorite with greater than 60% of the bets, those teams are 22-8 ATS on Thanksgiving. As of right now here are the teams the public is on (bolded is greater than 60%): Lions -8, Cowboys -13, Niners -7

Remember for totals, these are still Thursday games.

One of our best trends throughout the history of Sharpen the Public is when the public bets the over. In 2022, that trend is 36-53. Now, I wish I had more public betting data for Thanksgiving, but we can look at general trends for Thursdays historically, and specifically primetime games year. Primetime games are heavily leaning towards the under this year at something like 27-7 to the under. As of right now, the public is on the over in the first game, split on the total in the second game, and heavy on the under in the third game for Thanksgiving. Based on this year’s trends, I would expect at least two of the three to go under today. The consensus is to bet with the points on Thanksgiving, but not be scared of the unders.

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Week 12 Thanksgiving NFL Betting Trends

Since we are already through week 11, that means we have official data to report regarding the public betting trends to influence our Week 12 bets. Check out the many other NFL pieces at our NFL BETTING PICKS

  • Public Betting Percentage: 81-64 ATS (56%)
  • First Lions Thanksgiving Day Game as a Favorite since 2016
  • TD Favorites or higher are 17-6 ATS Since 2006
  • Public is 28-13 ATS Betting Thanksgiving Day Favorites
  • 70%+ of the Public is 8-0 ATS Since 2005
  • Packers are 3-3 ATS on Thanksgiving in the last 20 years
  • Lions are 8-10 ATS on Thanksgiving since 2005, 8-3 since 2012
  • Ron Rivera is 2-0 on Thanksgiving, 61-43-3 all time ATS as a dog
  • Cowboys are 6-12 ATS on Thanksgiving in the last 18 years
  • Night favorites are 12-4 ATS on Thanksgiving, unders 11-5

Note that I am writing this around 10 am on Thursday morning, so as bets come in these percentages will change. Although, they should remain relatively close to what they are now. Since it is Thanksgiving, I will be writing all of my plays as leans and then Tweeting out @DeejHhsports what my actual plays are as the games get closer.

Thanksgiving Day NFL Best Bets and Analysis

Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions (-8), Total 47.5

In terms of where these two teams stand at the moment, things are very far off. The Lions are coming off a comeback win against the Bears, but are relatively fully healthy. Whereas the Packers are coming off a tough win against the Chargers, but lost some significantly important players. Of that, the main is Aaron Jones, whose injury will force AJ Dillon into the starting role. Initially, I leaned toward the Packers here, but after seeing the injury list for both sides – and the public betting data, I have to like the Lions. As I write this the lions fit our best ATS trend in 2022, which is 22-7. They are the public favorite, and as talked about before, public favorites tend to cash in on Thanksgiving. I expect this Detroit team to take it to Green Bay and prove why they are held way higher above them in the NFC. Historically, without Aaron Jones, the Packers offense always looks slow. Now, the Detroit defense has a lot to prove in a Markee game after nearly throwing one away to the Bears. As for the total, the public is loving the over, with the money on the under. I love to play the sharp differential in this spot as any sharp differential to the under this year is 77-48. I don’t think the Packers offense is going to get much going with Jones hurt, and this division rivalry.

The Play: Lions -8 AND Under 47.5

Washington Commanders vs. Dallas Cowboys (-13.5), Total 48.5

Riverboat Ron is an incredible 2-0 SU and ATS on Thanksgiving in his career, which is impressive. However, favorites over 10 points on Turkey Day are 11-0 ATS in the last 30 years. So, do we back Ron, or this historic trend? Personally, I feel like its Commanders or nothing here. This is the third straight game with the Cowboys as a favorite of over 10 points. Historically, the Cowboys are also one of the only teams that are constantly favored, but constantly not covering spreads on Thanksgiving as they are 6-12 AST since 2005, and 1-11 ATS since 2011. History aside, the Commanders’ offense did not look good last week against the Giants. They were favored by nearly 10 points, lost, and are now 13+ point underdogs, what the hell is happening in the NFL? Although, I think this is too many points for this Commander’s team. Aside from the sacks, Howell is having a very good year – leading the NFL in passing yards through Week 11. Howell is 5-1 on the road, and he showed how well the Commanders can play against good defenses in the NFC East when the Commanders were within a touchdown in both games against the Eagles this year. The public is split on this one, but the money is hitting the Commanders at this 13.5 number. We have got a Golden Rule on the Commanders, and if you guys follow my stuff every week, we know the Golder Rule is on the up and up lately. Give me the divisional dog.

The Play: Commanders +13.5 AND Under 48.5

San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks (-7), Total 44

In the final Thanksgiving Day game, we find the red-hot Niners coming into Seattle to face a wobbly Seahawks offense. As much as I love a home dog, they are 2-27 on Thanksgiving since 2000.  Seattle is also horrible it feels when they play within the division at 6-13 since 2020. The issue is, I want to be on the Seahawks here. I think the Niners are coming off two great wins against the Bucs and the Jaguars. Although their defense did not look as good as the 14 points they gave up against the Bucs. Baker was able to move the ball through the Niners’ defense, but the game script forced them to go for touchdowns, which the Niners did not allow. Geno’s health is a question, but I think he and this Seahawks offense should be a bit better in the red zone than Baker and Co. As for the defense, this Seattle team is quietly one of the best-run defenses in the league, and if they can limit the damage McCaffrey does and make Purdy uncomfortable, good things can happen this year as we’ve seen. If this were not a Thanksgiving Day game, I would be all over the Seahawks, but for now it’s just a lean. Like I said above, I will take plays on Twitter closer to kickoffs. I also love the under, what a surprise. The public and money are heavily on the Niners tonight, but there actually is a large sharp differential towards the over at 36%. I will be waiting on this one to move, but should be a fun game for us to end Thanksgiving with.

The Play: Seahawks +7 AND Under 44

Thanks for reading! If you guys like what you see or have any comments/critiques, please let me know on Twitter, I appreciate all feedback. Please also follow the podcast and share the website! I will see you on Sunday with my Week 12 Best Bets article!

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This is an article written by DJ Bianco

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