Thanksgiving means NFL football for many sports fans, and this year should be no different. Three games are featured on the holiday schedule and they present some excellent betting opportunities. We’re here to help with that by presenting you with what we believe are the best Thanksgiving NFL individual player prop wagers.
The schedule on Thursday, begins with the Detroit Lions, who’ll be looking for their first win of the season when they host the Chicago Bears. Next up, the Dallas Cowboys, the other traditional Thanksgiving Day participant, will be hosting the Las Vegas Raiders. In the nightcap, the Buffalo Bills travel to face the New Orleans Saints.
Those games are full of interesting individual NFL player props centered around end-of-game stats to be found at NFL gambling sites. We’re here to mine those games for the best of those props. And we’re hoping it means that you can collect some winnings for dessert after feasting all day on turkey and cranberry sauce.
Best Player Props for Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears QB Andy Dalton: Under 218.5 Passing Yards (-115)
It’s hard to get too much of a read on Dalton under center for the Chicago Bears because he has only played four games, and most of those were part-time situations. In the opener against the Rams, he played the full game and managed 206 yards passing. And that was with a full receiving group in hand, something he likely won’t have with Allen Robinson banged up.
Dalton did put up nice passing numbers in a brief period of time last week against Baltimore, racking up 201 yards in less than a half. But that was largely based on a couple of big plays in comeback mode. This game looks like a positive game script for Chicago (they’re three-point favorites), which should mean that Dalton won’t need to throw as much.
Watch out as well for the fact that the Lions are first in the league in opponents’ run percentage and last in opponents’ pass percentage. That’s partly a product of being behind all the time, and partly because their run defense is so forgiving. It all adds up to Dalton not airing it out much and not getting to the number above.
Best Player Props for Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott: Under 276.5 Passing Yards (-115)
Prescott has had a difficult time revving up the Cowboys passing attack since returning from injury three games ago. Against Denver, he averaged under 6 yards an attempt and completed less than 50 percent of his passes. And last week against the Chiefs, the Dallas Cowboys failed to find the end zone as Prescott averaged a lowly 5.02 yards per pass.
Sandwiched in between was a solid game against Atlanta, but that was largely due to the caliber of the opponent. The Raiders come in with a pass defense that is fourth in the league in opponents’ yards per pass. Just last week, they held Joe Burrow to under 150 yards despite all the receiving weapons at his disposal.
Therein lies another problem, as Prescott will be far from having his full contingent of receivers. While there is a chance that CeeDee Lamb plays coming off a concussion, Amari Cooper is out with COVID. This will be a game where it’s more likely that the Cowboys try to have success by running the ball, and that should mean soft passing numbers again for Dak.
Dallas Cowboys RB Tony Pollard: Over 39.5 Rushing Yards (-115)
If you look at the tackling leaders in the NFL, you’ll see the name of Raiders linebacker Denzel Perryman right at the top. While there is no doubt that Perryman is enjoying a career season, it is an indication that the Raiders are having issues stopping the run with the line. The stats bear that out, as their defense is 25th in the league in yards per rush and 29th in rushing yards.
In comes Dallas with a skeleton receiving crew but a healthier offensive line (Tyron Smith should return) and two excellent backs. One of those backs, Ezekiel Elliott, is battling a knee ailment. While Elliott is going to play through the injury, there is no way that Dallas wants him to have too much of a workload week to week.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (knee) and LT Tyron Smith (ankle) both were full participants in today’s practice. Elliott and Smith are expected to play in Thursday's game vs Raiders. ✭ #dallascowboyspic.twitter.com/Z8JoxBwHgf
That leaves Pollard, the #2 back who has double-digit carries in 6 of 11 Cowboy contests this season. He also averages a robust 5.5 yards per carry, so getting to 40 rushing yards hardly takes him too many totes. Look for Pollard to have a big day gashing out big chunks of yardage and for him to sail past the over with no problems.
Oakland Raiders TE Darren Waller: Over 71.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
The Raiders offense these days pretty much runs through Waller. Their running games has largely been a disappointment due to poor offensive line play, as they’re 28th in the league in both yards per rush and rushing yards per game. At wideout, the loss of Henry Ruggs has left the Raiders with Hunter Renfrow, a slot type, and Bryan Edwards, who is inconsistent.
