Thanksgiving player props: Who to ride with for Giants-Cowboys?
Last season, we rocked and rolled our way to the Super Bowl with music-themed Thursday Night Football player props, joyfully celebrating the start of a new NFL week. This year, we'll use an episode from "Must See TV" cornerstone "Seinfeld" each week to remind us that betting is supposed to be fun, even when an absurd series of events leads to a losing bet.
"All they care about is money. I'm about more than money. I'm about people." - George Constanza, lying to a woman on the subway about how he's in the (stock) market.
The Cowboys are double-digit favorites against the division rival Giants - a situation that's made them uncomfortable on recent Thanksgiving afternoons. In Episode 13 of the powerhouse Season 3, the gang each finds themselves in an awkward position on the intricate New York subway system. So with the Giants as this year's holiday visitors to Dallas, we'll look for some lessons from the show to impart on our player prop picks.
Jerry opens the show with a stand-up bit about bumper cars at an amusement park - more common in an era when we gleefully subjected kids to whiplash as a form of recreation. It's the Giants' secondary that's banged up this week, though. There are injury designations all over the depth chart, having lost Adoree Jackson in Sunday's loss to Detroit. CeeDee Lamb was turning heads quickly in the first matchup, racking up eight catches on 12 targets from Cooper Rush.
With Dak Prescott healthy and Ezekiel Elliott making the Cowboys more comfortable in pass protection, Dallas can go back to throwing more than it runs. It took a 30-point lead for the Cowboys to halt the train they were running over the Vikings with Sunday - as Skol fans were screaming for mercy like Elaine on a stopped subway car - and even then, Lamb had five catches in limited work. Don't expect the Cowboys to let up against the Giants, wanting to put on a rare good holiday performance for the home crowd and captive international audience.
Pick: CeeDee Lamb over 5.5 receptions
A TD that's definitely going to happen
Kramer breaks down all the ways to get to Coney Island - New York hot dog eaters' promised land - when Jerry reminds the group that there's a direct route. The problem with the Cowboys' touchdown scorers is that there are many direct routes to the end zone. The Giants' straight-line shot - Saquon Barkley is prohibitively priced, so we'll take a slight detour to paydirt, backing the Cowboys' primary tight end.
With at least five targets in each of his last four games, Dalton Schultz continues to be one of Prescott's favorite targets. The Giants are without their two top corners, which suggests they'll play minimal man-to-man coverage. Schultz can find the soft spots in the zone and could score from further out. He's also an option on play-action passes near the goal line so, at nearly 2-to-1, we'll ride him like Kramer watching Pappernick come home at the off-track betting counter.
Pick: Dalton Schultz anytime touchdown (+187)
A TD that probably won't happen ... but maybe it does
If George was a smarter man, he'd have realized that the woman he gets off the subway with is a way bigger long shot than he believes, but at least he only lost $8 when she comfortably robs him. We can throw that on another intriguing stranger in a scoring situation - Isaiah Hodgins.
The little-known Giants receiver was acquired off the Bills' practice squad during New York's bye week. In two games played since then, he's caught five passes for 70 yards while getting the third-most snaps among the receivers. Wan'Dale Robinson is out for the season with an ACL injury, so Hodgins should get even more attention in a contest the Giants will likely be trailing in.
Even in a potential blowout, Hodgins should be out there gaining experience and could be good for a garbage-time touchdown, making us happier than the studio audience when Kramer gets saved from a mugger by the undercover subway cop.
Pick: Isaiah Hodgins anytime touchdown (+800)
How to bet: The first two bets should be single-unit wagers to win a unit on minus prices and more than a unit on a plus-money bet. The last wager should be smaller, trying to win back your standard unit size.
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.