NFL Thanksgiving Predictions & Picks

John Arlia
Last Updated: Nov 22, 2023

Thanksgiving Day is nearly here and there is plenty to be thankful for.

The 2023 NFL Thanksgiving games, which all currently have spreads of at least a touchdown, probably won’t be at the top of that list. However, they do provide an opportunity for bettors to win some money and add even more joy to this festive season.

Let’s break down the three games the NFL is serving up this Thanksgiving and pick out our best bets.

NFL Thanksgiving Predictions

All NFL betting odds used for these Thanksgiving predictions are current as of Monday, Nov. 20, and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

Packers vs Lions Prediction

Best Bet: Over 47 (-110)

Even if you’ve had your fair share of turkey, stuffing, and potatoes by the time this NFC North matchup kicks off, the action on the field should be exciting enough to keep you awake.

The Lions have averaged 30 points per game at home this season and should have plenty of success a Packers defense that ranks 24th in DVOA and is particularly susceptible against the run (134.7 rushing yards allowed per game). Expect Detroit running backs Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery to eat.

While I’m expecting the home team to do the heavy lifting, the key to this Over will be getting help from Green Bay. The Packers average 20.2 points per game, and have been right around that total each of the past three weeks (23, 19, and 20).

Quarterback Jordan Love won’t have much help from his running game, especially if Aaron Jones (knee) can’t suit up on a short week. However, Detroit’s defense is most vulnerable against the pass, and Love is coming off his best game of the season (322 passing yards, 2 TDs) albeit against a porous Los Angeles Chargers secondary.

These two teams combined for 54 points in a 34-20 Detroit victory back in Week 4, and I’m expecting a similar outcome here.

Commanders vs Cowboys Prediction

Best Bet: DAL -11 (-108)

Something will have to give on Thursday when the Dallas Cowboys host the Washington Commanders in an NFC East clash.

Dallas is 4-0 against the spread as a home favorite, covering by an average of 17.9 points per game. Meanwhile, Washington is 5-0 ATS as a road underdog, covering by an average of six points per contest.

Although the Cowboys have had their fair share of struggles on Thanksgiving — they’ve won just five times on the holiday since 2010 despite playing at home every year — this team has proven it can put away lowly opposition.

After an embarrassing home loss to the Giants, the Commanders are just that.

Mike McCarthy‘s squad has played consistent complementary football of late. The offense has found the end zone early and often, allowing Dan Quinn‘s defense to tee off on opposing quarterbacks.

This should be another long day for Washington QB Sam Howell and another double-digit win for Dallas.

49ers vs Seahawks Prediction

Best Bet: Under 43.5

First place in the NFC West is on the line in the NFL Thanksgiving nightcap, which will see the San Francisco 49ers visit the Seattle Seahawks.

Injuries are a major headline heading into this matchup after Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith exited Sunday’s loss to the Rams with a tricep injury, running back Ken Walker III also left early with an oblique injury, and San Francisco lost All-Pro safety Talanoa Hufanga (torn ACL) for the season in its victory over Tampa Bay.

On Monday, Seattle coach Pete Carroll sounded optimistic that Smith will face the Niners, but there’s a good chance he won’t be 100%. That’s a concern against a San Francisco defense that allows the fewest points per game in the NFL (15.7) and is dominant against the run.

Seattle struggled mightily on offense against San Francisco last season, putting up 20 total points across two regular-season matchups. Even with Hufanga out, the Niners should keep the Seahawks’ banged-up offense in check.

And although Kyle Shanahan‘s squad has been rolling on offense since the bye, Seattle’s defense has improved since these teams last met. That unit and the fabled “12th Man" at Lumen Field should slow down Brock Purdy and Co. enough to help this game go Under.


John Arlia

Before joining The Game Day, John served as the National Writer for the United Soccer League, where he primarily covered the USL Championship out of the league’s headquarters in Tampa, FL. A devout soccer fan, John attended the men’s World Cups in Brazil and Russia and can’t wait for the 2026 edition to come to North America. Having also written for Sporting News Canada since getting his master’s from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU, John has acquired a diverse sporting background, but considers football, golf, and soccer his three strong suits.

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