Examining Week 12 NFL Public Betting Trends: Thanksgiving Day Best Bets
While many Americans will be preparing for Black Friday, perhaps just as many will be betting on the three NFL games on Thanksgiving. The Chicago Bears will be facing the winless Detroit Lions, the Raiders travel to Jerry World to take on the Dallas Cowboys, and the Buffalo Bills face the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome.
Some of you may be sick of the Lions playing on Thanksgiving, and it's understandable considering they have yet to win a game this season. And if you aren't a huge fan of your family at the dinner table, saying that you need to go watch the Lions game to avoid a conversation about what you're grateful for or politics isn't a great excuse. However, if you place a wager on the game, that's the only excuse you need.
Last week, by looking at the public betting trends, we nailed all three of our recommended bets, including a bonus bet. Monitoring public betting trends is one of the most pivotal tools used by professional handicappers to find the top wagers in the sports betting marketplace. Public betting trends allow you to track which teams the public is chasing and which teams professional gamblers are high on each and every week.
Whether you want to tail or fade the public, knowing the public betting trends (bet percentages and money percentages) is pivotal when determining which teams to back. So without further ado, let's take a look at the public betting trends for the three games on Thanksgiving.
Note: The lines and public betting trends are always changing so be sure to check out FantasySP for the latest odds and trends.
Thanksgiving Day Public Betting Trends
Although the Bears are just 1-4 against the spread in their last five games, they have won a whopping eight of their last nine games as the favorite. Meanwhile, Detroit is 0-13-1 straight up in their last 14 games as underdogs with an average defeat of 13.07 points.
The spread was originally 3.5 points but it dropped to 3 points with Justin Fields looking doubtful for the first game on Thanksgiving day. Andy Dalton will take over as the starter and he actually looked fairly good in Chicago's close loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11. But the Bears aren't the only team that may be missing their starting quarterback. After missing Week 11 with an oblique injury, Tim Boyle will reportedly start for the Lions. Detroit is dealing with several other injuries outside of Goff on the offensive side of the ball. The Lions are now missing three starting offensive linemen and they don't have any noteworthy receivers. D'Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson should see a ton of touches on Thursday. However, Chicago is dealing with many injuries of their own in addition to Fields. Allen Robinson is highly questionable with a hamstring injury, meaning Darnell Mooney will continue to be peppered with targets. Marquise Goodwin could also see more snaps if A-Rob is unable to suit up. Plus, a defense that looked pretty scary at the beginning of the season will be missing All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack, who is out for the season, and Akiem Nicks and Eddie Jackson may not be active on a short week after missing Week 11.
Both teams have underperformed this season but the Lions have been atrocious on Thanksgiving in recent years. Favorites playing on the road at Ford Field are 10-2 against the spread on Thanksgiving. Plus, the Bears have won six of their last seven games against Detroit, including two games on Thanksgiving.
A common strategy in sports betting is fading the public, which is exactly what I'd recommend in this clash between two terrible teams. Although 92% of the money line bets are on the Lions, I expect the Bears to win this game fairly comfortably now that David Montgomery is at full strength. And I actually think Chicago might be better with Dalton under center. And even though 72% of the money on the spread favors Detroit, I just can't imagine Tim Boyle keeping this game within a field goal. This is the ideal spot to make a contrarian wager.
Pick(s): Bears ML and Bears (-3)
Prediction: 23-14 Bears
Dallas is coming off their worst performance of the season after getting absolutely shut down by the Kansas City Chiefs. However, Dallas is 8-2 against the spread this season, 6-1 against the spread in it's last seven home games, and the Raiders have lost all three games this season against teams with winning records by an average deficit of 17.67 points. After starting the season 5-2, the Raiders have lost three consecutive games and have not looked good at all during that span. They were upset by a 3-7 Giants team, were manhandled to the tune of 41-14 against the Chiefs, and most recently lost 32-13 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Vegas has only scored 43 points over that three-game span. The Raiders offense just doesn't look very good and Derek Carr has really struggled to get tight end Darren Waller involved.
Although the Cowboys will be without Amari Cooper for the second consecutive week, CeeDee Lamb is on track to play after exiting the Cowboys' Week 11 loss to the Chiefs with a concussion.
This looks like a bounce-back game for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys' offense. The Raiders are tied with the Jaguars with the seventh-most points allowed per game this season (26.2 points). Although the Bears-Lions game will most likely be a low-scoring affair, I'm expecting tons of points in this matchup. Despite just 52% of bets being placed on the over, 63% of the money wagered is on this game eclipsing the 51.5-point total. The "smart money" is on the over in this game. Not only are Prescott and Lamb going to dominate the Raiders' secondary, but Ezekiel Elliott is going to have a massive game against a Raiders front seven that allows over 100 rushing yards and 1.2 touchdowns per game to opposing running backs, equaling the seventh-most fantasy points allowed per game to running backs.
Some bettors might be a bit reluctant to lay the seven points with the Cowboys, but I'm expecting a high-scoring blowout on Thanksgiving.
Pick(s): Over 51.5 points and Cowboys (-7)
Prediction: 34-20 Cowboys
Recent trends suggest that the Saints are going to cover the spread in this game. The Bills are just 1-3-1 against the spread in their last five contests while New Orleans is 9-1-1 against the spread in their last 11 games as the underdog. Not to mention, the Saints have won five consecutive games against Buffalo by an average of 21 points and they have covered the spread in each of those matchups.
Although 68% of bets on the spread are backing the Bills, 52% of the money is backing New Orleans. While I expect the Bills to narrowly escape with a victory, I think the Saints will play this game down to the wire, especially with Alvin Kamara expected to be back in the lineup.
Buffalo has been incredibly unpredictable this season. They have terrible losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts, but they have also put up some huge point totals in other contests. Buffalo has lost three of their last five games and Josh Allen has thrown six interceptions during that span. It's hard to know which Bills team will show up on Thanksgiving. I don't think that Allen and the Bills will struggle as they did last week, but this won't be an easy task against one of the elite defenses in the NFL. The Saints allow the 10th-fewest points and 10th-fewest yards per game this season. Meanwhile, the Bills allow the fewest yards per game and the second-fewest points per game. This game has the under written all over it, especially since despite only 34% of bets being placed on the under, 54% of the money is anticipating this game to not exceed the 45.5-point total. Don't forget that Thanksgiving night games have gone under in 10-of-14 seasons, including six straight. I expect this to be a defensive battle, with the Bills winning on a last-second field goal, failing to cover the spread.
Pick(s): Under 45.5 points and Saints (+6)
Prediction: 20-17 BillsFantasySP is developing betting tools to provide users with something nobody else in the industry can offer. Upgrade to an Edge+ account today and get 50% off your first year at just $99.99 for the year. After a year, the price is going to increase to $199. Lock in your special early-bird deal today!