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Sharp bettors feast on Thanksgiving Day sides

Canned cranberry sauce makes most lists of worst Thanksgiving side dishes.

But seeing it served on a dish in the shape of a can, with those hilarious red ridges, brings back fond memories of childhood.

The same goes for the Detroit Lions. They’re arguably the worst franchise in NFL history, but watching them play on Thanksgiving is a comforting tradition.

That said, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and Brussels sprouts might be easier to stomach than Thursday morning’s matchup between the winless Lions (0-9-1, 6-4 ATS) and Chicago Bears (3-7, 4-6 ATS).

Thankfully, a wager on a game always makes it more appetizing. The Bears are 3-point favorites after the line opened at 3½ and the total is 41½.

LIONS (+3) over Bears

Sharp bettors backed Detroit +3½ at the South Point sportsbook. Wizardraceandsports.com handicapper “Dr. Alan” Dumond, a two-time top-five finisher in the Westgate SuperContest, still recommends a play on the Lions +3.

“The Bears are on a five-game losing streak and have been dealing with the distraction that coach Matt Nagy may be fired soon, which has taken the focus off of their preparation for this game,” said Dumond, who has a 47-30 ATS record (61 percent) this season with wagers on every game documented on the website.

“The Lions will be motivated to get their first win of the season in front of their home crowd and may welcome back starting quarterback Jared Goff,” Dumond said. “We’ll call for the Lions to get off the schneid and get their win on Thanksgiving Day.”

Circa Sports oddsmaker Chris Bennett said he lowered the line to -3 on Tuesday amid reports that Goff was trending in the right direction.

“It’s just hard to have the Bears laying points. They’re just not good,” he said. “The Lions are the worst team in the NFL. But you’ve got to think they’re going to be fired up and treating this game like the Super Bowl, because nobody wants to have a winless season.

“If they don’t win this game, the possibility of being winless becomes very real.”

Detroit, which has lost 15 of the last 20 games on the holiday, is +136 on the money line at Circa.

Surviving Thanksgiving

Only 134 entries are still alive in the Circa Survivor contest, which pays $6 million to the winner and considers Thanksgiving Day a separate contest week.

Of the remaining entries, 82 have Dallas available to play Thursday and 29 have Buffalo available. That means that at least 23 entries will have their shot at $6 million riding on the Lions, Bears, Saints or Raiders.

Professional sports bettor Jeff Whitelaw has one entry left in Survivor and is playing the Cowboys, consensus 7½-point favorites over the Raiders after the line opened at 7. The total is 51½.

Sharp plays

Circa took sharp money on Dallas -7. But Whitelaw said his wagers will depend on the status of Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb, who is questionable in concussion protocol. Dallas wideout Amari Cooper is out in COVID-19 protocol.

“If CeeDee Lamb plays, I would sort of favor Dallas,” Whitelaw said. “But if Lamb is out, I would have to play that game under because now you take both receivers out and they couldn’t score against Kansas City, which has a weak defense.”

The Cowboys are 31-21-1 overall on Thanksgiving, but are on a 1-9 spread slide on the holiday.

Circa took sharp action on the Bills -4½ and -5½ over the Saints in the nightcap. Buffalo is a consensus 6-point favorite at New Orleans and the total is 45½.

Both teams are coming off lopsided losses, but the Saints are riddled with injuries and might be missing running backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.

“That was a dramatic line move. It jumped a full 1½ to two points,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “We’ve seen the Saints’ offense really struggle with Trevor Siemian, and they could be without their top two running backs in this game.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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