The Baltimore Ravens had a COVID-19 outbreak this week, forcing the NFL to move their prime time Thanksgiving game to Sunday.
That leaves us with just two Thanksgiving games, both with little intrigue. But with gambling as an option, that makes these games all the more interesting.
The Detroit Lions are the winningest team on the slate with four wins, and they'll host the three-win Houston Texans. In the later game, the 3-7 Dallas Cowboys will face-off with the 3-7 Washington Football Team. At least first place will be on the line in this game. We have 13 total wins between the four teams, so wagering a few dollars is a good way to make these games a bit more watchable.
Here are my four favourite prop bets for Thursday's now two-game slate.
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Marvin Jones Jr – OVER 56.5 Receiving Yards
It's looking more and more like the Lions will be without Kenny Golladay for the fourth straight week. He did not participate in Tuesday's walk through and his unavailability will leave Marvin Jones Jr. as Matthew Stafford's primary target on Thursday. Additionally, Danny Amendola and Marvin Hall Jr. have questionable tags, so Jones Jr. and T.J. Hockenson could be the only pass catchers with a real rapport with Stafford available.
The Lions had a disgraceful performance in Carolina on Sunday. Stafford was held to just 178 yards, but Jones Jr. still went for 51 yards on six targets. In the three games without Golladay, Jones Jr. has commanded a 20.4 percent Target Share and has averaged 5.0 receptions and 63.3 yards. On Thursday, he'll face a Texans defence that is 31st in PASS DVOA (per footballoutsiders.com) and 25th in Pass Yards/Against per game (276.1). According to Pro Football Focus, Jones Jr. is expected to face Vernon Hargreaves III for much of the contest. Hargreaves III ranks 121st/125 among qualified cornerbacks on PFF in 2020 and gives up a 60.3 completion%/against while QBs have a 94.5 QB rating when targeting him.
Golladay's absence, the fact that the Lions will have to score a lot of points to keep pace with Deshaun, and the positive match-up all make Jones Jr. likely to go over 56.5 receiving yards.
Will Fuller V – OVER 72.5 Receiving Yards
Fuller V is enjoying a career-year, as he's on pace to set new highs in targets (108.8), receptions (75.2), yards (1,132.8) and touchdowns (9.6). Fuller V has made at least five catches in three straight weeks, averaging 72.7 yards in those contests.
On Thursday, he has a juicy match-up vs. a Lions' D that is 24th in PASS DVOA. He'll go up against Desmond Trufant for the majority of Thursday's game and the veteran CB has been a disaster this season. He's PFF's 120th ranked CB and has given up a 72.4 completion% and 118.3 QB rating in five starts.
As Watson's primary target with a great match-up in a potentially high-scoring game, Fuller could pop-off for 100-plus yards for the fifth time this season.
Terry McLaurin – Over 72.5 Receiving Yards
Alex Smith has been under centre since the Football Team's bye week and unsurprisingly McLaurin has emerged as his favourite target in those three games. McLaurin has seen 24 targets (8.0 per game) for a 21.4% target share. The second year WR has turned that into 18 receptions for 294 yards and one touchdown.
He has a favourable match-up vs. the Cowboys secondary on Thursday. Dallas has allowed an opposing receiver to go for at least 75 yards in every game this season, including seven catches for 90 yards to McLaurin in Week 7. A date with PFF's No.78 CB (Chidobe Awuzie) sets McLaurin up nicely for another big performance.
Dallas' offence looked sharp under Andy Dalton on Sunday, so expect this game to be relatively high-scoring and that should lead to a ton of volume for the Ohio State product.
Antonio Gibson – OVER 54.5 Rushing Yards
The Cowboys are equally as bad against the run as they are against the pass, so Gibson's success should mirror McLaurin's. Dallas has allowed a 100-yard rusher in three of their last five games, including a 128-yard performance from Gibson in Week 7. Gibson is still splitting snaps with J.D. McKissic but Gibson is doing the bulk of the ball carrying with McKissic handling a lot of the passing down work. Since Week 7, Gibson has 55 carries to McKissic's 22, so Gibson should be in-line for roughly 15 carries and a few targets in the passing game. Posting a 4.5 yards/carry in his first 10 career games, 15 carries is all he'll need to eclipse the 54.5 rushing yard mark on Thursday.
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