NFL Thanksgiving Best Bets: Our Staff's Turkey Day Locks

With three games on the 2021 Thanksgiving slate, we've assembled an all-star team of handicappers to give you their best bets. Here are their picks.
Elisha Twerski
Wed, November 24, 6:08 PM EST

NFL Thanksgiving Best Bets: Our Staff's Turkey Day Locks

It seems hard to believe, but we're already at the Thanksgiving portion of the NFL season.

Somehow, 11 weeks of football are already behind us, and we're all that much closer to playoff action.

Luck is on our side in 2021, as we're graced with the incredible gift that is the Lions vs. Bears matchup to kick things off on Stuff-yourself-until-you-pop Day. Looking on the bright side -- if this game was in one of the later slots, it would knock you into a coma a heck of a lot faster than 10 pounds of Turkey,

Following that snoozefest, we'll be treated to Cowboys vs. Raiders. Even though Amari Cooper is out and CeeDee Lamb is questionable, let's just be thankful that it's not Jets vs. Texans. After all, it is Thanksgiving.

Finally, we round the slate out with Saints vs. Bills. There should be some sort of reward if you make it through this game without passing out, but hey, at least it's a good matchup!

In addition to an ever-growing abundance of top-notch content, our staff will be providing us with their favorite overall plays each week of the season.

Want to find the best Thanksgiving betting promos you can get your hands on? We've got them listed right here! Find the latest and best FanDuel, DraftKings promos HERE

For this piece, we've assembled an all-star cast to provide us with their favorite bets for the entire Thanksgiving slate -- no limitations. Let’s get to it!

Thanksgiving Picks, Predictions, and Best Bets

Chicago Bears -3.0 (-105)

After back-to-back games of keeping it close, the Lions are trending in the right direction, right? Wrong. Last week, Tim Boyle threw for just 77 yards on 23 attempts. Whether he starts again or Jared Goff returns, it won't matter on Thursday. There have been weeks where Detroit has looked competent, but three weeks in a row? I doubt we see that. Andy Dalton is starting for Chicago this week so the Bears will likely go conservative and run the ball a lot, which actually plays in their favor. Detroit has allowed the most rushing yards in the league as opponents are averaging over 140 yards per game against them. Expect a low-scoring, boring game that's over before you can even think about your first plate of food.

-- Matt O’Leary (@MattOLearyNY)

Darnell Mooney Over 55.5 Receiving Yards (-113)

Darnell Mooney is fresh off of 16 targets, 5 catches, and 121 yards in last week’s loss to the Ravens. Fellow Chicago wideout Allen Robinson is doubtful for the Turkey Day showdown against Detroit, which locks Mooney in as Andy Dalton’s top target. Mooney and the Bears draw a Detroit Lions defense that ranks as a bottom-five pass defense, both by expected points and by opponent passer rating. Chicago is also giving up the second-most yards per attempt and the second-most yards per completion to quarterbacks in 2021. Furthermore, the Bears' speedster posted a season-high 125 yards vs. Detroit back in Week 4. Expect Mooney to get loose for a big play or two against a horrendous Detroit secondary in Allen Robinson’s likely absence.

-- Gray Gutfreund (@PropBetGuru)

David Montgomery Anytime Touchdown (-122)

Click here for complete Lions vs. Bears betting odds

I feel like this one is too easy and a bit of a chalk play. In most books, you won't be able to find him to score for less than -140, which is what I would play this up to. There are a few receiving props I was leaning towards here on Thanksgiving, but with some player availabilities still up in the air (I.e. Ceedee Lamb and Allen Robinson), I'm opting for Monty to find the endzone in the first game of the day on Thanksgiving! The Lions have allowed the third-most rushing touchdowns and the fourth-most rushing yards per game this season. Over the last four games, no team has allowed more rushing yards per game. Since returning from injury, over the last two games, Montgomery is back to his workhorse role receiving 109 snaps with Khalil Herbert getting just 17. He has received 86 percent of the Bears' running back touches. Earlier this season against the Lions he rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Going back to 2020 in December he rushed for two more scores against the Lions. With Dalton under center back in Week 1, he found the end zone then as well. Oh, and did I mention the Lions have allowed a league-high seven receiving scores to running backs as well? Now I did. Let's cash this one early in the day and enjoy the action! Best of luck if you tail!