That leaves Waller as the go-to guy in most circumstances, and the Raiders have been ramping up the throws to him once again. He is coming off a season high 115 receiving yards in last week’s game against Cincinnati. Expect him to be targeted early and often by Derek Carr in a game where it’s possible the Raiders are playing from behind.
Dallas’ defense has been susceptible when playing tight ends who tend to get high volume. Rob Gronkowski, Dallas Goedert, Travis Kelce, even Tyler Conklin have all put up solid numbers against them. Their safety play is suspect as are the coverage skills of the inside linebackers, which should leave Waller with plenty of room to roam in his one.
Best Player Props for Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints
Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen: Over 274.5 Passing Yards (-115)
Allen is seeing much the same treatment that Patrick Mahomes has been seeing in recent weeks, and it has been doing a number on his stats. Teams are daring Buffalo to run and taking away any semblance of a deep shot, staying disciplined even when Allen scrambles. The result is that, in three of the last four games, Allen has averaged less than six yards per pass attempt.
But the New Orleans pass defense just hasn’t been up to snuff this season. They weren’t the focal point last week as Philadelphia ran all over them instead. On the season, however, New Orleans allows 7.2 yards per pass, as they’ve been extremely susceptible to the big play by opposing quarterbacks and receivers.
While Marshon Lattimore will likely be tasked with shadowing top Bills receiver Stefon Diggs, the depth of the Bills receiving group should have a major advantage over the rest of the Saints secondary. And Buffalo should have the ball much more often this game last week, as the Saints running game, likely without Alvin Kamara, isn’t as scary as Jonathan Taylor a week ago. Allen should bounce back nicely.
Buffalo Bills RB Devin Singletary: Over 24.5 Rushing Yards (-115)
At some point, the Bills have to realize that they must pay more than lip service to their running game. Maybe watching Jonathan Taylor run all over them last week will be the wakeup call that they needed. Week after week, teams back off into a deep shell and dare the Buffalo Bills to run, and they know they’ll need that as the weather gets chillier in Buffalo down the stretch.
You might look at Singletary and consider him to be a disappointment of some kind for failing to make much of an impact this year. But the guy is averaging 5 yards per carry, a pretty robust number these days in the NFL. He just hasn’t had the opportunities, in part because he splits carries with other backs, and in part because Buffalo doesn’t hand the ball off often.
That should change this week, especially after seeing what Philly did to the New Orleans defense a week ago. With a mobile quarterback like Jalen Hurts drawing attention, Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard had big holes all game. Josh Allen provides the mobility here, and Singletary should benefit with one of his better statistical games of the season.
Buffalo Bills WR Emmanuel Sanders: Over 42.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
The whole “revenge game” angle in the NFL is often overplayed in the media. But there is no doubt that a player coming back to play against a former team can certainly be motivated to prove them wrong. And that can certainly be the case with Sanders, who returns to take on the Saints team for whom he toiled a year ago.
During that season, it felt like Sanders deep-ball talent was a poor fit with Drew Brees’ rapidly declining arm strength. But Josh Allen has helped in that department, as Sanders yards per catch are up to 16.1 this season after dipping to 11.9 for the Saints. The key for him to get a decent receiving yards total is getting the targets, which has been an issue at times this year.
Against New Orleans, Sanders should certainly have Allen looking his way enough to get him there. As we mentioned above when talking about Allen’s prop, there is a dropoff in cornerback play for New Orleans once you get past Marshon Lattimore, who should be locked up with Stefon Diggs. That should mean more chances for Sanders and somewhere near 100 yards receiving at the end of the game.
You’ll have some interesting choices to make in terms of which Thanksgiving Day NFL props you want to pursue. We’ve given you our suggestions. Just make sure to make your bets before the turkey-induced drowsiness sets in and dulls your betting senses.
Jim Beviglia joined Gamblingsites.org as a staff writer in 2018, parlaying his years of freelance writing into contributions on a number of different topics. He handles the sport of horse racing for GamblingSites.org and the intersection between the worlds of cryptocurrency and online gambling in a weekly blog.
For his full-time job, Jim handles the television and track announcing duties at a h ...
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