Your sweat pants are washed and pressed. Sixty percent of your fridge is home to a 20-pound half-frozen turkey. And you just tossed a few extra bucks into your sportsbook bankroll. It could only mean one thing: Thanksgiving is almost here.
The NFL is serving up triple helpings of action on Turkey Day, starting with Houston at Detroit at 12:30 p.m. ET, followed by Washington at Dallas at 4:15 p.m. ET, and finally New England at New York at 8:20 p.m. ET.
“Traditionally, we’re high on favorites with the Thanksgiving games. Everyone is home and everyone is betting,” Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada-based odds service, The Sports Club, told Covers. “This year, the games are a little more competitive but we’re still high on the favorites.”
Houston Texans at Detroit Lions (+3, 49)
Korner was baffled by what he saw at some of the online shops, when early spreads had Houston favored by only three points. The Texans were nearly knocked off by the lowly Jaguars Sunday but Houston – at 9-1 SU – is still one of the best teams in the NFL.
“Detroit is just 4-6 and not the team everyone expected this season,” says Korner, who sent out a suggested spread of Houston -6. “I don’t understand why this came out at three. Come Thursday, who do you think everyone is going to be playing?”
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5, 47)
The Cowboys, coming off a nail-biting overtime win against Cleveland, turn around to face a classic rival on Thanksgiving Day. The Sports Club sent out Dallas -4.5 while early lines offshore opened with America’s Team as a 3.5-point home fave.
“Washington is a live dog here,” says Korner. “That win was great for Dallas and the Cowboys do have their following, but I don’t think (the spread) will go either way. It should settle in around three.”
New England Patriots at New York Jets (+5.5, 49)
The Sports Club sent out a suggested spread of New England -7 for this AFC East battle, but the injury to star TE Rob Gronkowski (out 4-6 weeks with broken forearm) has dropped the spread as low as -5.
Korner says big money could be controlling this line, waiting to see how low it can go before buying back New England.
“Whoever is controlling this move definitely doesn’t want New England -7.5 come Thursday,” he says. “I think it went down because of Gronk (who Korner says is worth a point to the spread), and he’s a difference maker. But it’s a good excuse to take this line down. There won’t be any Jets money coming in Thursday.”
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants (-1, 49.5)
Online books opened New York as a slim home favorite in this rematch of the NFC Divisional showdown from last year. However, Korner disagrees with making the Giants the favorites and expects this line to easily move to Green Bay before Sunday.
“I was the only one of our guys who had Green Bay favored,” he says. “The Giants aren’t playing well, Eli hasn’t been sharp, and this is a revenge spot for the Packers. One bet can move this spread over to Green Bay.”