-- Tom Viera (@Tom_Viera)

Dallas Cowboys -7.5 (+100)

This is the perfect bounceback spot for the Cowboys. This is a team who was awful on offense a week ago and will get a golden opportunity to bounce back facing a weak Las Vegas secondary. The Cowboys will be taking on the raiders in Dallas and should dominate this game at home, since this is a Raiders squad that has been struggling big time of late and will continue to regress. I love the Cowboys here on Thanksgiving -- let’s cash it in!

-- Matt McCuen (@DeadPresPicks)

Even without Amari Cooper, and possibly without CeeDee Lamb, the Cowboys offense should roll against a Raiders defense that cannot stop a nosebleed at the moment. Raiders fans know all too well how their team goes into second-half slumps, and they appear in the midst of another one right now.

-- Mike Spector (@MikeSpector01)

Tony Pollard Over 59.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards (-114)

Tony Pollard is averaging 49.5 rushing yards per game to go with 22.4 receiving yards, giving us a grand total of 71.9. Pollard is known for his efficiency, and while he may not receive as many touches as Zeke, he makes the most of each one. Tyron Smith returning makes this one of the best run blocking units in football, and with all the injuries going on in Dallas, both should be able to eat in this game. The Raiders give up the seventh-most rush yards per game this year, and I’m expecting Dallas to attack them on the ground this Thanksgiving.

-- Stuart Durst (@MonotoneFootbal)

Tony Pollard Over 13.5 Receiving Yards (-120)

Click here for complete Cowboys vs. Raiders betting odds

The Cowboys are banged-up at wideout and sneaky Tony Pollard has over 100 yards receiving in his last three games. Pollard averaging 22 yards through the air per game on the season. His usage rate will likely increase this week as well, given all the question marks surrounding the Cowboys on the injury front.

-- Geoff Fienberg (@gfienberg17)

New Orleans Saints vs. Buffalo Bills Total: Over 45.5 (+100)

At this point, it's pretty apparent that the Bills defense is not nearly as strong as we thought. Buffalo allowed Jonathan Taylor and the Colts to run all over them last week and really struggled to make tackles in the open field. The Saints, on the other hand, just got manhandled by a subpar Eagles team and also struggled to tackle while failing to put much pressure on the quarterback. I like both of these offenses to bounce back against defenses that just aren't getting the job done right now.

-- Jason Radowitz (@Jason_Radowitz)

Josh Allen Anytime Touchdown (+190)

Click here for complete Saints vs. Bills betting odds

I'm not much of a touchdown bettor -- I usually leave that to Anytime TD King, Tom Viera. That said, it's Thanksgiving, so there's no reason to be a party pooper. Entering this contest, exactly zero teams have ceded more rushing touchdowns to the quarterback position than the Saints (5). In fact, all five of the of the tuddies they've allowed on the ground in 2021 have come in the last three weeks. Now, they'll have to face a signal-caller who's rushed for a score 28 times in 53 career starts. Oh, and you get it at +190 odds -- that's just the icing on the pumkin pie. Sign me up!

-- Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski)

 
Elisha Twerski
@ElishaTwerski
The Senior Editor at OddsChecker, Elisha is an experienced fantasy and betting analyst. According to BettingPros, he was was one of the most accurate betting experts in 2019, ranking second in moneyline picks and 13th against the spread. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, his best skill is his ability to spell "Antetokounmpo" without looking. You can follow Elisha on Twitter at @ElishaTwerski.
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