You might want to go ahead and clear 10 hours of your schedule on Thanksgiving for NFL games because the league is about to give us something we haven't seen in over eight decades.
The three games being played this Thursday will mark the first time in 81 years that there will be three or more games on Thanksgiving involving teams that all have a record of .500 or better.
On paper, all three games seem pretty evenly matched. The oddsmakers in Vegas don't always look at that paper when they're putting together the spreads each week. According to them, the biggest mismatch on Thanksgiving is taking place in Dallas, where the Cowboys are a 6.5-point favorite over the Redskins.
That's right, the Cowboys are favored by nearly a touchdown over a Redskins team that's 6-1-1 in its past eight games, the same Redskins team that lost by just four points to the Cowboys in Week 2.
That's your main course for Thanksgiving.
Will this be the best Thanksgiving ever?
Only if your in-laws don't show up and all three of these games go to overtime.
Let's get to the rest of the Week 12 odds.
NFL Week 12 early odds
(All lines via VegasInsider.com)
Thursday, Nov. 24
Vikings (6-4) at Lions (6-4) (Opening line: Lions, -3 points)
Current line: Lions, (-2.5 points). This will be the second time in 18 days that these two teams have met. On Nov. 6, the Lions pulled off one of the most dramatic wins of the season by topping Minnesota 22-16 in overtime in a game where the Lions were 4.5-point underdogs. This time around, the Lions are the favorites, and that's probably because they're 4-1 straight up and ATS at home this season. It probably also helps that the Lions have won three straight games on Thanksgiving Day. As for the Vikings, they're 5-1 all-time on Thanksgiving, but haven't played on the holiday since 2000. Thanksgiving aside, the Vikings have been covering the spread against divisional opponents: Since 2015, they're 6-3 ATS in division games, which is the second-best record in the NFC.
Redskins (6-3-1) at Cowboys (9-1) (Opening line: Cowboys, -6.5 points)
Current line: Cowboys, (-6.5 points). The Cowboys are an NFL-best 9-1 ATS this season, a total that includes a 27-23 Week 2 win over Washington when Dallas was a 3.5-point underdog. Including that win, the Cowboys have now won three of the past four in this series. On the Redskins' end they'll be facing an ugly turnaround in this game: They have to play Thanksgiving Day on the road after playing in the Sunday night game, which is almost unprecedented. This will be the Redskins' first Thanksgiving game since 2012, when they beat the Cowboys 38-31. The Cowboys are 1-3 straight up in their past four Thanksgiving games.
Steelers (5-5) at Colts (5-5) (Opening line: Steelers, -3 points)
Current line: Steelers, (-2.5 points). If the past two seasons are any indication, the Colts could be in trouble on Thursday. Last year, Ben Roethlisberger (364 yards, four touchdowns) shredded the Colts in a 45-10 win. In 2014, he did the same thing, throwing for 522 yards and six touchdowns in a 51-34 win. The Steelers have won their past three prime-time games by an average score of 42-13. The one thing going in Indy's favor: Since Andrew Luck's rookie year in 2012, the Colts are 9-1 ATS when they're home underdogs. This will be the Steelers' first Thanksgiving game since 2013. This will be the Colts' first Thanksgiving game since 2007. The Colts have never lost on Thanksgiving, while the Steelers are 0-5 straight up on Thanksgiving Day since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.
Sunday, Nov. 27
Current line: Pick'em. One of the safest bets of the 2016 NFL season has been taking the Texans at home. In five games this year, the Texans are 5-0 straight up and 4-0-1 ATS at NRG Stadium. This game basically comes down to who do you trust more: The Chargers' fourth-ranked offense or the Texans' fourth-ranked defense? If you think it's a wash there, then consider this: The Chargers have the NFL's sixth-best run defense, which could mean that Brock Osweiler has to win this game for Houston. The Chargers are 2-0 all-time at NRG Stadium.
Current line: Titans, (-2 points). When it comes to covering the spread, the Bears have been one of the worst teams in the NFL this year, going just 3-7 ATS. Of course, at 2-8, they've just been one of the worst teams overall. If the Bears can't slow down the Titans' third-ranked running game, they'll have no chance in this game. Since the beginning of 2015, the Titans are 4-9 ATS on the road, which is the second-worst mark in the NFL over that span. On the other hand, the Titans have gone 4-1 ATS after a loss this season.
Current line: Bills, (-7 points). The last time these two teams played, last season, the Jags shocked the Bills with a 34-31 win in London. It would be a minor miracle if the Jags did that again, considering that they haven't scored 34 points in a game all season. One injury to keep an eye on in this game will be LeSean McCoy. The Bills running back injured his thumb in Week 11 and will be having a surgical procedure this week. Although he's expected to play against the Jaguars, there's no guarantee that he'll be available.
Current line: Ravens, (-3.5 points). The Bengals need to figure out a way to score 22 points in this game. Since 2013, the Bengals are 31-1-2 straight up in games where they score 22 or more points. Unfortunately for Cincy, that number's not going to be easy to hit against Baltimore. Not only do the Bengals have to deal with one of the best defenses in the NFL, but they're going to have to do it without two of their best weapons: A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard. Bernard is definitely out after tearing his ACL in Week 11, while there's a good chance Green could miss the game after injuring his hamstring. That being said, the Ravens might have a tough time beating the Bengals whether Green's on the field or not. Baltimore is 0-5 in its last five games against the Bengals. However, the Ravens are 3-0 ATS against divisional teams this year.
