Deadspin’s Turkey Day picks ATS

Illustration: Deadspin

Welcome to the first and last edition of the Thanksgiving spreads 2020.

We gather around this (virtual) table to share gambling takes on shitty games in an even shittier year.

Somehow, someway, the NFL has managed to make it to this point of the season without self destruction via global pandemic. The only teams to postpone games due to team outbreaks have been the Titans… and the Patriots… and now the Ravens. The best game of the Thanksgiving slate was moved to Sunday yesterday afternoon.

Throughout the season, NFL teams have played through COVID positives despite all logic. But Baltimore has at least 10 positive cases among its players, coaches, and staff. It shouldn’t be a surprise that a growing outbreak forced the league to postpone the game.

One thing that is surprising is that my editors let me take the reins for a Thanksgiving betting guide. I usually spend every Sunday writing about the games that give me anxiety in the Sunday Scaries.

I’m the guy who gives you the bets to avoid, now I’ll tell you how to play the Thanksgiving spreads.

Don’t trust me? Me neither. But I’m 23-19 betting the ugliest games of the NFL season so far and I probably have a better winning percentage (54.7) than your favorite talking head.


There are some games on the Thanksgiving slate that I’d stay away from and others that I’ll lock in. I’ll pick ‘em both for extra stuffing.

Texans at Lions (+3)

Illustration for article titled The Thanksgiving spreads: Deadspin’s Turkey Day picks ATS

Illustration: (Getty Images)

Your Thanksgiving afternoon will start as it always does, by turning on the Lions game you said you were never going to watch. And this one’s not any better than years past. The 3-7 Texans, and Deshaun Watson, roll into the fanless dome to face Matthew Stafford and a 4-6 Detroit team that was just shut out last week in Carolina. I’m being generous when I say Houston has been on somewhat of a hot streak. They’ve won two of their last three games.

But both teams have only covered the spread three times in the 2020 season. I would stay away from this one if I were you. But that’s probably not why you’re reading. You want a take, I got one for you.

The Pick: To the Texans credit, they played one of the toughest schedules through the first seven weeks of the season. They look like a different team after their bye. I like the number here too so I’ll take the Texans -3.

Washington at Cowboys (-3)

Illustration for article titled The Thanksgiving spreads: Deadspin’s Turkey Day picks ATS

Illustration: (Getty Images)

Alright. Afternoon football time. Remember, only genuine psychopaths will eat an entire Thanksgiving meal BEFORE sitting down to watch this game. Thanksgiving dinner should be after 4pm, folks. You don’t want to gorge yourself and then watch this NFC East clunker.

So before you sit down with light appetizers to watch the 4:30 p.m. kick, you wonder which 3-7 team you should bet on. It’s not an easy choice. Dallas, with back Ezekiel Elliot, is 2-8 ATS and Washington, with back Antonio Gibson, is 4-4-2. A national TV matchup between Andy Dalton and Alex Smith would’ve been marketable in 2013, but it’s 2020 and these backup QB’s won’t go away. With both teams coming off wins and first place in the division on the line, who should you take?

The Pick: The Cowboys. Look, I don’t like taking Dallas either, especially because they rank last in team defense. But they have covered their last two games. Andy Dalton’s return helps and I think he’ll play well enough to lead the Boys to a Thanksgiving win and cover in Jerry World.

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