I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving as we get into a solid three-game slate that has some interesting betting angles. We have one team with a game total well above the field – the Bills at 32.5 points – and a late game that is predicted to be a slow-paced slugfest.
Each year, sportsbooks put out odds on who will lead the slate in passing, receiving and rushing, so, today, I am giving you my best picks for each one. Let’s get this money!
(odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook)
Passing Leader Best Bet: Josh Allen (+240)
While I can certainly poke holes in some other bets on the board for the Bills (they’ve only eclipsed thei32.5-pointnt total twice this year), Allen is a good bet to lead the slate in passing yards on Thursday. I tried to talk myself into Jared Goff or Daniel Jones, but Allen has more 300-yard passing games this year than the other five quarterbacks on the board combined. If betting on a QB to go off Thursday, Allen is the best choice even as the favorite in the field.
The aforementioned total for the Bills is appealing, but so is attacking this Detroit defense. The Lions’ unit has been a sieve against the pass, giving up 280 or more yards on five separate occasions this year. They currently rank 24th in pass DVOA and 31st in yards allowed per pass.
If the Bills’ offense does what Vegas is projecting, Allen should be a big part of it. The 10-point spread is also significant, as Allen is averaging 314 passing yards in games that his team has won by 10 or more points this year. With Allen’s implied Vegas total sitting at 281.5 yards, there isn’t another quarterback on the slate with his ceiling as a passer.
Receiving Leader Best Bet: Stefon Diggs (+400)
We will stay with the Bills’ offense here, as the Lions have been the Coors Field of fantasy football this year, ranking 25th in total defensive DVOA. They allow 262.2 yards per game through the air and are allowing over 192 yards per game (25th in NFL) to receivers.
Individually, the Lions have coughed up the following receiving lines thus far:
- A.J. Brown: 10/155
- D.K. Metcalf: 7/149
- Tyreek Hill: 12/188
- Jaylen Waddle: 8/106/2
- Allen Lazard: 4/87/1
- Wan’Dale Robinson: 9/100
- Darius Slayton: 5/86
Although the Lions have switched to playing more zone coverage in the last couple of weeks, they are still giving up yards in bunches. Diggs ranks third in PFF receiving grade and yards per route against zone coverage this year, meaning he should feast on Thursday.
The squeaky wheel narrative could also apply, coming off a game where Diggs was targeted just five times. With the Bills having a massive 32.5 implied total, I think Diggs is the best bet to lead the slate in receiving yards. I love his over 88.5 prop at -115 as well. Diggs has gone over 88.5 receiving yards in seven out of 10 games so far this season, making him a strong bet to hit the over there.
Rushing Leader Best Bet: Tony Pollard (+500)
I considered favorites Saquon Barkley (+340) and Dalvin Cook (+390), but Pollard has a lot going for him Thursday. The Giants rank 28th in defensive rush DVOA, giving up over 135 rushing yards per game (25th). Meanwhile, the Cowboys feature one of the best offensive lines in football and are fifth in the league in adjusted line yards. They come into the game as big home favorites, which is just an added bonus as their offense should lean heavily on the run.
While Ezekiel Elliott came back from an injury last week, Pollard still saw 15 carries against the Vikings. This was in an overwhelmingly positive game script, but the Cowboys have been installed as early 9.5-point favorite on Thursday. There should be plenty of rushing opportunities for both Elliott and Pollard, but the latter’s explosiveness means he can take one run 80 yards and put this prop out of reach.
It should be noted that the Giants rank dead last in yards allowed per carry, which should give Pollard plenty of chances to get loose. With Barkley in a likely negative game script and Cook in a tough matchup (New England is giving up the seventh-fewest yards to running backs) with a low total, I think Pollard is the best value on the board.
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