Odds for NFL Thanksgiving prop bets will change more frequently than point spreads, so some of these markets may have changed since being published.
New Orleans Saints (-7, 48.5 over/under) at Atlanta Falcons, Thursday at 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Neil Bisman’s NFL Thanksgiving prop bets and picks
What would an NFL Thanksgiving prop bets column be without a turkey booster? To commemorate the day, PointsBet is offering a special turkey booster odds boost on New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas to get 100+ receiving yards (+110, boosted from -110).
Sign me up. The Atlanta Falcons are one of the worst teams in the NFL against the pass, allowing 266.4 passing yards per game and 8.2 yards per pass attempt. There’s no reason to think, especially at those odds, that Thomas can’t have a big game with lots of targets and maybe a big play or two Thursday.
The Falcons happen to be much better at stopping the run, allowing 3.9 yards per rush – which is tied for sixth best in the league. Combine that with the Saints have multiple injuries along the offensive line, and it’s likely best to avoid tying too much money in any NFL Thanksgiving prop bets related to Saints running back Alvin Kamara.
However, Kamara at -115 for over 58.5 yards could still be worth a small wager.
Week 13 Thanksgiving NFL picks against the spread: Bears vs. Lions, Bills vs. Cowboys, Saints vs. Falcons
There’s also too much uncertainty regarding Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (shoulder), who is a game-time decision, to get too involved in any NFL Thanksgiving prop bets related to quarterback Matt Ryan. Tight end Austin Hooper has been ruled out for Thursday’s game (knee), leaving Ryan with one less weapon, but running back Devonta Freeman has been given the green light to play.
The Saints have been solid at stopping the run and it could be even more difficult for the Falcons to get the running game going if Ryan has no one to throw to.
After a scare last week against the Carolina Panthers, I think the Saints (-7) bounce back in a big way in this spot, so I am not scared of laying the seven points here. The Falcons’ 26-9 win over the Saints in Week 10 also doesn’t scare me, as that seemed to be more of a fluke than anything else.
A teaser to consider is Saints -0.5 with an over of 42, since New Orleans can score in the 30s on their own. I also like the Saints to score 31-40 points (+265).
It’s hard to imagine another NFC team considered more disappointing this season than the Atlanta Falcons. At 3-8, and with an atrocious defense, the Falcons are going nowhere fast after being in the Super Bowl in 2017.
Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this Falcons season is they blew out the New Orleans Saints on the road in Week 10. The team got defensive pressure on quarterback Drew Brees and held the Saints to just nine points.
It’s hard to imagine that happening again, the Saints have put up 34 points in each of their last two games – both against NFC South opponents. Brees has thrown for six touchdowns and just one interception in those two games.
The Falcons could be without No. 1 wide receiver Julio Jones, who didn’t practice Tuesday with a shoulder injury. On a short week, Jones seems unlikely to play. Tight end Austin Hooper has already been ruled out with a knee injury. Running back Devonta Freeman, who has missed each of the last two weeks, was a limited participant in practice Tuesday but will start Thursday.
This means all eyes go to Calvin Ridley, who is +200 to get 100 receiving yards in the game.
Ridley has averaged 114 receiving yards in each of his last two games. The second-year pro will be heavily relied on if Jones doesn’t suit up.
On the Saints side of the ball, wide receiver Michael Thomas is having a historic season. The fourth-year pro already has 104 catches this season, the most a player has had in his first 11 games of a season ever.
Thomas has been playing his best football recently, as he has over 100 yards receiving in each of his last five games, averaging 10.2 receptions and 122 yards per game in that span.
Thomas is -114 to get at least 125 receiving yards Thanksgiving night. Even as the Saints offense struggled to put points on the board vs. Atlanta in Week 10, Thomas had 13 catches for 152 yards.
If you’re extra confident in Thomas against a defense that is allowing 266 passing yards per game (27th in the NFL), consider Thomas to collect at least 150 receiving yards at +210.
Prediction: Saints (-7) cover, over 48.5 combined points (-115)
The 9-2 Saints already lost to this bad Falcons team once, and it’s hard to imagine they’ll do it again, especially considering the Falcons are going to be without a good chunk of their best offensive weapons. Even in getting Freeman back, it’s unclear how healthy he is.
A teaser bet to consider on PointsBet is Saints to win -0.5 and the total score over 42. The 42 over has hit in seven of 11 Falcons’ games this season.
Matt Schmitto, RotoGrinders sports betting editor
Three weeks ago, you’d have to go all the way back to Week 2 for an Atlanta Falcons win. That changed with arguably the biggest upset of the NFL season as the Falcons beat the New Orleans Saints, 27-9, as +600 underdogs inside the Superdome in Week 10. The Falcons followed up by dominating the Panthers and winning back-to-back games for the first time all season.
Unfortunately, Atlanta’s resurgence was short-lived, losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by double digits in Week 12.
The Falcons may be playing at home Thanksgiving night, but it will be an uphill battle against a vengeful Saints team whether Julio Jones plays or not. Jones injured his shoulder against Tampa Bay, but returned in the second half and played 49 of 86 snaps. Jones didn’t participate in the part of Tuesday’s practice that was open to the media, and the quick turnaround could put Jones’ status in jeopardy. With that said, I’m counting on Jones to play; it’s just unclear whether he’ll be used more as a decoy.
Instead of taking a side on the spread, I prefer to bet Under 48.5 points. Atlanta’s offense has been stagnant at times, and I won’t be surprised of their struggles ensue if Jones isn’t 100 percent.
As we feast on turkey and gravy, I expect wide receiver Michael Thomas to feast on Atlanta’s porous secondary. Thomas is having possibly the best single-season for a receiver in NFL history, catching for over 100 yards in seven games this season, including a 152-yard game the last time these teams met. It’s a lot of yards, but I’m not afraid to bet Thomas Over 107.5 receiving yards (-115) Thursday night.