There is one way to quickly change any uncomfortable family talk about politics, and that is a Thanksgiving full of football. The NFL has you covered from the early afternoon to deep into your food comma tonight, and college football also makes a brief appearance thanks to the state of Mississippi.
While high schools and colleges played on the holiday in the early years of the sport, the tradition really took hold in 1934 when the Lions played the Bears in the first NFL game on Thanksgiving.
In keeping with tradition, the Lions and Cowboys both host Thanksgiving games. The Lions kick off the day at 12:30 p.m. Eastern with a big NFC North showdown on Fox. After two straight losses, the Cowboys will look to get back on track against the Chargers. The Cowboys-Chargers game kicks off at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS as Tony Romo will be in the booth to call the game featuring his former team. The final NFL game of the day features the Redskins and Giants on NBC at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.
College football fans only have one option as Mississippi State hosts Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. Given it is Thanksgiving, the early games will feature beefed up halftime shows. Andy Grammer will perform at halftime of the Lions-Vikings game, while Thomas Rhett is performing at the half of the Chargers-Cowboys game.
Both the Lions and Vikings come into the Turkey Day matchup riding hot streaks. Minnesota has won six straight games, while Detroit has won three straight contests. The Lions are 36-38-2 all-time on Thanksgiving, but have won their last four matchups on the holiday including last year’s game against the Vikings. Detroit is also one of only two teams to defeat the Vikings this season. According to OddsShark, the Lions are a three-point underdog in this today’s matchup.
The Cowboys are on a two-game losing streak, and Vegas has their matchup against the Chargers as a pick ’em. Dallas is 30-18-1 all-time on Thanksgiving. After losing their first four games, the Chargers have won four of their last six matchups. Dallas is battling injuries to their offensive line, and have been winless since Ezekiel Elliott started serving his suspension.
Washington is a little more than a touchdown favorite against the Giants. Both teams were expected to contend for the NFC East, but have not been able to live up to their preseason expectations. The Redskins are 4-6 while the Giants are 2-8 this season.
In the lone Thanksgiving college football matchup, Mississippi State is a 16.5 point favorite over Ole Miss. The Rebels come into the rivalry matchup at 5-6, and are looking to become bowl eligible. The Bulldogs are 8-3 this season, and have been one of the best teams in the SEC.
There’s plenty of football to watch as you sit down with that second slice of pie. Here’s the Thanksgiving schedule for both the NFL and college football.
Thanksgiving Schedule 2017: NFL & College Football
|Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions||12:30 p.m./Fox|
|L.A. Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys||4:30 p.m./CBS|
|Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State||7:30 p.m./ESPN|
|New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins||8:30 p.m./NBC|