Thanksgiving Day Trends and Picks


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Thanksgiving Day Trends and Picks

Examining trends for each team can help you make better-informed gambling and fantasy decisions. It’s never wise to bet a game based on a single trend and it’s also never wise to back off a wager based on a single trend, either. With that said, trends can point you in the right direction by corroborating stats and information you’ve gathered or they can make you reconsider making a bad wager based on flimsy data. I’ve gone game-by-game and compiled the most relevant trends for each team heading into this week’s contests. I’ve included any bets or leans I have for each game at the end of each writeup. Good luck with your wagers!

Thanksgiving Slate

Houston Texans (3-7, 3-7 ATS) at Detroit Lions (4-6, 4-6), 12:30 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Texans 27.75, Lions 24.75

  • Spread/Total Movements: 2 to 3, 50.5 to 51.5

  • Weather: Dome

  • Texans Injuries to Watch: WR Randall Cobb (foot, IR), WR Kenny Stills (quad, out), DT P.J. Hall (knee)

  • Lions Injuries to Watch: RB D’Andre Swift (concussion), WR Kenny Golladay (hip, out), slot WR Danny Amendola (hip, out), CB Jeff Okudah (shoulder, out), RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai (foot, IR), DE Da’Shawn Hand (groin, out), DE Austin Bryant (thigh, out),

Texans Trends

  • Houston covered its second consecutive spread last week after a 1-7 ATS start to the season.

  • The Texans are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven road games.

  • The Texans are 6-3-1 toward overs this season.

  • Houston is 5-1 toward over in its last six road games

  • Deshaun Watson is playing about as well as any quarterback in the league right now as he posted 344/2 passing and 36/1 rushing against the Patriots in Week 11. The Texans have a non-existent running game without David Johnson (concussion, IR) so he’s going to be asked to do a little more once again. In his first NFL start, P.J. Walker posted 258/1 passing on 7.6 YPA in a non-competitive game.

  • Will Fuller has failed to find the end zone in two straight games after his six-game TD streak, but he still has 12+ FP in seven of his last eight games. Both D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson went for 21 FP against the Lions last week.

  • Brandin Cooks has been a top-12 WR since Bill O’Brien was fired with 17.4 FPG. He has 80+ yards and/or 6+ catches in each of his last six games. The Lions are allowing the fifth-most catches per game to WRs (14.7)

  • Randall Cobb suffered a toe injury in Week 11, and Keke Coutee was the next man up in the slot with 2/10/1 receiving on four targets against the Patriots. Cobb was averaging 4.0/48.2 receiving on 5.1 targets per game in his first nine games of the season.

  • Jordan Akins posted a season-best 83 yards on five receptions and six targets against the Patriots. Akins is still contending with Darren Fells and Pharaoh Brown for snaps and targets, but he easily paced the group with 24 routes last week with Brown (13) and Fells (9) combining for 22 routes. The Lions had allowed the second-most FPG to TEs in Weeks 7-10 (18.0) before facing a Panthers offense that doesn’t feature TEs in the passing game.

  • Duke Johnson has flopped in his first two games as a bell-cow back with just 11.9 FP, but he has handled 82% of the backfield touches in that span. He gets the best fantasy matchup for RBs this week as the Lions are allowing 172.8 scrimmage yards per game to back.

Lions Trends

  • Detroit could muster only 185 yards and they didn’t even reach the red zone against the Panthers last week.

  • The Lions are 10-1 toward overs in their last 11 home games.

  • D’Andre Swift went into the concussion protocol in the middle of last week before their matchup with the Panthers, which means he may not be ready for their Thanksgiving game with the Texans. It’s a bummer since the Lions let him finally break out in Week 10 with 149/1 scrimmage against the Football Team. Kerryon Johnson (8/38 scrimmage) and Adrian Peterson (7/18) split the work with Swift out of the lineup. The Texans slowed down a scorching hot Damien Harris (11/43/1 rushing) last week, but they’re still allowing a league-high 145.8 rushing yards per game to RBs.

  • It’s been a lost season for Kenny Golladay who missed his third consecutive game because of a hip injury he initially suffered in Week 8. Golladay has scored between 14-17 FP in each of his four complete games this season.

  • Stafford threw for a season-low 178 yards and he failed to post a TD for the first time this season as he played without Golladay and Swift. He’s averaging just 6.8 YPA over the last three weeks with Golladay out of the lineup. The Texans allowed Cam Newton to throw for 300+ yards for just the second time this season last week.

  • T.J. Hockenson accounted for 36.8% of Detroit’s offensive yardage against the Panthers in Week 11 as he posted 4/68 receiving on seven targets. The second-year TE now has 50+ receiving yards and/or a touchdown in nine of his 10 games this season. The Texans are allowing 4.7/54.7/.4 receiving per game to TEs.

  • Marvin Jones failed to reach double-digit FP for a fifth straight game last week, and his three-game run with TDs also came to an end against the Panthers. Marvin has totaled just 11/148 receiving on 16 targets in Golladay’s four full games this season, while he’s seen 63.3 receiving yards and 5.0 catches per game over the last three weeks with Golladay out. Damiere Byrd ripped the Texans for 6/132/1 receiving last week.

