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Dalzell's Dish

Thanksgiving NFL Player Props: Zeke Elliot, Josh Allen, Detroit Lions?

by Vaughn Dalzell
Updated On: November 25, 2021, 10:51 am ET

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Ezekiel Elliott O/U 14.5 Rushing Attempts vs. Raiders

The Dallas Cowboys are dealing with some key offensive issues. The Boys' are missing Amari Cooper because of COVID and possibly CeeDee Lamb because of a concussion suffered on Sunday, putting Dallas at a disadvantage. 

Per sources, there is positive progress being made for Lamb, but I cannot imagine someone concussed on Sunday is ok to play a professional football game by Thursday, but hey, not my call.

The Raiders have been susceptible to the run, allowing opposing running backs plenty of carries. This week, Dallas will have to commit more to the ground game after falling behind and attempting 43 passes against Kansas City.

If the Cowboys fall behind, it will be hard to dig themselves out of this hole. Without Cooper and potentially Lamb, Zeke is the No. 1 option in the offense.


Joe Mixon: 30 carries, 130 yards

Darrel Williams & Derrick Gore: 17 carries, 62 yards

Devontae Booker: 21 carries, 99 yards

Boston Scott, Kenneth Gainwell, Miles Sanders: 18 carries, 74 yards

Melvin Gordon & Javonte Williams: 21 carries, 103 yards

Damien Williams: 16 carries, 64 yards

Khalil Herbert: 18 carries, 75 yards

Austin Ekeler: 15 carries, 117 yards

Myles Gaskin: 13 carries, 65 yards

Najee Harris: 10 carries, 38 yards

Latavius Murray & Ty'Son Williams: 19 carries, 93 yards


Mixon, Booker, Damien Williams, Herbert and Ekeler all did this versus Las Vegas, while others had a 1-2 punch. Like them, Dallas does with Tony Pollard, although he is more reserved for the passing attack.

I have Zeke projected at 16.5 carries, and potentially without Lamb, there is a chance the Cowboys commit to Elliott more. If Lamb is out, I will target Pollard and Michael Gallup for receiving props.

The Raiders have allowed the fourth-most rushing yards on the season (1,335) and tied for the seventh-highest yards per carry (4.5) and the second-most runs of 20-plus yards allowed (9). Dallas will be rewarded if they feed Zeke.

I would play the Over 15.5 rushing attempts for a half-unit or pivot to him to score two touchdowns for a smaller wager with a much better payout.

Pick: Ezekiel Elliott Over 14.5 Rushing Attempts (1u)


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Josh Allen O/U 278.5 Passing Yards vs. Saints

Josh Allen and Buffalo have played so poorly lately that it's tough for me to trust them on the spread.

However, the spread opened Bills -4 and grew to -6.5, so looks like people are once again back on the Bills' train.

While I hold my Allen MVP ticket tight to my chest, the night game is the perfect way for Allen to get back into the elite MVP conversation. He is there now but fading away.

Allen averages 281.1 passing yards per game this season on 38.2 passing attempts. Per NBC's Player Prop Model,

Allen has hit 275 or more yards only three out of nine times this season, and he has had 264 or more in five of nine games. 

PointsBet has opened this line at 280.5 and it has been beat down to 275.5 there. NBC's player prop model projects him to have 294 passing yards, hitting the Over. I like the Under!

Josh Allen Passing yards


Per statmuse, opposing quarterbacks hit this number four of 10 times this season. 

Daniel Jones (402), Tom Brady (375), Matt Ryan (343) and Sam Darnold (305) all hit the Over 274.5 versus New Orleans, with Mac Jones falling five yards shy (270).

As you can see the past two weeks, Jalen Hurts and Ryan Tannehill, two athletic quarterbacks did not even come close to this.

QBs vs NO


New Orleans has allowed the third-most plays of 40-plus yards through the air (9) and is tied for the 11th-most 20-yard pass plays surrendered (36). 

Allen has the second-ranked deep ball completion percentage in the NFL at 52.9% and the third-most deep balls overall (51) and per game (5.1), per PlayerProfiler. That makes you want to bet the Over, but looking at the spread grow and the Saints' injuries make me re-think betting his Over.

Alvin Kamara is out, Mark Ingram is questionable and Trevor Siemian is the starting quarterback. There is a chance the Saints get blown out, but I like the urgency to keep this semi-close.

New Orleans ranks No. 1 in yards per carry (3.4), No. 3 in rushing yards allowed (898) and allow the third-fewest first downs on the ground (53).

Allen is going to be the only weapon on the ground versus New Orleans as Zack Moss and Devin Singletary are less than ideal. Allen should get enough rushing attempts to take away from his passing stats, especially late in this game.

I would play this down to 270.5 Passing Yards. Allen has not hit the Over in three straight weeks.

You could wait until Thursday Night and get a better line with everyone likely playing his Over and the Bills -6.5.

Pick: Josh Allen Under 278.5 Passing Yards (1u)


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Bears (-3) at Lions: O/U 42.0

Andy Dalton versus Jared Goff on Thanksgiving. What more can you ask for?

Historically this is a great football tradition and has been a competitive game over the years, no matter who has been at quarterback.

Detroit is 6-3-1 ATS (66.7%) and 6-4 on the ML (60%) over the last 10 meetings with Chicago at home.

The Over has cashed in two straight meetings, and Chicago won three straight in Detroit, per NBC's Edge Finder.

CHI DET when DET is home


Overall, both squads are 2-2 ATS in the last four meetings in Detroit or Chicago. The Bears have won six of the past seven, but five games have come by one possession finishes.

Detroit could not get anything in the passing game last week with Tim Boyle making his first NFL start against a quick Browns defensive line in Cleveland.

Chicago won this season's meeting 24-14 behind three touchdowns and 161 rushing yards from David Montgomery and Damien Williams. Justin Fields went 11/17 for one interception. Goff had 299 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Williams is questionable and missed Tuesday's practice, and Khalil Herbert had one rushing attempt last week and four the week prior.

Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney are both questionable or doubtful. Robinson missed the previous game versus the Ravens and could miss here, while Mooney has expected to play after his huge game against the Ravens.

Without Robinson, we have options at wide out with Mooney or running back with Montgomery, who is a fantasy cuff of mine and one of Warren Sharp's favorite player props on the slate. 

Play them if A-Rob is out and grab the Lions +3 and hold your nose.

Pick: Lions +3 (1u)



Thanksgiving Day Games Breakdown with NBC Sports Edge's own.


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I lean Raiders +7.5 and the Saints if the spread approaches +7.5 or higher. With that being said, let's play every game to have a winning margin of 13 or fewer points.

Meaning, no team can lose by 14 or more points. I would play this for some Turkey money or up to a 0.5 unit.

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Vaughn Dalzell

Vaughn Dalzell is a former Division I SID, two-time IUP Alumnus and former contributor for numberFire, FantasyPros and Bet The Prop. You can follow him on Twitter for more insight @VmoneySports.