It goes without saying that, at least in the United States of America, the National Football League (NFL) is king, and every other sport, no matter how popular, is a little prince at best. Billions of dollars, millions of fans, and thousands of sites on which gamblers can bet; professional football is the single-most encompassing sport in the history of the world, when it comes to its reach and fandom, and even holidays are unable to escape its grasp. In fact, the NFL is as the peak of its popularity on one holiday in particular: Thanksgiving. Although some fans are upset that it's always the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys playing on turkey day, the fact is that a few disgruntled fans aren't keeping Thanksgiving Day football from being one of the most-watched events of the NFL season, outside of the playoffs and Super Bowl, of course. So if you're one of the millions of people who love your football on turkey day, and you want to bet on it, this is the guide for you.
Many Americans don't know which way to turn when it comes to gambling on sports, at least since Bush signed the UIGEA into law back in 2006. Myths and legends abound about the state of sports gambling in the USA, like, for example, the myth that gambling on sports is actually illegal. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's perfectly legal to gamble on football, and we're going to walk you through the process, starting with some information on the best sportsbooks from which you can choose to handle your bets.
The Best Online Sportsbooks to Bet On Thanksgiving NFL Football Games
Even with the UIGEA basically making America a no-go market, the state of sports betting never really slowed down online. They were still tons of new sites popping up all the time, and there were always trustworthy sites that were considered the best around. Though, for a while, many of these sites weren't catering to America because they needed to let the smoke die down and make sure that the American government wouldn't try to come after them for allowing Americans to sign up and play. Now that it's a pretty safe bet that America won't—primarily because they can't—come after these other nations allowing American gamblers, we have seen a resurgence of sportsbooks allowing Americans to sign up and play. You have options in the thousands here, and while most are inherently very similar, some are still able to stand out as premium sites among some average ones.
What we're going to offer you here is a quick list of the best USA online sportsbooks to make your Thanksgiving Day football bets. We're not just looking at popularity of sites and where they fall on search engine rankings. We take a very detailed look at quite a few criteria, including but not limited to: reputation, banking options, support, software, games and lines offered, and much more. So take a look at some of the best sites around and know that signing up with one of them means you're joining a secure, fair, fun site.
Thanksgiving Day Football Betting Odds
The NFL has been hosting Thanksgiving day games since before the NFL-AFL merger. As time went on, certain trends began to stick. For example, the Lions have hosted a Thanksgiving Day game since 1945. The Dallas Cowboys are also a Thanksgiving Day fixture. The third game is reserved for 2 random teams. For 2017, the 12:30 game is the Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions; the 4:30 game is the Los Angeles Chargers at the Dallas Cowboys; the primetime game (8:30) is the New York Giants at the Washington Redskins. All of these games have division and playoff implications, as well as football betting implications. Let's go over the odds so that you understand a little bit about the teams and their chances of success.
For the first matchup, fans can enjoy a second-straight Vikings/Lions game. This game will be the second of their regular season series. Last year, the Lions bested the Vikings on both occasions, which will likely happen again. The Vikings will be without RB Adrian Peterson, as he left for the Saints in the offseason. RB Latavius Murray was signed in the offseason as a replacement, but rookie prospect Dalvin Cook may provide an X-factor in their offense. Sam Bradford will probably still be at QB, as Teddy Bridgewater has not recovered from his injury. Meanwhile, the Lions possess the highest paid QB in the league in Matt Stafford, though his contract does not match his playmaking skills. RB Ameer Abdullah and WR Golden Tate will be the primary targets in this offensive scheme. The game will likely be pass-heavy, unless the Vikings’ new ground game turns out strong. Overall, the Lions are favored to win.
The second game of the day will probably be a bit more one-sided. The Dallas Cowboys were one of the most exciting teams last season and are projected to reach the Playoffs yet again. Meanwhile, the Chargers are coming off a move from San Diego to LA—they also have been playing poorly in recent seasons. The Cowboys possess the stronger roster with QB Dak Prescott expected to have a fantastic sophomore season, WR Dez Bryant and RB Ezekiel Elliot (who should be back from his suspension by this game). The Chargers have a veteran QB in Phillip Rivers, but his supporting cast of RB Melvin Gordon and WR Keenan Allen have not been playing well. However, Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman provide more options to expose a weak Cowboys’ secondary. Expect the Cowboys to roll over the Chargers on their way to the postseason.
The Giants v. Redskins primetime matchup looks poised to be the closest. This will be Washington’s first time hosting a Turkey Day game and their visiting team reignites one of the league’s oldest rivalries. This game will be a fight between quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Eli Manning, with the former’s place as a franchise player on the line. The Redskins also have RB Matt Jones to help out with the offensive load. On the other side, WR Odell Beckham Jr. is arguably one of the best receivers in the league. He’ll have to deal with cornerback Josh Norman, but Beckham usually gets the better of him. The Giants are projected to win this game, but with Cousins fighting for his place with Washington, he may be the catalyst needed for an upset.
