NFL Thanksgiving Schedule 2019: Best Odds and Picks for Thursday's Games

Football and Thanksgiving Day go hand-in-hand as much as turkey, pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes.

The NFL will take center stage on Thursday, with the traditional triple-header of games punctuating America's national holiday.

The fourth Thursday in November is arguably the biggest football day of the calendar year for casual fans, but the impact of football on Thanksgiving stretches far beyond the fans attending the games and watching it on TV.

The holiday is circled in red on the calendars of bookmakers across the country.

Last year, the three games played on Thanksgiving saw the fourth most wagers placed on a sporting event, behind the Super Bowl, March Madness and the Kentucky Derby.

A similar trend can be expected on Thursday's trifecta of games, particularly as two of those—Dallas' home game against Buffalo and New Orleans' trip to Atlanta—can have major playoff ramifications.

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

The Lions will play their 80th Thanksgiving Day game on Thursday and retain the traditional early kickoff slot, as they host the Chicago Bears at 12:30 p.m. ET in a rematch of last year's Thanksgiving matchup.

The two NFC North rivals are both out of the playoff race, with Chicago improving to 5-6 with a 19-14 win over the New York Giants on Sunday and the Lions slipping to 3-7-1 after losing 19-16 to the Washington Redskins, their fourth consecutive loss.

According to Bet-NJ.com, the Bears are one-point favorite and are 17/20 to cover the spread, while the Lions are 51/50 underdogs.

The two teams' respective records against the spread points to a close game, as Detroit is 0-6 in its last six games against the spread while the Bears are 1-4 in the same scenario on the road this season.

The over/under line in terms of total points is set at 38.5, which seems rather reasonable as Detroit ranks 11th in the NFL in terms of points scored with 23.6 per game, while Chicago is 28th with 17.1.

Detroit Lions, NFL Thanksgiving
Detroit Lions fans dressed up in their turkey outfits having fun during an NFL, Thanksgiving Day game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on November 22, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Bears defeated the Lions 23-16. Dave Reginek/Getty

Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys play at home on Thanksgiving for the 42nd consecutive year as they look to rebound from a 13-9 loss in New England on Sunday, which saw them slip to 6-5.

Dallas is a seven-point favorite but is 0-4 this season against teams that currently have a record above .500 and the 8-3 Bills will face their chances of taking another step towards the playoff.

Buffalo is a 27/10 and has lost its last road game in Cleveland, but given it is yet to lose a game by more than six points this season covering the spread may be difficult for Dallas.

The over/under line in terms of total points scored is set at 44.5 which, considering Dallas has scored 31 points in two of its last three Thanksgiving games, doesn't seem far fetched.

According to BetOnline, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is a 3/2 favorite to have the most rushing yards of any of the three Thanksgiving games, with Saints and Lions running backs Alvin Kamara and Bo Scarbrough both at 4/1.

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

At 9-2, New Orleans could become the first team to clinch a playoff spot with a win on Thursday, as it looks to avenge the surprise 26-9 home loss it suffered against Atlanta in Week 10.

The Saints are 6.5-point favorite and are 17/20 to cover the spread, while the Falcons are 5/2 underdogs.

New Orleans is 7-3 against the spread this season, while Atlanta is 4-6 and with the Falcons bottom of the NFC South with a 3-8 record, the line could open up further before kickoff.

The over/under line in terms of total points scored is set at 49.5, which is hardly surprising given the two teams average a combined 46.7 points per game this season.

According to BetOnline, Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a 3/2 favorite to have the most passing yards of any of the three Thanksgiving games, with his Falcons counterpart Matt Ryan second-favorite at 2/1.

NFL Thanksgiving Schedule 2019: Best Odds and Picks for Thursday's Games | Sports