If Cowboys fans sound extra thankful this week, it's probably because their team is back in the thick of the NFC East race. 

Less than two weeks ago, the Cowboys were 3-5 and had basically been left for dead in the division. However, after two straight wins, it almost feels like they're the new favorite. The Cowboys could be tied for first place by the end of the week if they can beat the Redskins on Thursday, and if the early odds for Week 12 are any indication, Dallas is expected to win big. 

The Cowboys have opened as a 7.5-point favorite over the Redskins, who will be rolling into Dallas on Thanksgiving Day with a quarterback who hasn't started a game in four years. With Alex Smith out for the season after breaking his leg on Sunday, Washington will be turning to Colt McCoy, who has a 1-3 career record with the Redskins and hasn't started a game since 2014. 

Of course, just because the Redskins are starting a backup quarterback doesn't mean you should bet all your money on the Cowboys. As a matter of fact, Dallas has actually been one of the worst Thanksgiving bets you could possibly make over the past few years. Since 2011, the Cowboys have gone 0-7 against the spread (ATS) in Thanksgiving games (3-4 straight-up). 

If  you're thinking about laying down some money on the NFL to add a little bit of drama to your Turkey Day, here are a few more Thanksgiving nuggets. 

  • Over the past two seasons, the favored team has dominated on Thanksgiving. Since 2016, favored teams have gone 6-0 straight-up and 5-1 ATS. 
  • The Lions have been a safer bet than the Cowboys. Since 2013, Detroit has gone 4-1 both straight-up and ATS on Thanksgiving Day. 
  • The game this week will mark the Redskins' fourth Thanksgiving appearance since 2012. In the three prior games, the Redskins have gone 3-0 ATS (2-1 straight-up). 
  • One other interesting tidbit is that the under has hit in every Thanksgiving primetime game since 2014. The primetime game this year is Falcons at Saints, which has an over/under of 59.5 points.  

With that in mind, let's get to the rest of this week's odds. 

NFL Week 12 early odds

(All lines from Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, all games on Sunday unless noted. Keep in mind, the point spreads you see below represent the opening odds for Week 12. For the most up-to-date line on each game, you can click here)

Bears (7-3) at Lions (4-6), Thursday

Opening line: Bears -3

Game info: 12:30 p.m. ET, CBS (stream on CBS All Access or fuboTV, try it for free)

If there's one time you want to bet against Chicago, it's probably in a Thursday game. In their past five Thursday games, the Bears have gone 1-4 both straight-up and ATS. Also, one thing to keep in mind here is that the Bears have to play the early game on Thanksgiving after playing on Sunday night. As for the Lions, although they've dominated this series with eight wins in their past 10 games against the Bears, one of those losses came in Week 9 when the Bears covered as a 7.5-point favorite in a 34-22 win. This will be the second time in 11 days that these two teams have met, marking the closest gap between divisional games since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. 

Redskins (6-4) at Cowboys (5-5), Thursday

Opening line: Cowboys -7.5

Game info: 4:30 p.m. ET, Fox (stream on fuboTV, try for free)

With Alex Smith done for the season, Colt McCoy will be getting the start in this game for the Redskins. Although McCoy saw some action on Sunday, he might have to work some rust off and that's because he hasn't started a game since the 2014 season, which might help explain why the Cowboys are such a big favorite. Not helping the Redskins is the fact that the Cowboys have owned this series over the past few years. Since 2013, the Cowboys have gone 8-3 straight-up (6-7 ATS) against Washington. Of course, one of those Washington wins came earlier this year when they covered as a one-point underdog in a 20-17 home win. The Cowboys are just 4-16 ATS in their past 20 games where they were favored by a touchdown or more (16-4 straight-up).

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Falcons (4-6) at Saints (9-1), Thursday 

Opening line: Saints -13

Game info: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC (stream on fuboTV, try for free)

Betting on the Saints has been easiest way to make money in the NFL over the past few weeks. Not only have the Saints won nine straight games, but they've covered in eight straight games. Overall, the Saints are 8-2 ATS on the season, which is tied for the best mark in the NFL. On the other hand, the Falcons are just 3-7 ATS on the season, which is tied for the worst mark in the NFL. This game is being played in primetime, which is good news for the Saints. In their past 15 home primetime games, New Orleans is 12-3 both straight-up and ATS. This game marks just the third time in Matt Ryan's career that the Falcons have been an underdog of 13 or more points. The Falcons are 0-2 straight-up in those games, but they've covered both times. 

