What’s Thanksgiving without football? Between mouthfuls of turkey and pumpkin pie, chow down on these tasty betting trends.
- 12:30 pm ET: Lions vs. Vikings (-2)
- 4:30 pm ET: Cowboys (pick’em) vs. Chargers
- 8:30 pm ET: Redskins (-7.5) vs. Giants
Give thanks for favorites
Favorites on Thanksgiving are 24-11 (68.6%) ATS since 2003. Teams favored by 6 or more points have gone 13-3 ATS.
This is a small sample but it follows a larger trend. On a short week (4 days between games), favorites are 81-60-3 (57.4%) ATS. Turkey Day provides the shortest week of preparation with teams playing day games. With less time to prepare, the more talented and better coached teams (usual the favorite) have an advantage.
Note: 1h favorites (22-11-2 ATS) and 2h favorites (24-10-1 ATS) have also been good bets.
Betting Against the Public
A profitable strategy that many of our Pro Systems are built upon is fading the public. Unfortunately, this contrarian philosophy is not profitable during the holiday. Favorites receive the majority of spread tickets and the chalk has crushed on Thanksgiving.
Teams getting <50% of spread bets: 13-22 ATS
- <40% of spread bets: 6-15 ATS
- <30% of spread bets: 1-8 ATS
Divisional games late in the season tend to be low scoring because of the familiarity between teams (play calling, tendencies). While it may be obvious to most bettors, it is more profitable to take the Under in games with higher totals (more than 44 points). This Pro System is 150-90-3 (62.%), +52.1 units since 2004.
We have a pair of divisional matchups on Thursday: Lions-Vikings and Redskins-Giants. Each total opened at 44.5, there has been no line movement but keep checking the free odds page from Sports Insights for updates
There has already been some significant line movement from the lookahead lines posted last week at the Westgate. Minnesota went from 1.5-point dogs to 2-point road favorites after an impressive win over the Rams. Cowboys-Chargers moved from Dallas -4 to a pick’em following the ‘Boys collapse on Sunday Night Football against the Eagles and L.A.’s easy win over Buffalo.
Negative line movement (Vikings went from +1.5 to -2) is a good thing, at least on Thanksgiving. When the line stayed the same or got worse teams have gone 25-19 ATS. If it moved by a point or more teams were 12-7 ATS and by 2 or more points: 8-2 ATS.
Food Comas and Sample Size Traps
A word of caution, if you eat enough turkey you could fall into a tryptophan-induced coma. That would be almost as bad as placing a wager based on a small sample of data. You’re probably not going to eat until you pass out, use the same restraint if when betting the Thanksgiving slate if you are basing the wager on a 35-game sample.