Current line: Falcons, (-4 points). After getting off to a 4-1 start, the Falcons have fallen back to earth recently, going just 2-3 in their past five games. Of course, things could be worse, they could be the Cardinals, who are under .500 this far into the season for the first time in coach Bruce Arians' four years. The Cards have been one of the worst teams in the NFL this year against the spread, going just 3-7 ATS. In the NFC, only the Panthers and 49ers have been worse. The Cardinals haven't won in Atlanta since 1992.
49ers (1-9) at Dolphins (6-4) (Opening line: Dolphins, -8.5 points)
Current line: Dolphins, (-7.5 points). It will be interesting to see what happens to this line over the course of the week since we're getting one of the NFL's hottest teams going up against the NFC's worst team. Over their past five games, the Dolphins are 5-0 both straight up and ATS. However, they haven't been blowing people out. Of Miami's five wins during their streak, only one has come by more than seven points. That being said, you have to like Jay Ajayi's chances going up against the worst run defense in the NFL. The 49ers are giving up 180 yards per game on the ground. No other team in the NFL gives up more than 150.
Current line: Saints, (-7 points). The Saints have quietly become one of the NFL's best teams against the spread. Despite their 4-6 record, the Saints are 6-3-1 ATS, which is the fourth-best mark in the NFL this season. Drew Brees has already gone toe-to-toe with some of the best defenses in the NFL this year (Seahawks, Broncos), so the Rams shouldn't be a problem. If the Saints offense can just put up 20 points, the Rams will have a tough time staying in the game. Over their past four games, the Rams are averaging just 9.8 points per game. Of course, if Jared Goff is going to put up big numbers in any game, it wouldn't be a shock to see it happen against a Saints passing defense that's ranked among the bottom five in the NFL.
Current line: Giants, (-7 points). The Browns have been horrible against pretty much everyone this year, but things have been especially ugly against teams from the NFC East. Through three games, the Browns are 0-3 and they've lost those games by an average of 18.3 points. The Browns are also an NFL worst 2-9 ATS. Don't look for Eli Manning or the Giants offense to overlook this game, either. Cleveland is one of the few cities where Eli has never won.
Seahawks (7-2-1) at Buccaneers (5-5) (Opening line: Seahawks, -6 points)
Current line: Seahawks, (-5.5 points). After ending the Chiefs' five-game winning streak Sunday, the Bucs will be looking to end another winning streak when the Seahawks travel to Tampa this week. The Seahawks have won three in a row and are 5-1-1 in their past seven games. The problem for the Bucs is that they're playing at home, where they're just 1-4 both straight up and ATS. The other problem for the Bucs is that the Seahawks' defense is actually good. The Bucs have struggled against strong defenses, scoring just seven points in losses to Arizona and Denver.
Panthers (4-6) at Raiders (7-2 before Monday's game) (Opening line: Raiders, -4.5 points)
Current line: Raiders, (-4 points). If the Panthers have one advantage in this game, it's that they get to face a Raiders team coming off a short week and flying back from a foreign country (Mexico). Of course the Raiders will also have an advantage in this game and that advantage is that Panthers are just 1-3 on the road this year, which includes an NFL-worst mark 0f 0-3-1 ATS. Not counting Monday's game against Houston, the Raiders are 6-3 ATS this year, which is tied for the fifth-best mark in the NFL. Make sure to keep an eye on Luke Kuechly's status (concussion) because if the Panthers don't have their star linebacker, they're going to have a tough time slowing down one of the NFL's best offenses.
Current line: Patriots, (-8.5 points). You might want to bet this game early if you like the Patriots because the line could shoot up another point if Rob Gronkowski plays. The Patriots tight end sat out New England's Week 11 win over San Francisco. Besides Gronk's status, the other part of this game that's currently a mystery is the identity of the Jets' starting quarterback. Although Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely start, Bryce Petty got the start the last time New York was on the field. Either way, you have to like New England: The Patriots have been one of the safest bets all year, going 8-2 both straight up and ATS.
Chiefs (7-2) at Broncos (7-3) (Opening line: Broncos, -3.5 points)
Current line: Broncos, (-3 points). The Broncos have been nearly unbeatable at home in prime-time games over the past four years. Since 2012, Denver is 13-1 straight up in home night games, a total that includes a 2-0 record this year. The Broncos beat the Panthers (Week 1) and Texans (Week 7) and covered the spread in both games. On the other hand, no one melts down in the bright lights of prime time quite like the Chiefs. Since 2014, the Chiefs are 1-5 straight up in night games. The Chiefs have been struggling on offense lately and going up against Denver's defense probably isn't going to help things. Overall, Denver is 7-3 ATS on the season, which is the third-best mark in the NFL.
Monday, Nov. 28
Current line: Eagles, (-3 points). The Packers' season is falling apart fast and their Week 12 game in Philadelphia probably isn't going to help things. Not only will the Packers bring a four-game losing streak into Monday's game, but they' be going up against an Eagles team that's 4-0 at home this year both straight up and ATS. The Packers are banged up on defense and it's hard to imagine how they're going to keep the Eagles from scoring. During their four-game losing streak, Green Bay has given up an average of 38.3 points per game. The Packers are 0-3 straight up and ATS in November.