NFL Week 12 Thanksgiving Best Bets: Predictions For Lions vs Packers, Commanders vs Cowboys, & 49ers vs Seahawks
NFL Week 12 best bets and expert picks for the Thanksgiving slate. Find best bets for NFL Week 12 featuring Packers vs. Lions, Commanders vs. Cowboys, and 49ers vs. Seahawks.
NFL Week 12 Best Bets
We’re onto Week 12 of the NFL season, and that means it’s time for our favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. We’re celebrating with an enticing three-game card on Thursday that we’ll be breaking down in full over on the Lineups YouTube page. Here, we’ll provide some of our favorite bets from the slate, including game picks and player props. We got creative with some picks in this article, and we hope to help you cash some wagers as part of the holiday. Let’s get to work.
Jacob Wayne’s Record: 16-16-1 (-0.6 units)
Kody Malstrom’s Record: 13-8 (+4.3 units)
Will Schwartz’s Record: 15-16 (-2.2 units)
Happy Thanksgiving from the Lineups team! I usually focus on spread picks in this column, but I’m bringing you guys a trifecta of tight end props for my Thanksgiving best bets. These will be quick hitters, and I will discuss each of these in our YouTube player props shows.
Sam LaPorta Under 4.5 Receptions (-115 BetMGM)
The next impressive Iowa tight end to hit the NFL, Sam LaPorta has been turning heads in his rookie season. However, a concerning trend has emerged with his usage when the Lions have a healthy backfield. LaPorta has just five targets in each of the four games where David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs have both played in full. In all other games, he has averaged 8.2 targets.
Jahmyr Gibb’s excellent pass-catching is especially harmful to LaPorta’s target share. With Gibbs on the field, LaPorta has a 19% target per route run rate. With him off the field, that climbs to 26%. LaPorta has been held under 4.5 receptions in five of his last seven games this season, including four receptions against the Packers. The Lions are 7.5-point favorites here, as well, so we could see more of a run-heavy approach if they build a lead.
Jake Ferguson Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+220 FanDuel)
In his second season in the NFL, Jake Ferguson has become a trusted target for Dak Prescott, especially in the red zone. Ferguson has 17 red zone targets this year, which leads the NFL. While Luke Schoonmaker scored a touchdown over Ferguson last week, I wouldn’t bank on that continuing as Ferguson still ran 35 routes to just 8 for Schoonmaker.
Prior to last week, Ferguson had found the end zone in three straight games, becoming the first Cowboys tight end to have a three-game touchdown streak since the great Jason Witten in 2011. With CeeDee Lamb a top focus for the Commanders defense, let’s bet on Ferguson getting back in the end zone here.
George Kittle Over 51.5 Receiving Yards (-115 BetMGM)
George Kittle is having a monster season for the 49ers, and he leads all tight ends in yards per reception and yards per route run. He’s also first in PFF grades and second in total receiving yards at the position. Kittle has gone over 51.5 receiving yards in four straight games with an average of 108 yards over that span.
The Seahawks rank 23rd in DVOA against the tight end position, and Kittle has torched them throughout his career, going over in six of his last eight games against Seattle in the regular season. You can also bet Kittle’s touchdown prop here as he has scored two touchdowns in each of his last two regular season games against Seattle.
— Sᴘᴏʀᴛs 24/7 (@Sports_24x7_) December 16, 2022
Turkey Day Wong Teaser
It’s the best time of the year for us football fans. A food filled Thursday holiday with primetime games on the TV for our viewing pleasure, featuring three NFL games as well as a dash of college football. Better yet for our wallets, two of the games qualify as a Wong Teaser, focusing on the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers.
Starting with the Lions, it was as thrilling as it could be as they mounted a two score comeback with four minutes remaining. Jared Goff did everything he could to throw the game away, but stepped up in the biggest moment and mounted a game winning drive to seal the deal.
He now has to lead the charge against a surging Green Bay Packers squad. This is a rematch from their late September contest, a game that resulted in the Lions winning 34-20, yet Jordan Love is looking far better as he has started to hit his receivers in stride. The issue is that his offensive line is hobbled and the Lions defense thrives when their front four can collapse the pocket.
On the other end, the Lions offense should have no issue with moving the ball down the field. Especially with the Packers tendency to blitz with a top-10 Blitz Rate, yet only generating pressure at a league average rate. This exposes the middle of their defense, playing into their pass catchers hands as the Lions offense thrives in singular coverage and getting their playmakers out in the open field.
As for the 49ers, they are starting to round back into elite form after a recent stumble while they battled through injuries. After losing three straight to the Browns, Vikings, and Bengals, the Niners have now won their past two games to a combined score of 61-17. This in large part of Trent Williams and Deebo Samuel making their return, two massively productive pieces to their offense.
