4 Winning Football Bets to Make on Thanksgiving

How to take money from your loved ones while watching the game on Turkey Day.

Just about everybody watches football on Thanksgiving. And since second-guessing coaches and quarterbacks is an NFL fan tradition, T-Day presents an ideal opportunity for suckering your clueless brother-in-law or drunken uncle into taking a turkey of a bet.

For expert advice on how to win cash from your unsuspecting family members during the game, we turn to professional sports handicapper Kevin Todd, president and CEO of thesportsbrokers.com. Here’s his advice on four fun ways to get over on your loved ones: 

1.A field goal of more than 44.5 yards over the course of a particular game.

Betting Line: Even money.

Family Deal: Tell a relative that you’re feeling good about field goals and, because you’re in the mood to be generous, you’ll sweeten the pot by paying $105 if you lose and receiving only $100 if you win. 

Pro Tip: Bet on the Dallas Cowboys vs. Carolina Panthers. “Dallas has one of the best kickers in the league and the game is being played indoors,” Todd says. “So you don’t have to worry about wind.”

2.A turnover in the first 7-minutes and 30-seconds of the game.

Betting Line: -2.0 (meaning that you need to bet $2 to win $1, because a turnover is likely to happen).

Family Deal: Tell a relative that you have a crazy theory: players will be thinking of the tasty turkey dinners they’re missing, and their heads will not be in the game, which could lead to turnovers. Say you’ll lay 1.25 on the bet. This means that you’ll bet $1.25 to win $1, which puts you ahead of the posted odds.

Pro Tip: Bet on the Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles. “Both teams like to pass [which creates opportunities for interceptions] and Philadelphia runs more plays than any other team in the league,” Todd says. “They don’t do huddles and more plays create more opportunities for turnovers.”

3.A special team will not score a touchdown.

Betting Line: -2.00 that it won’t happen. Again, you’ll be betting $2 to win $1, but the wager is in your favor.

Family Deal:  Declare that special team players are mentally weaker than other players and can’t take the pressure of the game. Somebody is bound to tell you that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Then say you’re confident enough to lay 1.25 to 1 that a special team will go scoreless.

Pro Tip: Bet on the Green Bay Packers vs. the Chicago Bears. “The game is being played outside and the weather will be brutal,” Todd predicts. In other words, the likelihood of anyone running back a touchdown is even more remote than usual.

4. The team that scores first will win the game.

Betting Line: Green Bay at -4.00. This means that for every $4.00 you bet, you will win just $1.00. It sounds rough, but hear us out…

Family Deal: Casually mention that some idiot at work was talking about the “first touchdown jinx.” Let it hang in the air and then say you’re so sure it’s bullshit that you’ll lay 1.75 to 1 on a first-scoring team winning the game. 

Pro Tip: Despite the fact that two things have to happen for you to make a profit—Green Bay needs to score the first touchdown and must win the game—Todd still likes the Packers. “If they score first, which they easily could, you’re not laying the 9 points that you would if you bet on them simply to win.”