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Raiders vs. Cowboys: The best player prop bets for Thanksgiving

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November 24th, 2021

The Cowboys were stunned in Arrowhead last week as the Kansas City Chiefs held them to just three field goals in a 19-9 loss. Dallas couldn’t get going on offense, despite Kansas City’s issues defensively, but the Cowboys can put that game behind them with a quick turnaround this week.

The Raiders are in town for the afternoon Thanksgiving showdown, and Derek Carr & Co. are in crisis. After going into the bye 5-2, the Raiders have since lost three games in a row by a combined total of 53 points. They need to stop the rot, but that might be easier said than done with the Cowboys a 7.5 favorite in Dallas.

Thu, November 25 2021, 9:30 PM

DAL Cowboys

Moneyline

-335

Spread

-7.5

Total

O 50.5

LV Raiders

Moneyline

+255

Spread

+7.5

Total

U 50.5

We've examined this Thanksgiving matchup closely, and have the three best player prop bets below.

Ezekiel Elliott: Over/Under 64.5 Rushing Yards

The Cowboys only ran the ball 16 times vs. the Chiefs as they struggled to get the offense going. Zeke got nine of those runs, which was his lowest tally of the year, as he ended up gaining more yards in the passing game than he did on the ground. Worryingly for Elliott fans, that was the fourth game in a row he’s dipped under 52 yards rushing.

Those games have been a little odd though. The Cowboys went down big and early against both the Chiefs and the Broncos, running the ball just 16 times in each game, while they were so dominant against the Falcons, Zeke was barely used in the second half.

Before the Week 7 bye, Elliott was averaging 86.8 yards per game at a career high rate of 5.1 yards per carry, and that’s the kind of form we can expect him to get back to on Thanksgiving. The match-up is favorable, with the Raiders giving up 104.1 yards per game to opposing running backs – the seventh highest tally in the league.

Elliot, meanwhile, can expect an uptick in volume with Amari Cooper and possibly CeeDee Lamb both missing for Dallas and a more favorable game script where the Cowboys are 7.5 favorites at home. Zeke has played 57 NFL games in which he has had 17 carries or more, and in 48 of them (84%) he’s gone for at least 77 yards.

He’s had at least 17 carries in four games this season and should see plenty of work on Thursday.

Pick: Over 64.5 Rushing Yards (-118)


Josh Jacobs: Over/Under 44.5 Rushing Yards

Josh Jacobs has come back down to earth somewhat after a thrilling rookie year and a great second year with the Raiders. After averaging more than 18 carries a game in both of those campaigns, Jacobs is averaging just 11.1 carries per game this season, and it’s put a big dent in his yardage totals.

In his first two seasons there were only seven games where Jacobs had less than 14 carries (25%) vs. six games already this season in which he’s had under 14 attempts (75%). There were only six games (21%) in which Jacobs fell under 50 rushing yards in his first two years, something that has happened six times already this year in just eight games.

The Raiders as an offensive unit are throwing the ball more than before. The number of run plays has dropped from 45.5% in 2019 and 45.3% in 2020 to just 40.3% this season – something that is impacting Jacobs in a big way.

In 13 NFL games when Jacobs has had less than 15 carries, he’s failed to top 45 yards 69% of the time. It’s hard to see the Raiders giving him too much more here – the Cowboys rank 10th vs. the rush and 20th vs. the pass – so the smart play is on the Under.

Pick: Under 44.5 Rushing Yards (-112)


Dalton Schultz: Over/Under 50.5 Receiving Yards

Schultz already has a very promising 16% target share this season for the Cowboys, and that is only going to increase on Thursday. The tight end saw eight targets last week against the Chiefs (19% share) with Cooper out and Lamb leaving the field with a concussion.

Cooper is out of the Thanksgiving game and Lamb is in a race against time to clear the concussion protocol. If both men where to sit out there would be approximately 15 targets going spare in Dallas, and Schultz will be one of Dak Prescott’s go-to men.

Even with Cooper and Lamb on the field, Schultz has been incredibly consistent, seeing at least six targets in 70% of games this year, and going for more than 50 receiving yards in 60% of them. He’s averaged 49.1 yards per game this year and 11.2 yards per reception – both career-high numbers.

In 10 NFL games in his career in which Schultz has had seven targets or more, he’s averaged 61.2 yards per game and cleared 50 yards in 80% of them.

If the Cowboys’ problems in the receiving corps wasn’t good enough reason to get behind Schultz, what about the match-up? The Raiders have given up an average of 66.7 yards per game to the tight end position this year, with only the Ravens and the Eagles giving up more.

Pick: Over 50.5 Receiving Yards (-114)

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