Over the past 12 years, the Dallas Cowboys have ruined more Thanksgivings than family drama, drunk uncles, and dry turkey combined.
Dallas enters its annual holiday home game dragging a 1-11 against-the-spread mark in the past dozen Thanksgiving showcases.
That Turkey Day trend makes stomaching the Cowboys’ hefty Week 12 odds a challenge, with Dallas laying double digits to the Washington Commanders on Thursday.
That said, “America’s Team” has been crushing bad teams and big spreads this season, going 4-1 ATS when laying a touchdown or more. Can Dallas finally ditch that Thanksgiving turkey… uh, albatross around its neck this year?
I dig into the NFL odds for this NFC East rivalry and give my best NFL picks for Commanders at Cowboys on November 23.
Commanders vs Cowboys odds
Commanders vs Cowboys predictions
Fantasy footballers with Tony Pollard rostered finally got to celebrate for the first time since the season opener, with the Dallas Cowboys running back finding the end zone against Carolina on Sunday.
Pollard put together a solid showing in the 33-10 pounding of the Panthers, adding 61 yards on 12 carries along with 19 receiving yards on four catches. That output came on just 45 snaps, as the Cowboys rested starters in the fourth quarter with the game busted wide open and a short week ahead.
“It felt great,” Pollard told reporters of his Week 11 efforts. “Just being in the open field, making plays, and getting in the end zone. We’re just figuring out what works for us, what we like to run, what we block best, and what we do best. Just getting in a rhythm.”
Reviews of Pollard’s game were glowing from all levels of the Cowboys organization, including QB Dak Prescott, who emphasized the importance of establishing the run to help him find opportunities downfield.
Dallas takes on a Washington Commanders stop unit that has allowed the 10th most yards to running backs and has budged for gains on the ground since gutting its defense at the trade deadline.
The Commanders are allowing an average of five yards per carry over the last three games, watching its EPA allowed per handoff drop from 12th in the opening eight weeks to 19th since Week 9.
What’s more, the Cowboys’ offensive line is rallying around Pollard and really wants to pave the way for another big day for their beloved back. Dallas ranks No. 7 in run block win rate at ESPN. Washington, on the other hand, sits 23rd in run stop win rate overall.
“Just seeing him finally break through and get to the end zone like he’s been wanting to is huge for us,” Cowboys OL Tyron Smith told reporters. “It’s something we want to continue for him for sure.”
After getting a breather in Week 11 (45 snaps), Pollard will likely draw his normal 50-plus snaps in Thursday’s game. NFL player projections range for Pollard in Week 12, with some models showing lows of 52 yards on the ground while others have a ceiling at 85 yards.
Most forecasts come in around 65-plus yards rushing, with my number at 67.5 yards from Dallas’ featured back. That’s plenty of headroom for the Over on Pollard’s rushing prop for Thanksgiving Thursday, which sits as low as 58.5 yards at FanDuel sportsbooks (Over -114).
Given his rejuvenated play, well-received role in the playbook, and big spread painting a run-heavy game script for the Cowboys, Pollard will pick up where he left off and make sure Over bettors are eating well on Thanksgiving.
My best bet: Tony Pollard Over 58.5 rushing yards (-114 at FanDuel)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.
Commanders vs Cowboys same-game parlay
Tony Pollard Over 58.5 Rushing Yards
Dak Prescott Over 1.5 Passing Touchdowns
CeeDee Lamb Touchdown Anytime
Pollard’s projections are calling for 60-plus and he’s starting to find his forum with the playbook leaning into the run against Washington.
Prescott plays his best football at home and faces a Commanders secondary that has allowed the most passing TDs in the league (2.2 per game).
Someone’s going to catch those throws and lately, that someone has been CeeDee Lamb. He’s a beast and will bully his way into the end zone on Thanksgiving.
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Commanders vs Cowboys spread and Over/Under analysis
The offseason spread for this Thanksgiving Thursday game was Dallas -6.5 when the schedule dropped in the spring. That morphed into a look-ahead line of Cowboys -9.5 before the events of Week 11.
After Dallas dropkicked the Carolina Panthers 33-10 and Washington suffered one of the worst losses of the season to an undermanned New York Giants team as 7.5-point home chalk, the official Week 12 spread hit the board at -10.5 on Sunday night.
That line has marched up to an industry average of Cowboys -11, with Covers Consensus numbers showing 64% of early picks laying the lumber with the home team.
Dallas’ terrible Thanksgiving trend aside, the Cowboys have been able to squash weaker foes all year and are especially dominant at home. Dallas is a perfect 4-0 ATS inside AT&T Stadium with an average margin of +27.5 points in those contests.
Putting up points in Jerry’s World has been the norm for “America’s Team” for the past four seasons. The Cowboys are averaging 40 points as a host this season and have lit up the giant scoreboard with an average of more than 33 points per home stand since 2020, leading to a 22-8 Over/Under record against Dallas’ team total in that span.
Washington may not put up much resistance to the Cowboys’ offensive unloading in Arlington. The Commanders, who rank 30th in Defensive DVOA, just allowed a Giants skeleton crew with QB3 Tommy DeVito to score 24 points (31 with an INT return for TD) last Sunday.
That 31-19 loss wasn’t just a bad day for the Commanders defense, but also for an offense that seemed to be picking up steam in recent weeks. Quarterback Sam Howell, who entered Week 11 as the NFL’s passing leader, finished 31-for-45 for 255 yards and one TD, but tossed three interceptions and suffered nine sacks against New York’s blitz-heavy pass rush.
Howell now hits the road to stare down Dallas’ dangerous defense, which ranks third in DVOA and blitzes at the sixth-highest rate in the league. All that chaos at the line has created 16 total takeaways from the Cowboys, including 11 interceptions — four of which have gone for touchdowns.
Thursday’s Over/Under total opened as low as 45.5 points and has climbed to 48.5 as of Tuesday morning, with Covers Consensus showing 63% of early total picks coming in on the Over.
As mentioned, the Cowboys offense does its best work inside the fast track in Arlington, going Over the total in three of their four home games (6-4 O/U overall). Dallas has improved on its red zone offense in recent games (68.75% last three) after struggling to score inside their opponents’ 20-yard line.
The Commanders’ scoring attack was on the up and up before a bad outing against the Giants. Washington has gone Over the total in three of its last four games, with the offense ranked 13th in EPA per play since Week 8, after sitting 23rd in that advanced stat in the opening seven weeks.
Commanders vs Cowboys betting trend to know
The Cowboys may be 1-11 ATS in their last 12 Thanksgiving Day games, but they’ve also topped the Team Total in 22 of their previous 30 homestands overall. Find more NFL betting trends for Commanders vs. Cowboys.
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Commanders vs Cowboys game info
||AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
||Thursday, November 23, 2023
||4:30 p.m. ET
||Cowboys -9.5, 45.5 O/U
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