Better yet, the Seahawks offense struggles to generate consistency against the one lone weakness of the Niners defense. While largely elite for the most part, the 49ers actually mightily struggle at defending the run as they rank below average in Def Rush DVOA, Success Rate, and EPA. The Seahawks, who are potentially without Kenneth Walker, clock in at 19th in Rush DVOA, 21st in Rush EPA, and 20th in Success Rate.
That puts the Seahawks offense in a tough position to try and find success through the air, being prone to early outs and more 49ers possessions. With Purdy expected to sit in a clean pocket, expect the pass attack to continue to thrive as they shred a regressing Seahawks pass defense while opening up lanes for Christian McCaffery to exploit.
Best Bet: Lions -1.5 / 49ers -1 Wong Teaser
Lions vs. Packers Same Game Parlay
Lions and Packers on Thanksgiving? With the Lions actually favored? You’d better believe we’re getting involved with this one, and what better way to enjoy this iconic rivalry matchup than with a same game parlay? We’re going to build a four-leg parlay with odds of +380, let’s talk through those four legs
Lions ML (-360)
Jahmyr Gibbs ATTD (-125)
Jordan Love 200+ pass yards (-270)
Riley Patterson o1.5 FGM (-105)
Let’s talk about the most straightforward leg of this parlay; the moneyline. These aren’t the Lions of years past, they are absolutely not going to lose their home Thanksgiving game to their divisional archrival. They’ve already demolished Green Bay once in primetime, at Lambeau field, and suddenly own a four-game win streak in the rivalry.
With the Vikings suddenly surging, and the race for seeding across the NFC intensifying, the Lions need every win, especially in the division, and Dan Campbell will absolutely have his squad highly motivated, even given the short week. In fact, the compressed schedule might work in Detroit’s favor; the Packers are dealing with a litany of injuries, and would probably benefit from a few extra days off. We’ll take the moneyline rather than the spread, to protect ourselves from the weirdness of rivalry games and the short week, but the Lions should stay comfortable in this one.
If the Lions win, it will likely involve some sort of contribution from Jahmyr Gibbs, the first-round draft pick who is finally receiving the touches that his draft spot would imply. After failing to find the end zone in each of his first four games in the league, he returned from injury and since then, has scored in all four games he’s played. Yes, this could be construed as buying at the peak of the market, but with reasonably short odds, it’s a good investment in a player who is clearly at the heart of a very good offense.
Let’s jump to the other sideline. It’s been all Lions so far, and in that vein, let’s invest in the Packers quarterback, Jordan Love. That may sound counterintuitive, but with the Lions ahead, Green Bay will be going to the air early and often. He threw the ball 36 times the last time these two teams met, that blowout Lions win, and racked up 246 yards. He’s put up 40 or more attempts in three of his past four games, as the Packers have been behind or in tight games, and he’s thrown for more than 200 yards in all four contests.
The volume isn’t just up for Love; he’s been playing better of late. Those four games are his four highest-graded games in PFF’s rating system, so it seems that he’s finally settling in. Against a very questionable Detroit secondary, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to rack up yardage. With a fearsome Lions front seven bearing down on him, it won’t be perfectly efficient, but the soft spots in coverage will be plentiful enough for Love to crack this modest number.
Lastly, we had to sneak a special teams prop in there. We’ll do the over for Detroit kicker Riley Patterson’s field goal prop, with -105 odds for a total set at 1.5. Patterson didn’t kick a field goal in the recent win over the Bears, but he hit at least two in each of the previous three games, so this is a great spot to buy on this prop.
This is a particularly good spot for Patterson, as Detroit’s average red zone offense (17th in the league) will run up against the Packers’ seventh-rated unit, so it’s fairly likely that the Lions could move the ball well but still see drives stall in the short field. We saw this play out in the last matchup between these squads; Patterson hit both of his field goals attempted, the longest of which was just 37 yards, meaning that he had exclusively red zone opportunities.
Bonus Standalone Bet: Aidan Hutchinson o0.25 sacks (-125)
This is a prop I really wanted to include in the parlay, but it wasn’t eligible. Hutch always seems to show up in the big spots, and it doesn’t get much bigger than this one. He picked up a pair of sacks in the iconic win at Lambeau to wrap up last season, and 1.5 against the Packers earlier this year.
He got back into the stat sheet on Sunday after a four-game sack-free drought, so we’re catching the market at a good spot, especially as Hutch will be going up against what has been a rotating group of tackles for Green Bay in David Bakhtiari’s absence. This number is depressed after that dry spell, and it provides us with some excellent value on a great talent, which hits if he records so much as a half-sack.