Results From NFL Thanksgiving Day Football 2017
This year’s NFL Thanksgiving games provided a couple of upsets that could have postseason implications. The first game of the day saw the Minnesota Vikings head to Detroit for the Lions’ annual Thanksgiving fixture. The Lions have gotten the better of the Vikings on more than one occasion in recent meetings, so they fully expected to win. Most analysts had the Lions winning early into the season, however Minnesota has been playing well and entered the game as the division leaders. The Vikings were the aggressors in this game from the very beginning, quickly scoring 2 touchdowns (1 of which off a costly turnover). The Lions finally answered back towards the end of the first half to bring things to 20-10 at halftime. Minnesota scored quickly through RB Latavius Murray at the start of the second half. Even though Detroit managed to grind their way back into it, the Vikings were the stronger team. The Lions could’ve edged their way closer to the top of the division with a win, but the Vikings are continuing to show why they are the best in the NFC North.
The second game of the day provided the biggest upset, with the Los Angeles Chargers’ decisive win over the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys were supposed to be a Super Bowl team this year with sophomore QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliot leading the charge. However, Elliot’s suspension has left their offense looking flat, and that was painfully evidenced in their game against the Chargers. Prescott couldn’t get anything to go amidst the Chargers’ defensive pressure. Costly penalties pulled back any sort of momentum. Meanwhile, the Cowboys’ defense left gaping holes in the secondary, allowing QB Philip Rivers open range with his receivers. This was a great game for Los Angeles, as they are in the hunt for a Wild Card berth into the Playoffs. For Dallas, their weaknesses as a team were exposed. They will need to go back to the drawing board if they are going to salvage this season.
Thanksgiving’s primetime game was the quietest game out of the day’s series. The New York Giants are the second-worst team in the league right now—they are only above the Cleveland Browns. They have been playing terribly ever since losing WR Odell Beckham Jr. early in the season. The head coach doesn’t seem to have a handle on things and it seems the Giants have given up. On the other hand, the Washington Redskins are in the hunt for a Playoff berth. Their 20-10 win over the Giants put them one step closer to their goal. QB Kirk Cousins looked good, despite a pick 6 turnover, and the Redskins defense held the Giants to 10 points. For the Giants, their season looks to be over. The Redskins can use this momentum to push through their remaining schedule.
What to Keep in Mind when Betting on the Thanksgiving Games
The best types of bets are educated bets. Unfortunately, even the most educated will not always win. However, learning about teams and conditions and betting types does give you a great advantage while betting, and if you can keep making educated bets in the genre, you will find that you win more than you lose. That's about as much as one can ask for when betting on sports: to win more than they lose. So, to help you make the most educated decision here with your bets, let's go over a few things to keep in mind. We're going to keep them short, sweet and succinct, in the form of some bullet-point reminders. For additional information about betting on these games, visit our NFL betting guide.
- Keep in mind which team is actually playing better; e.g. has the better talent, has the better QB, etc. A better record isn't necessarily telling much, but the last few games they've played will count for a lot.
- Keep in mind how tight rivalry games can be. These aren't ordinary games; two are in-division battles.
- Keep in mind that betting for an upset isn't always the smartest move. Sure, there are upsets every week, but with such a limited schedule of games, are you sure this is where you're going to find the underdog over-performing?
- Keep in mind that these games have the intensity of playoff games. Everyone puts their best foot forward for Thanksgiving Day games.
- Keep in mind that less risk is a good thing. Placing down $20 might not net you as much as placing $200, but if you're betting on all three, and end up winning only one or two, that $20 loss doesn't sting nearly as bad.It's about keeping things in the positive here. The more you bet, the more you risk losing.
- Keep in mind that only the best online sportsbooks are going to offer you accurate lines with good odds. So before you place a bet, make sure you're betting with the right site.
Criteria to Look For When Choosing a Site with Which to Bet
So, should you just take our word when it comes to which betting site to choose? We know we're some of the best out there at what we do, but we're also not expecting you to just trust us right away and to heed our advice. So, rather than insisting that you need to listen to us, we're going to instead go over the criteria you should be looking for in a gambling site. Just keep in mind that these same criteria are exactly what we find and examine when we're choosing a site to put in our top list. As you will see, the criteria we're checking for are the criteria you need to be demanding when you choose an online gambling site. We're looking for many, many things, including but not limited to:
- A site that is legally licensed and regulated, and that holds current compliance certifications.
- A site that has a stellar reputation among its users
- A site that offers plenty of banking options
- A site that caters specifically to USA-based players and helps them succeed
- A site whose support staff is knowledgeable and helpful
- A site with great software that operates seamlessly on any device
- A site with a ton of different game and line options
- A site with live betting and prop betting features as well as mobile betting options
- A site whose security is second to none; a site that will keep you absolutely safe
- A site that loads quickly, updates in real-time, and operates smoothly
These criteria, along with many more, are exactly what we're looking for when we create our list of best USA online sportsbooksand our preferred USA mobile sportsbooks. And these are the exact criteria for which you should be searching. You want a site that meets all the abovementioned criteria, and likely is the case that you want to find this site without having to sign up with a bunch and go through a process of trial and error.
So if you're looking for the best sportsbook on which to place your Thanksgiving Day football bets, just remember that we have covered these important points so that all you need to do is choose and click. Thanksgiving weekend also includes some of the most heated college football rivalries. If you want more information about betting on the NCAAF then check out our page coveringcollege football betting sites for USA residents.
You can also feel free to read our comprehensive reviews on US friendly sportsbooks.