With one divisional matchup for Thanksgiving postponed until Sunday, we’re still left with the other divisional bout of the day. The NFC East brings a distinct dysfunctional flavor to the table this holiday, but it’s traditional, so we’ll have fun with it in our NFL betting picks anyhow. Because when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys playing the Washington Football Team on Thanksgiving, that’s one of their only distinguishable features in mid-2020 form.
Welcoming the Washington Football team with a resurrected Alex Smith under center may prove to be an oddly entertaining game, and with plenty still on the line for both teams when playing in this exceptionally bad division. With a win in this game, one of these two 3-7 teams will move ahead of Philadelphia by a half-game for first place in the NFC East.
Can Smith lead Washington back into playoff contention for the first time since Robert Griffin III? Or will Andy Dalton dial up some more answers to stumble the Cowboys back in front of the division? We’ll load up the plates, and take to OddsShopper first to find some of the best bets available in hopes of lining our bankroll some this Thanksgiving.
* NFL Odds as of writing. Click HERE for up to date odds using the OddsShopper tool.
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NFL Betting Picks: Thanksgiving Day | Football Team vs. Cowboys
NFL Betting Pick: WR Cam Sims, OVER 2.5 Receptions (+120, William Hill Sportsbook)
Outside of stud Terry McLaurin, the Washington receiving corps is comprised of several John Doe members, at least by namesake. Tight end Logan Thomas would be considered next in line to McLaurin in target share, with a steep drop-off in the remaining Washington receivers as McLaurin and Thomas consume over 39% of the Football Team’s targets. This is where receiver Cam Sims becomes an intriguing proposition wager play, with plus-money available on his low reception total of three-or-more catches at +120 odds.
On paper, the bad: this season, Sims comprises 4.3% of Washington’s target share. While far from encouraging in regards to the prop discussed here, over the past three weeks since Smith has reassumed the role of starting quarterback, Sims has seen a spike in his target share and garnered his most attention all season (9.4% target share Weeks 9-11). And despite the low number of overall targets for 2020 (15 targets), 11 of those targets have been spread across the past three games and with a 0% drop rate all year (13/13 catchable passes).
Splitting his routes-run nearly exactly at 50% between slot and outside, Sims (Cam, not Steven) should see coverage from cornerbacks Anthony Brown (Questionable with a rib injury) and Jourdan Lewis, who Sims has a slight advantage over in regards to height alone, with a six and seven-inch height advantage over each of them respectively. Given the circumstances of note here, so long as Smith continues to sew some attention to Sims as he has been the past three games when he proceeded as quarterback, the +120 odds-on achieving three receptions or more is too inviting to ignore.
NFL Betting Pick: WR CeeDee Lamb, OVER 4.5 Receptions (+110, William Hill Sportsbook)
Following the season-ending injury to Dak Prescott, the dreary ride for Cowboys fans this year has been piloted by rollercoaster operators Andy Dalton, Garrett Gilbert, and Ben DiNucci. No beacons of confidence intact, receiving yardage propositions for members of the Cowboys offense have remained unattractive with just one performance exceeding 100-receiving yards (CeeDee Lamb) since Prescott’s exit. Yet the target shares remain a bit more measurable in consistency, with a plus-money reception prop of snagging five-or-more passes at +110 looking rather realistic for rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb.
Besides being the only Cowboys player to notch 100-receiving yards in Prescott’s absence, Lamb’s target share from Week 5 onward has been the highest of any member of the Dallas offense at 7.5 targets-per-game and 21.6% target share. While Lamb’s 9.4% drop rate could certainly improve (although not close to being Dallas’ worst), his coverage drawn by Washington shouldn’t be a daunting task to contend with. Running 66.4% of his routes from the slot, Lamb will see his fair share of slot corner Jimmy Moreland. Lamb possesses a four-inch height advantage over Moreland, while Moreland has allowed a 71.4% catch rate to his assigned receivers.
While the majority target share for Lamb remains a most attractive element to this prop wager, an added incentive bonus may be that of the narrative behind the Cowboys’ storied first meeting with Washington in Week 7, where Dalton suffered a brutal hit landing him in concussion protocol after knocking him out on-field. Dalton will likely want to get a bit of revenge while he can here, which could very well include some increased pass attempts on his behalf. This would likely benefit Dalton’s top targets, with Lamb being the guy he’s targeted most.
Narratives aside, the +110 odds involving Dalton’s top target in Lamb to this point (with added incentive in his slot routes ran) make for a very achievable Thanksgiving prop wager.
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