I wanted to find out if there were any recurring trends that stuck out for Thanksgiving Day games, and it just so happens that I came across a significant one.  Teams who are favored on Thanksgiving have been winning and covering at a solid rate.

The table below shows the record against the spread (ATS) for teams who have been favored on Thanksgiving since 1989.  As you can see, favorites have been killing it overall, hitting 67%.

As you can see from the table, this can be really streaky. There was a stretch from 2004 to 2008 where it didn’t lose, going a perfect 13-0. There was also a recent run from 2012 to 2015 where it wasn’t profitable any of those years. The good news, after a 3-0 sweep last year, it’s now 5-1 over the last two seasons.

I would never follow a trend like this blindly.  The sample size is too small and the trend appears to be regressing toward the mean.  It’s also hard to come up with a logical reason “why” the favorite would cover just because it’s Thanksgiving.  With that being said, if you like one of the favorites this Thanksgiving Day in the NFL, history is definitely on your side!

2018 Thanksgiving Day NFL Favorites

  • Bears -4 @ Lions
  • Cowboys -7.5 vs Redskins
  • Saints -13 vs Faloncs

NFL Favorites ATS on Thanksgiving

SeasonATS RecordWin %
20173-0100%
20162-167%
20151-150%
20141-233%
20131-233%
20121-233%
20112-167%
20102-167%
20092-167%
20083-0100%
20073-0100%
20063-0100%
20052-0100%
20042-0100%
20030-20%
20021-0100%
20010-20%
20002-0100%
19991-150%
19981-150%
19971-150%
19962-0100%
19951-0100%
19941-150%
19930-20%
19922-0100%
19912-0100%
19901-150%
19891-150%
Last 5 Yrs8-657%
Totals44-2367%