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One of the best football weeks of the year is upon us! Heading into NFL Week 12, the playoff race is officially underway as the best teams begin to separate themselves from the pack. Not only that, but Thanksgiving Day provides us with an extra day full of football! We’ll continue to use the betting concepts I outlined at the beginning of the season to make weekly betting picks.

Last week, we pushed both bets for yet another 50/50 week, our fourth in a row. Aaron Rodgers forgot how to play football as the Packers laid an egg at Lambeau. Fortunately, the Cowboys got it all back for us in the first five minutes of their game against the Vikings. It was total destruction, as they won the most lopsided contest in the NFL this season.

Let’s tackle some NFL Week 12 betting tips and strategies.

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Betting Tips for NFL Week 12

We’re doing things a little differently this week. There is a TON of football to cover this weekend, but the majority of us are looking forward to Thanksgiving. Of course, most of you won’t watch football on Thursday, choosing to spend time with friends and family, which is far more important than a silly football game.

Kidding! Family sucks. Let’s gamble.

NFL betting trends: Best teams against the spread

I’ve built a super contrarian three-team teaser on Thanksgiving Day to give you action for ten straight hours of football. And disclaimer: Since this is a wonky one, don’t go crazy with your unit sizing. I like the picks, but it’s a Turkey Day parlay, not a scientific certainty.

Let’s do it!

A Very Special Three-Team Thanksgiving Teaser

Here’s a quick recap about teaser strategy. The three unbreakable rules of teasers are:

  1. Always cross two important numbers
  2. Never cross zero
  3. Never tease totals

When teasing, you want to cross two of the most important numbers in football. The best six-point teasers include either a 7 or 8-point favorite that gets teased down to -1 or -2, crossing the key numbers of 3 and 7. Likewise, teasing a +1.5 or +2 underdog up to a +7.5 or +8 is what you want. In both instances, we’re crossing two key numbers.

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Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions (+15.5)

Our first Thanksgiving matchup features the Buffalo Bills as a hefty 9.5-point favorite on the road against the Detroit Lions. The Bills have had an interesting stretch, with last week’s home game getting moved on account of a crazy snowstorm. Conveniently, it was moved to Detroit, where the Bills find themselves this week playing the Lions.

The Buffalo Bills are one of the most popular teams bettors are backing on Thanksgiving during NFL Week 12
The Buffalo Bills are one of the most popular NFL Week 12 picks for public bettors. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

One of the main concepts from my preseason betting guide has been to fade the betting public. Sportsbooks are extremely savvy and can predict with startling accuracy which way bettors are going to wager. The Bills are awesome. The Lions are not. Every recreational sports bettor and degenerate member of your family will be looking to place a bet on the better team, the Bills, and not worry about this inflated point spread.

That’s why we’re taking the Lions.

Not only will bettors pound the Bills on the point spread, but they’ll also be the most popular addition to every NFL Week 12 teaser and moneyline parlay. But during a season where underdogs are covering the spread at close to 60% of the time, there’s way more value in bumping the Lions up to +15.5 instead of taking the Bills down to -3.5.

Bookmark this: Best sports betting apps

This game features the shortest rest period for any NFL team this season. We’re looking at a 12:30 p.m. start on Thursday, which means less than a four-day turnaround for a very physical, very difficult sport. We’ve seen time and again on Thursday Night Football: the shorter the rest period, the clunkier the football tends to be.

While the Bills’ season got off to a hot start with 20+ point victories against the Rams, Titans, and Steelers in their first five weeks, they’ve cooled considerably. The Bills are 3-2 in their last five weeks, with an average margin of victory of six points, including an outright loss to the New York Jets. Josh Allen continues to nurse an elbow injury on his throwing arm which complicates things against a Detroit Lions team that can score thirty points each week.

Beating the Lions at home by more than two touchdowns is a tall order. Give me the home underdog teased to +15.5 and let’s give ourselves something exciting to talk about at the dinner table.

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New York Giants (+15.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys

Another trendy Thanksgiving favorite is the Dallas Cowboys. They’ll host the New York Giants at 4:30 p.m. This look-ahead line was a much more reasonable -6.5 points but has since re-opened as high as -9.5 at some sportsbooks.

The Cowboys are fresh off an utter dismantling of the Minnesota Vikings, handing them their worst home loss in 59 years. The Giants, however, enter this game after an upset loss to the Lions last Sunday. While that could account for the shift in the point spread, it’s safe to assume sportsbooks are expecting a ton of money to come in on Dallas. The Cowboys are “America’s Team” after all, and eager football fans will be looking to spend a few bucks while chowing down turkey legs. And, as they always do, the public will bet the favorite.

That’s why we’re betting the other way. Again.

There’s absolutely no good reason the Cowboys should be favored by close to ten points. Both teams boast identical  7-3 records, and a victory this Thursday has huge playoff implications in a tight NFC East race. Divisional matchups are always played tough, and the Giants can move ahead of the Cowboys with a victory this week. And, as I wrote above, this is another short week that should see plenty of clunky football.

The Cowboys should be a touchdown favorite. This line has been inflated by recency bias and dumb public money. And when the betting market gives you free points, you take them. By teasing the Giants up to +15.5, we cross through key numbers 10 and 14, making this a juicy middle leg to our three-team Thanksgiving teaser.

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New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings (Under 48.5)

For the final leg of our Three Team Thanksgiving Teaser, we’ll be looking to cash our ticket with a low-scoring affair. The final Thanksgiving game between the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings kicks off Thursday night.

The third of my “Three Unbreakable Rules of Teasers” is to never tease totals. Well. Rules were made to be broken baybaaaaaaaaay, because how’s this for a stat? The Under has hit in the last seven straight Thanksgiving night games going back to 2014.

When you have two teams struggling on offense, that trend looks even better. Both the Patriots and Vikings offenses scored a whopping six points last Sunday.


What’s more, both offensive lines are dealing with injuries. The Vikings lost LT Christian Darrisaw last week to a concussion, while the Patriots will be without starting C David Andrews and LT Isaiah Wynn. It’s difficult to generate a passing attack with a quarterback under constant pressure.

This total should only trickle lower as game time approaches, so tease her up to 48.5 before you lose the chance. If all goes well, you’ll be the miserable cousin rooting against teams to score on Thanksgiving as you finish your pumpkin pie.

The Very Special Three-Team Thanksgiving Teaser

  • Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions (+15.5)
  • New York Giants (+15.5) vs. Dallas Cowboys
  • New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings (Under 48.5)

Odds +160 or better

Also read: NFL Week 12 odds | Super Bowl 57 odds | 2022 NFL MVP odds

About the Author
Jim Robinson

Jim Robinson

Jim Robinson is a sports betting writer at Gaming Today. An entertainment professional with 20 years of experience as an actor, writer, producer, and comedian, Robinson recently transitioned into the world of sports media as a writer and content creator. He has over 15 years of experience as a sports bettor, poker player, and card sharp. Robinson is proficient in all forms of betting and in-game wagering but his expertise is the PGA Tour.

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