• Deej

Thanksgiving Best Bets and Analysis | November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving! This is the time of year where 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 an awesome slate of three games to keep us satiated while we drink and catch up with family, what could be better. Welcome to Happy Hour Sports, a growing sports media brand, focused on bringing you under-covered and unique information around sports we love.

My name is DJ and I track how the public and money do each week in the NFL. There is data there, information that can help us win more bets, and I want to provide it. I find it so interesting to learn when to fade the public and when to bet with them, because it is an avenue in sports betting no one has really touched. We do this every week, and we only get more information with every game played. I also have a podcast where I discuss these trends and break them down with my Happy Hour Sports co-owners, so check that out for the most information! If you like this content please Subscribe (free) to the website, follow me on Twitter, and keep supporting us! It helps a ton.

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 Sunday, but I think it's awesome that I get to have a piece for Turkey Day as well.

Time to bounce back from a not so great 4-8 week for me last week. The slate of games today includes the Bills taking on the Lions at 12:30 EST, the Giants heading to Dallas at 4:30 EST, and the Patriots playing PrimeTime Kirk and the Vikings at 8:20 EST. In this article I will have a breakdown for each game and picking 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 to 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 not near as bad as most people would think (74-85 ATS, 47%), the public is somehow phenomenal on Thanksgiving. Andy and I discussed it a bunch on this week's Thanksgiving podcast, but I think as people sit down with their families and the drinks start flowing, people are reading games better than normal. Also, favorites are an incredible 43-8 Straight Up and 35-16 ATS on Thanksgiving. The public tends to like to bet on favorites, an when the favorites are doing good, so is the public. Since 2005, the public is 30-17 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 20-7 ATS. As of right now here are the teams the public is on (bolded is greater than 60%): Bills -9.5, Giants +10, Vikings -2.5

Remember for totals, these are still Thursday games.

The easiest trend to see when it comes to the public and all bet types, is this year when the public is on the over, those games are 37-60 to the over. Now, I wish I had more public betting data for Thanksgiving, but we can look at general trends for Thursdays historically, and this year. Over the last 20 years, on Thursdays, when the total is higher than 50, unders hit at a 24-14 rate. Only the Bills/Lions game is north of 50 today, with a total of 54.5. Interestingly, in that game, there is a lot of money coming in on the over, but the total has sat at 54.5. The consensus is to bet with the points on Thanksgiving, but do not be scared of the unders. Lastly, divisional unders are 33-19 in 2022.

Some other interesting team trends for Thanksgiving:

  • Bills road unders are 5-0 this year on the road (excluding the Browns "away" game)

  • Josh Allen is 2-0 ATS on Thanksgiving

  • Lions are 7-14 ATS on Thanksgiving as a Dog

  • The Cowboys are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 Thanksgiving Games

  • Since 2005 favorites that are not the Cowboys are 28-8 ATS and Cowboys are 5-8 ATS

  • Kirk Cousins, while not good in primetime, is 2-0 ATS on Thanksgiving

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. Sometimes I will have late plays because I take public trends into account and those constantly update, so follow me @DeejHHSports on twitter to see those picks. Last thing I will say is that, these trends can turn. All trends are subject to regression. I will continue to say I am betting with these trends because I love tracking them and find them fascinating. Before we get into the picks I will plug the website one last time, thanks for checking us out! We are a small sports brand that is slowly growing. We provide daily and weekly content around the sports we love, so please consider subscribing (for free) to help us out!

The Plays

Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions (+9.5), Total 54.5

The Buffalo Bills come off a nice second half win vs. the Browns in Detroit, while the Lions have to travel home off their win in New York vs. the Giants. The Lions struggles on Thanksgiving are known to all, but is this the year they can turn it around? As of right now, I do not think so. The Bills are the far better team, even with the injuries they have. A good thing for the Lions, is they clearly are turning it around. Their win against the Giants on Sunday was massive, but now they have to travel and play on a short week, while the Bills get to stay in Detroit. If anyone can cover a 10 point spread, its the Buffalo Bills. The Lions Thanksgiving woes and with how good favorites are on Thanksgiving, I am staying on the Bills. The public is also currently on them with around 20k bets logged. Sharps say Lions, however, but we are still a few hours from kickoff and based on the Thanksgiving day trends I am siding with the public. I also am a fan of the under. 54.5 is a lot of points in the 2022 NFL. This is also the 4th highest Thanksgiving day total in 40 years. The other three all went under. Public is on the over at 65% and that is 5-22 to the over this year. Do I need to say more? It's not common to go with the under AND the large spread, but I like them both today. Expect the Lions to try and stay on the ground, as they will not be able to keep up with the Bills in the air.

Bills -9.5 -110 (1u) AND Under 54.5 -110 (1u)

New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys (-10), Total 45.5

Another large spread on Thanksgiving comes in the form of a divisional matchup between two NFC East wildcard contenders. The Giants are coming off a tough home loss to the Detroit Lions, while the Cowboys are coming off a Sunday afternoon ROUT of the Minnesota Vikings. I think this line is a bit of an overreaction to the outcome of both games this past Sunday. Historically, we know divisional games are hard fought matchups, close, and tend to go under. That is a reason I lean the Giants and under for this matchup. Both teams have an elite run game, that they need to utilize in order to get the best of the other team. The Cowboys have the better defense, obviously as they held the incredible Vikings offense to 3 points. On the other hand, the Giants have the 32nd best defense according to PFF in addition to the easiest strength of schedule played. All signs point to Cowboys with the points here, but the public and the money are on the Giants +10. As I said earlier in the article, the public is good at spreads on Thanksgiving and I think they go 2 for 3 today. I agreed with them on the Bills, and I agree again with them on the Giants. Also, divisional unders this year are 33-19. Two run heavy offenses, in a Thursday afternoon, divisional game? The Underminer is definitely out this Thanksgiving. Sharps/Money are also on the under, with the public on the over, you know I love that.

Giants +10 -110 (1u) AND Under 45.5 -110 (1u)

New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings (-2.5), Total 42.5

The final Thanksgiving night game brings us Bill Belichick and primetime Kirk Cousins, a matchup for the ages, some would say. The Patriots are coming off the last-minute punt return for a win/cover against the Jets, while the Vikings are looking to bounce back after their abysmal loss to the Cowboys. It is pretty obvious that both of these offenses are struggling. 3 points for the Vikings last game and 10 points for the Patriots. The Patriots defense is very strong as well, while the Vikings are the first team with a negative point differential with two or fewer losses at this point in the season. Night time Kirk is never great, even though he is a surprising 2-0 on Thanksgiving. I like to back Belichick in primetime even without Brady. Also, the public is barely on the Vikings at 55% while the money is on the Patriots at 62%, which yields a 17% sharp edge towards the Patriots. Hopefully they can creep up to the 65-69 range which is 18-4 ATS this year (!!). This is the late game, so percentages are bound to change here, but as of right now I am on the under and Patriots. Happy Thanksgiving, and best of luck today! Remember to tell your family you're grateful for them, and let's win some money!

Patriots +2.5 -110 (1u) AND Under 42.5

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