Jaguars (3-7) at Bills (3-7)

Opening line: Jaguars -3

Game info: 1 p.m. ET, CBS (stream on CBS All Access or fuboTV, try it for free) 

The last time we saw these two teams on the same field was last January in the playoffs. Unfortunately for both teams, it doesn't look like they'll be making a return trip to the postseason. The Jags started the year 3-1, but they've now lost an NFL-high six in a row. During the losing streak, they've gone just 1-4-1 ATS. As for the Bills, they're just 1-3 ATS at home this year, which is tied for the third worst mark in the NFL. 

Browns (3-6-1) at Bengals (5-5)

Opening line: Bengals -3

Game info: 1 p.m. ET, CBS (stream on CBS All Access or fuboTV, try it for free) 

The Bengals will have former Browns coach Hue Jackson on their sideline for this game, but they might not need him, because they've been just fine in this series without him. The Bengals have won seven straight games against the Browns and they've covered in every single one of those games. As for the Browns, they're one of just three teams in the NFL this year that still hasn't won a road game, going 0-4 straight-up and 2-2 ATS away from home. 

Patriots (7-3) at Jets (3-7)

Opening line: Patriots -7.5

Game info: 1 p.m. ET, CBS (stream on CBS All Access or fuboTV, try it for free) 

The last time we saw the Patriots, they were losing to the Titans in Week 10, which practically makes them a lock in his game. Over the past five years, the Patriots are 15-4 ATS after a loss, which is the best mark in the NFL over that span. On the other hand, the Patriots might not be a lock to cover, and that's because the Jets always seems to keep things close against New England. Although the Jets are just 2-12 straight-up in their past 14 games against the Patriots, they're 9-5 ATS. That being said, the Jets are in a total rut right now and have lost four straight (0-4 ATS). 

Giants (3-7) at Eagles (4-6)

Opening line: Eagles -6

Game info: 1 p.m. ET, Fox (stream on fuboTV, try for free)

The Eagles have lost two games in a row, but playing the Giants might be exactly what they need to end that streak. The Eagles are 8-2 straight-up in their past 10 games against the Giants (6-4 ATS), which includes a winning streak of four in a row. Although the Giants have struggled this season, you might not want to bet against them in this spot. Not only have they won and covered in two straight games, but the Giants are 4-1 ATS on the road this season, which is tied for the second-best mark in the NFL. Of course, the argument against betting on the Giants is that they've lost every divisional game they've played this season (0-3) and they haven't covered in any of them. 

49ers (2-8) at Buccaneers (3-7)

Opening line: Buccaneers -3

Game info: 1 p.m. ET, Fox (stream on fuboTV, try for free)

If there's one time you don't want to bet on the 49ers, it's when they go to the Eastern Time Zone. Since 2015, the 49ers are an ugly 0-11 straight-up in eastern time and 3-8 ATS. The 49ers have actually been bad in all road games this season, going 0-5 straight-up (2-3 ATS). On the Bucs' end, they're just 1-7 both straight-up and ATS in their past eight games. One thing to keep an eye on is the starting QB for the Bucs in this game. Jameis Winston took over for Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday and there's a chance he could get the start against the 49ers. 

Seahawks (5-5) at Panthers (6-4)

Opening line: Panthers -3

Game info: 1 p.m. ET, Fox (stream on fuboTV, try for free)

The Panthers have been unbeatable at home this year, going 5-0 straight-up and 4-1 ATS, which is tied for the best home mark in the NFL. If you include last season, the Panthers' home streak is actually even more impressive. In their past 10 home games dating back to 2017, the Panthers have gone 10-0 straight-up and 8-2 ATS. As for the Seahawks, Russell Wilson has never lost a regular-season game in Charlotte (3-0 straight-up, 2-1 ATS). Seattle is also 4-1-1 ATS in its past six games. 

