NFL Week 12 early odds: Cowboys favored big over Redskins in Thanksgiving game

Here’s an early look at the lines for NFL games being played in Week 12

Thursday, January 19th, 2017
By: John Breech


You might want to go ahead and clear 10 hours of your schedule on Thanksgiving for NFL games because the league is about to give us something we haven’t seen in over eight decades.

The three games being played this Thursday will mark the first time in 81 years that there will be three or more games on Thanksgiving involving teams that all have a record of .500 or better.

On paper, all three games seem pretty evenly matched. The oddsmakers in Vegas don’t always look at that paper when they’re putting together the spreads each week. According to them, the biggest mismatch on Thanksgiving is taking place in Dallas, where the Cowboys are a 6.5-point favorite over the Redskins.

That’s right, the Cowboys are favored by nearly a touchdown over a Redskins team that’s 6-1-1 in its past eight games, the same Redskins team that lost by just four points to the Cowboys in Week 2.

That’s your main course for Thanksgiving.

Your appetizer will feature a showdown with first place in the NFC North on the line in Detroit. In that game, the 6-4 Lions are a 2.5-point favorite over the Vikings.

For dessert, you’ll get the Steelers and Colts in prime time with the Steelers currently 2.5-point road favorites.

Will this be the best Thanksgiving ever?

Only if your in-laws don’t show up and all three of these games go to overtime.

Let’s get to the rest of the Week 12 odds.


Thursday, Nov. 24

Vikings (6-4) at Lions (6-4) (Opening line: Lions, -3 points)

Current line: Lions, (-2.5 points). This will be the second time in 18 days that these two teams have met. On Nov. 6, the Lions pulled off one of the most dramatic wins of the season by topping Minnesota 22-16 in overtime in a game where the Lions were 4.5-point underdogs. This time around, the Lions are the favorites, and that’s probably because they’re 4-1 straight up and ATS at home this season. It probably also helps that the Lions have won three straight games on Thanksgiving Day. As for the Vikings, they’re 5-1 all-time on Thanksgiving, but haven’t played on the holiday since 2000. Thanksgiving aside, the Vikings have been covering the spread against divisional opponents: Since 2015, they’re 6-3 ATS in division games, which is the second-best record in the NFC.

Redskins (6-3-1) at Cowboys (9-1) (Opening line: Cowboys, -6.5 points)

Current line: Cowboys, (-6.5 points). The Cowboys are an NFL-best 9-1 ATS this season, a total that includes a 27-23 Week 2 win over Washington when Dallas was a 3.5-point underdog. Including that win, the Cowboys have now won three of the past four in this series. On the Redskins’ end they’ll be facing an ugly turnaround in this game: They have to play Thanksgiving Day on the road after playing in the Sunday night game, which is almost unprecedented. This will be the Redskins’ first Thanksgiving game since 2012, when they beat the Cowboys 38-31. The Cowboys are 1-3 straight up in their past four Thanksgiving games.


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Steelers (5-5) at Colts (5-5) (Opening line: Steelers, -3 points)

Current line: Steelers, (-2.5 points). If the past two seasons are any indication, the Colts could be in trouble on Thursday. Last year, Ben Roethlisberger (364 yards, four touchdowns) shredded the Colts in a 45-10 win. In 2014, he did the same thing, throwing for 522 yards and six touchdowns in a 51-34 win. The Steelers have won their past three prime-time games by an average score of 42-13. The one thing going in Indy’s favor: Since Andrew Luck’s rookie year in 2012, the Colts are 9-1 ATS when they’re home underdogs. This will be the Steelers’ first Thanksgiving game since 2013. This will be the Colts’ first Thanksgiving game since 2007. The Colts have never lost on Thanksgiving, while the Steelers are 0-5 straight up on Thanksgiving Day since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.

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