NFL Thanksgiving is almost as traditional as fills, and we’re filling the Thursday betting board with our favorite combinations, including some totals that both Micah Parsons and Kirk Cousins will have a say in.
An American tradition continues this Thursday when the NFL hosts its annual trio of Thanksgiving Day football games.
As usual, the afternoon will host the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, with the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants appearing as their respective opponents. The third and final course will be a primetime affair between the New England Patriots and the Minnesota Vikings.
I’ve enjoyed all three totals on this Turkey Day chart and will separate them via two NFL Thursday parlays. I will also fold on a quarterback prop bet.
Thanksgiving Day NFL parlay picks
Click on each selection to jump to the full analysis.
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Game selection 1
PARLAY: Bills vs. Lions over 54 (-110) + Giants vs. Cowboys under 44.5 (-110) = +264 at DraftKings
Bills vs Lions over 54 (-110)
The Bills are back at their second home – Ford Field – for a Thanksgiving showdown with the Lions, and there should be indoor fireworks to kick off Thursday’s dinner table.
Buffalo is technically 5-0 against the Under in its last five away games, but the Over came in the money when the Bills “hosted” the Browns in Detroit last Sunday. The Lions have been the over-betters’ best friend for most of this season, and historical trends support another high-scoring propensity involving Detroit. The over is 20-8 in the Lions’ last 28 home games, 8-3 in their last 11 Thursday games, and 7-3 in their last 10 Thanksgiving Day contests.
Jared Goff could take a back seat on offense for Detroit, much like last Sunday when Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift scored four touchdowns in a win over the Giants. The Bills’ run stoppers have proven porous since their bye week, allowing for an average of 152.3 rushing yards over their last four pitches.
There’s been a lot of talk about Buffalo’s turnover problems, led by Josh Allen, but they played a clean game against Cleveland last week. That offense has still averaged 382.3 yards per game since the bye, which has lowered her season average but would still put her in the NFL top five. The Lions can’t stop a nosebleed and rank bottom in the league for yards (415.9).
Giants vs. Cowboys under 44.5 (-110)
As the Cowboys held the Vikings to just three points in Week 11, they rose to first place in goal defense that season. The Giants weren’t their equal in 2022, but this unit is good enough to ensure this game scores low.
Micah Parsons and the Dallas defense are only allowing 16.7 points per game this year. They face a New York offensive that averages just 20.5 points per game, 21st in the NFL. This takes into account Big Blue’s 23-16 loss to the Cowboys in Week 3.
“America’s Team” is looking to use the running game early and often on Thursday after that unit’s overwhelming success against the Vikings last week as the Giants are eighth worst at rush stopping this year (135.9 yards per game allowed ). With Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard moving the chains and killing the clock, Saquon Barkley’s effectiveness could be seriously hampered, and he was the engine that powered the Giants’ offense this season.
Trending bettors should note that the Under is 6-1 in the Cowboys’ last seven home games and 8-1 in the Giants’ last nine games in November.
game selection 2
PARLAY: Patriots vs Vikings Under 42.5 (-110) + Cousins Under 250.5 Pass Yards (-115) = +257 at PointsBet
Patriots vs. Vikings under 42.5 (-110)
Offensives have struggled for the most part this season in Thursday night games (who can forget the Colts’ 12-9 win over the Broncos in Week 4 or the Commanders’ 12-7 win over the Bears just a week later?), and Bettors Should Do This Expect this trend to continue on Thanksgiving night at US Bank Stadium when the Patriots play the Vikings.
The Unders are 17-8 in their last 25 Thursday Night Football games and the Thanksgiving Night Unders are 11-4 all-time, with the Unders now scoring seven straight times.
Minnesota is clearly not as bad as it looked in Week 11 against the Cowboys, but now it’s up against Primetime Kirk Cousins at this point. In seven career Thursday games, Cousins has 3-4 SU with a terrible 11-11 touchdown interception ratio. He faces a New England defense that has 11 picks this year, fourth in football.
The Vikings’ defense isn’t a huge shake, but the Pats’ offense isn’t the kind of unit that can cause them problems, sitting at 25th per game (317.6). Bill Belichick’s side were particularly terrible in the first quarter of games this season, posting a league-low 15 total points in that stanza. They are the only team not to record first-quarter touchdowns in 2022. This team should be a nap throughout.
Cousins Under 250.5 Passing Yards (-115)
As we mentioned above, cousins tend to shrink when the lights are shining at their brightest. The Turkey Day nightcap should prove no different.
The 11-year veteran threw just 105 yards against the Cowboys last week and was pulled in the fourth quarter of that blowout. It was the fourth time he’s been held for under 251 yards this season.
Cousins is averaging just 6.5 yards per attempt in the campaign, his lowest performance since his partial sophomore campaign in 2013. New England is quite tight on that front, ranking sixth in yards per pass allowed (6th .6) and fourth in passing yards allowed per game (188.3).
Considering the Patriots are 16th in yards per rush allowed (4.5), Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell would be wise to ride Dalvin Cook to offensive success in this case, rather than Cousins . The fewer dropbacks he takes, the more likely Cousins will hit the under on his passing yards prop.