This Thanksgiving, Las Vegas oddsmakers are thankful for a relatively tight set of NFL games on the holiday Thursday.
Outside of the Dallas Cowboys being favored by 9.5 points at home to Oakland, the other two contests should stay within a touchdown, which is good news on a day when the turkey-stuffed public loves to pound the favorite and the Over.
“That’s the way it is anytime you see marquee schedules,” Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada-based odds service The Sports Club, tells Covers. “Everyone will have their separate wagers rolling into each other on Thanksgiving. But this year’s schedule presents a pretty good challenge to bettors.”
The biggest question on everyone’s mind heading into Thursday’s trio of games is the status of Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who has missed the last three games with a broken collarbone. Korner is advising his clients to keep the game off the board until more is known on Rodgers but says to expect a 7-point swing if the former MVP is ready to go.
“Without (Rodgers), I’d have to say Detroit by a touchdown,” Korner says of Thursday’s early game. “If he’s back, probably around a pick. Detroit was a ‘bet against’ team last week, with early money on Tampa Bay. We’ll see what happens with them with a short week.”
Korner expects the majority of the middle game action to come in strong on Dallas. Most shops are dealing the Cowboys as 9.5-point home favorites but Korner isn’t convinced books will want to go above the key number of 10.
“We’re wary of the Oakland-Dallas game. That’s the trouble game,” says Korner. “Oakland has come down with such a thud last week and Dallas is coming off a big win. All the action with be on Dallas.”
As for the night cap, Korner says books couldn’t be happier to have a rivalry like Pittsburgh-Baltimore split the action. This AFC North grudge match could have a ton of parlay action rolling into it depending on the outcome of the first two games.
“This is the game you want,” he says. “These types of games, anything can happen. The difference is pretty much the home field.”
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (+2)
With both of these AFC West powers coming off a loss, bettors have some tough terrain to scale in Week 13. Denver took the first meeting with Kansas City easily two weeks ago but playing in Arrowhead is a completely different scenario.
“These two are meeting again on such short notice that it is coming in around a pick,” says Korner. “There is a revenge factor for Kansas City but certainly the Chiefs need to redefine themselves and this is the game to do it.”
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (-6)
Korner sent out this spread at Seattle -4 but agrees with the move many books have taken to Seahawks -6. New Orleans just hasn’t been the same team away from the Big Easy and heads to the toughest venue in football – CenturyLink Field – where Monday temperatures are expect to be around freezing with a chance of showers.
“That line plays into Seattle, not that the conditions and the home field aren’t noted,” he says. “New Orleans’ last game is going to be on people’s minds – scoring only 17 points on the road in Atlanta – and how different that scoring is between home and the road."