Raiders (2-8) at Ravens (5-5)

Opening line: NO LINE

Game info: 1 p.m. ET, CBS (stream on CBS All Access or fuboTV, try it for free) 

This is one of three games this week that opened with no line. The reason oddsmakers were hesitant to give this game a line is because the Ravens are being coy about their quarterback situation. Although Lamar Jackson led the team to a win on Sunday, there's a chance Joe Flacco (hip) could be starting against the Raiders if he's healthy enough to play. The Ravens are 1-3 both straight-up and ATS in their past four games, but all three of those losses came with Flacco. As for the Raiders, they've lost 12 of 14 dating back to last season and they're just 3-7 ATS this year, which is tied for the worst mark in the NFL. 

Cardinals (2-8) at Chargers (7-3)

Opening line: Chargers -11.5

Game info: 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox (stream on fuboTV, try for free)

The Cardinals have struggled against the AFC in road games over the past few years. Since the beginning of 2015, the Cardinals have gone 2-5 both straight-up and ATS in that situation. As for the Chargers, they don't ever seem to lose when they're a big favorite. Over the past five years, the Chargers have gone 6-0 straight-up when favored by 10 or more, but just 2-4 ATS. 

Steelers (7-2-1) at Broncos (4-6)

Opening line: Steelers -3.5

Game info: 4:25 p.m ET, CBS (stream on CBS All Access or fuboTV, try it for free) 

The Steelers are the only team in the AFC that's still unbeaten on the road this year. In five games, the Steelers have gone 4-0-1 straight-up and 3-1-1 ATS. The Steelers are also currently on a six-game winning streak, where they've gone 5-1 ATS. As for the Broncos, the mile-high advantage doesn't seem to work too well in November. Since the beginning of the 2016 season, the Broncos have gone 0-4 straight-up and ATS in November home games. However, one reason to like the Broncos is that they're 4-1 ATS in their past five games. 

Dolphins (5-5) at Colts (5-5)

Opening line: NO LINE

Game info: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS (stream on CBS All Access or fuboTV, try it for free) 

There's no line in this game yet and that's because the Dolphins quarterback situation is still a mystery. Although Brock Osweiler has started the past five games for Miami, that could change this week if Ryan Tannehill is healthy. Both Dolphins quarterbacks have had trouble winning this year. The Dolphins have lost five of their past seven and have gone 2-5 ATS in that span. The Dolphins are also 1-4 ATS on the road this year, which is tied for the worst mark in the NFL. On the Colts' end, they've been one of the safest bets in football over the past few weeks. Not only have they won four in a row, but they're 3-0-1 ATS in that span. 

Packers (4-5-1) at Vikings (5-4-1)

Opening line: Vikings -4.5

Game info: 8:20 p.m., NBC (stream on fuboTV, try for free)

When it comes to playing on the road, the Packers have been one of the worst teams in football this year, going 0-4-1 straight-up. The Packers have actually lost seven straight road games dating back to last season, and have gone 1-5-1 ATS in that span. Things have actually been worse for the Packers in their past five game primetime games and that's because they haven't covered a single time, going 0-4-1 ATS (2-3 straight-up). As for the Vikings, they're 5-1 ATS in home primetime games under Mike Zimmer. The Vikings are also 4-1-1 straight-up in their past six games against the Packers (but just 2-4 ATS). 

Titans (5-5) at Texans (7-3), Monday 

Opening line: NO LINE

Game info: 8:15 p.m., ESPN

The reason we don't have a line in this game yet is because it's not clear if Marcus Mariota is going to play. Mariota injured his elbow on Sunday and wasn't able to finish the game. If he can't go, then Blaine Gabbert will start for the Titans. Of course, it might not matter who the quarterback is and that's because the Titans have some serious trouble winning in Houston. The Titans have lost six in a row in Houston and they're just 1-5 ATS in those games. One reason to like that Titans, though, is because they've covered every Monday game they've played in over the past 10 years. Since 2008, the Titans have gone 6-1 straight-up on Monday and 7-0 ATS. That total includes a 28-14 win back in Week 9, when the Titans covered as a 4.5-point underdog in Dallas. As for the Texans, although they're the AFC's hottest team with seven wins in a row, they're just 4-3 ATS during that streak. 

BYES: Chiefs, Rams