Brolley’s Bets

Brandin Cooks (Hou) over 5.5 receptions (+115, DraftKings)

Washington Football Team (3-7, 5-5 ATS) at Dallas Cowboys (3-7, 2-8), 4:30 p.m.

  • Implied Team Totals: Football Team 24.25, Cowboys 27.25
  • Spread/Total Movements: 2.5 to 3, 50.5 to 51.5
  • Weather: Dome
  • Washington Injuries to Watch: SS Deshazor Everett (ankle, out)
  • Cowboys Injuries to Watch: CB Anthony Brown (ribs)

Washington Trends

  • The Football Team is 6-3-1 toward unders, including 5-1 in their last six games.
  • These teams are 8-2 toward overs in their last 10 meetings in this series.
  • Washington is 1-4 ATS in its last five road games.
  • Washington beat Dallas 25-3 back in Week 7 as one-point home underdogs.
  • Alex Smith attempted just 25 passes for 166/1 passing in a positive game script last week. The Football Team enters this week as three-point road underdogs so he could see more volume this week. The Cowboys allowed 300+ yards and three TDs to Kirk Cousins and Ben Roethlisberger in their last two games.
  • Terry McLaurin has just three TDs this season but he’s scored 11+ FP nine of his 10 games this season. He’s on a run with 5+ catches and 74+ yards in five straight games. He posted 7/90/1 receiving on 11 targets in this matchup in Week 7 while Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson combined for 11/209/3 receiving last week.
  • Logan Thomas had 10+ FP in three of his last four games before turning in 2/6 receiving on five targets against the Bengals last week. He’s at least seen four targets in every game this season, and he had his best game of the year against the Cowboys in Week 7 with 4/60/1 receiving.
  • J.D. McKissic had a quiet day with Smith’s volume reduced last week, posting just 3/26 receiving on four targets after seeing 29 targets in his previous two games with negative game scripts. The Football Team enters this week as three-point road underdogs so he could see more volume this week. He managed just 2/16 against Dallas in Week 7 when they easily won.
  • If McKissic is the negative game script back, Antonio Gibson is the positive game script back as he’s topped 60+ rushing yards twice this season, both in victories. The rookie has scored in four straight games (5 TDs total), and he’s scored double-digit FP in eight of his last nine games. He saw his most work in a game in their victory over the Cowboys in Week 7 when he posted 20/128/1 rushing.

Cowboys Trends

  • The Cowboys covered their second straight spread after an 0-8 ATS start.
  • The Cowboys are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games in this series.
  • Dallas scored 31 points against the Vikings after scoring just 41 points combined in their first four games without Dak Prescott.
  • The Cowboys managed just 142 total yards and three points with Andy Dalton getting concussed against the Football Team in Week 7.
  • Andy Dalton threw for 203 yards and three TDs last week against the Vikings, but he averaged just 6.3 YPA. He completed just 9/19 passes for 75 yards (3.9 YPA) with an INT against Washington in Week 7 before suffering a concussion. Washington has allowed just Matthew Stafford to throw for multiple TDs in their last five games.
  • Amari Cooper has posted 5+ catches and 65+ yards in four of his five games since Dak went down for the season, but he’s scored just twice this season. He’s caught all seven of his targets for 80 yards against the Football Team in Week 7.
  • CeeDee Lamb had 5+ catches in each of his first six games to start his career, a mark he hasn’t hit in his last four games. He’s at least found the end zone in his last two games to save his fantasy production. Lamb didn’t catch any of his five targets against Washington in Week 7.
  • Michael Gallup has reached 7+ FP just once since Week 5, and he failed to catch either of his targets against the Football Team in Week 7.
  • Dalton Schultz has 14/126/1 receiving over his last three games with three different QBs. He scored the game-winning touchdown against the Vikings last week as he finished with 4/25/1 receiving on six targets (18.8% share). He now has 4+ catches in seven of his last nine games to give him a solid PPR floor, and he saw two end-zone targets last week. He mustered just 2/22 receiving against Washington in Week 7.
  • It took only 11 weeks but Ezekiel Elliott topped 100+ rushing yards for the first time last week as he averaged a season-high 4.9 YPC out of their bye week. He finished with 114/1 scrimmage for his first game with double-digit FP since Week 6. Zeke managed just 51 scrimmage yards against Washington in Week 7
  • Tony Pollard is averaging 5.1 YPC (52/266 rushing) for the season, which is better than any of Zeke’s YPC average in a game this season.

Brolley’s Bets

Antonio Gibson (Was) over 69.5 rushing and receiving yards (-113, FanDuel)

Tom is a Senior Writer at Fantasy Points who specializes in fantasy and betting analysis. He’ll be helping you to navigate the waiver wire and manage your fantasy teams while also keeping our betting content robust all year long, especially during the season. Tom's Best Bets against the spread won at 61.5% clip in 2019 and he was a perfect 8-0 on his Best Bets for season win totals in 2020.