NFL Thanksgiving betting trends to know: History on side of 49ers, Cowboys, Lions

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By Samantha Rose

Turkey day is upon us! 

For the holiday, we want to give you insight on how to bet on the NFL Thanksgiving games profitably. 

As always, we did a deep dive into historical regular-season data to identify the best trends. We also looked at team- and player-specific trends, which should help inform you on how to bet when it comes to these huge Thanksgiving games.

Favorites dominate on Thanksgiving Day

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Turkey day has been extremely kind to favorites no matter what time frame you look at. 

Since 2010, favorites have gone 21-17 against the spread (ATS) (55.3%) and 31-7 straight up (SU) (81.6%) in Thanksgiving games. Going back five years before that, they dominate at an even higher rate, going 34-18 ATS (65.4%) and 44-8 SU (84.6%). 

And finally, if we go back even further to the 2000 season, favorites have gone a whopping 39-23 ATS (62.9%) and 51-11 SU (82.3%).

Lions shoo-in over Packers?

The Lions are currently 8-point favorites against the Packers, and are favorites on Thanksgiving for the first time in the last 30 seasons. 

Dan Campbell’s squad has already won four straight against Green Bay going back to last season, and a win Thursday would make it five straight vs. the Packers since winning 11 straight from 1949 to 1954.

The Packers have also struggled to cover against Detroit in recent history, going 2-11 ATS (15.4%) since 2017. Furthermore, the Lions have recently been very profitable in Thanksgiving games, going 8-3 ATS (72.7%) since 2012. The Over has also hit in seven of those games (63.6%). 

Below are a few more nuggets that point toward the Lions covering on Thursday:

  • Since 2000, teams that enter Thanksgiving games with an 80% win percentage or better are 14-3 ATS (82.4%) and 16-1 SU (94.1%).
  • Lions are 8-0 SU as a favorite on Thanksgiving in the past 30 seasons.
  • Lions are 10-1 SU (90.9%) as a favorite on Thanksgiving since 1990.
  • Jared Goff is 47-24-1 ATS (66.2%) over the last five seasons, the highest cover rate of any QB in that span (min. 20 starts).
  • Packers are 3-3 ATS and SU (50%) in Thanksgiving games over the past 20 seasons.
  • Jordan Love is 2-5 ATS (28.6%) in his last seven starts this season.

Cowboys to keep rolling vs. Commanders?

Dallas has been a perennial participant in Thanksgiving games, dominating when a large favorite. Most sportsbooks currently have them tabbed as 11-point favorites.  

The Cowboys are 7-4 ATS (63.6%) and 10-1 SU (90.9%) when a favorite of seven or more points on Thanksgiving, and 5-4 ATS (55.6%) and 8-1 SU (88.9%) in such games since 2000. 

Something else of note is how often Dallas has hit the Over in recent Thanksgiving games, doing so in nine of the last 13 instances (69.2%). 

It’s not just in Thanksgiving games that Dallas dominates as a large favorite, as they’re a whopping 19-9-1 ATS (67.9%) and 22-7 SU (75.9%) when favorites of six to 12 points since 2018. Additionally, Dak Prescott thrives in these situations, going 25-11-1 ATS (69.4%) and 30-7 SU (81.1%) when favored between six and 12. 

The Commanders have also struggled this year, having lost four of their last five games along with giving up 51 sacks, the second most of any team this season. 

Finally, double-digit underdogs playing division opponents are 0-3 ATS. Washington is currently an 11-point underdog. 

49ers to cover against Seahawks?

In another divisional game, the 49ers are 7-point road favorites against the Seahawks. 

San Francisco has won back-to-back games after losing three in a row. It is currently ahead of Seattle by a game in the NFC West standings. 

While we think the 49ers should cover easily, below are all the trends that point toward Kyle Shanahan’s squad taking care of business on Thursday:

  • Road favorites have gone 21-10 ATS (67.7%) and 28-3 SU (90.3%) on Thanksgiving Day since 2000.
  • Road favorites of 7-plus points are 8-1 ATS (88.9%) and 9-0 on Thanksgiving since 2003.
  • 49ers went 7-0 ATS and 7-0 vs. the rest of the division last year, and are 1-1 ATS (50%) and 2-0 SU this season.
  • 49ers have won nine straight games vs. NFC West opponents.
  • Brock Purdy is 4-1 ATS (80%) and SU in night games in his career.
  • Home underdogs are 1-22 SU in Thanksgiving games since 2005.
  • Seahawks are 2-2 SU in Thanksgiving games all-time.
  • Geno Smith is 0-3 ATS and SU against the 49ers in his career (all three meetings coming with Seahawks).

However, if the 49ers find themselves trailing toward the end of the game, a live bet on the Seahawks would likely be profitable. 

The 49ers are 0-37 when trailing by eight or more points since Shanahan took over as head coach, and 1-31 when trailing by three-plus points entering the fourth quarter.

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