What Are The Nfl Games On Thanksgiving?

The NFL has a full slate of games on Thanksgiving Day, and you can catch all the action right here. We’ll tell you what games are on and when they’re happening, so you can plan your holiday accordingly.

What Are The Nfl Games On Thanksgiving?

The History of Thanksgiving Football

It is a tradition in many families to watch football on Thanksgiving Day. This tradition started with the first NFL game on Thanksgiving in 1920. The Detroit Lions have hosted a game on Thanksgiving every year since 1934. In 1966, the Dallas Cowboys joined the tradition of playing on Thanksgiving.

The First Thanksgiving Day Football Game

On November 26, 1869, college football teams from Rutgers and Princeton met for what was considered the first intercollegiate football game in the United States. The game was played in New Brunswick, New Jersey on a field that measured 500 feet by 250 feet. Rutgers won the match by a score of 6 “runs” to Princeton’s 4.

The following year, another game was held between these two schools but this time it was played on Thanksgiving Day. The game became an annual event, and by the late 1860s, other colleges had started playing their own Thanksgiving Day games.

In 1876, Yale challenged Harvard to a game of “football” (a mix of soccer and rugby) to be played on Thanksgiving Day. This is considered the first official Thanksgiving Day football game. Harvard won by a score of 4-0.

The popularity of these Thanksgiving Day games soon led to professional teams getting in on the action. The first professional Thanksgiving Day football game was held in 1882 between the Allegheny Athletic Association and the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. Allegheny won by a score of 32-0.

In 1902, the first NFL game was played on Thanksgiving Day between the Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions. The Lions have been hosting a Turkey Day game ever since.

The First NFL Thanksgiving Game

In 1920, the Detroit Lions were founded and became one of the first professional football teams. In 1934, they played their first Thanksgiving Day game against the Chicago Bears. The Lions have played on Thanksgiving Day every year since, except for 1939-1944 due to the World War II. They are now one of three teams that play every Thanksgiving (the others being the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers).

The Three NFL Thanksgiving Games

The Detroit Lions have hosted a game on Thanksgiving Day every year since 1934. In 2006, the Dallas Cowboys started hosting their own Thanksgiving Day game. In 2012, the NFL introduced a third game, played on Thanksgiving night. So, what are the NFL games on Thanksgiving?

The Early Game

The early game on Thanksgiving Day this year features the Detroit Lions hosting the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. This game will be broadcast on CBS at 12:30 p.m. EST. The Lions have a long history of playing on Thanksgiving, dating back to 1934. They are currently tied with the Dallas Cowboys for the most Thanksgiving Day games played, with 38. The Bears have played on Thanksgiving Day on 10 occasions, most recently in 2013.

The Late Game

In the late game, the Oakland Raiders will travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. The Raiders are coming off a brutal loss to the New York Jets, while the Cowboys are coming off a close win against the Philadelphia Eagles. This should be a close game, with the Cowboys favored by 3 points.

The Primetime Game

The Detroit Lions have played on Thanksgiving Day every year since 1934, making them the tradition’s longest-tenured participants.

The annual event became even more special for Lions fans in 2007, when the team moved its game from the afternoon to primetime on NBC. That game — a 27-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers — was a ratings hit, averaging 20 million viewers and posting a 12.4 rating in households.

The Packers have been a popular Thanksgiving matchup ever since, facing the Lions five times in primetime (2007, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019) and three times in the afternoon (2008, 2014, 2016).

How to Watch the Games

Live Stream

You can live stream all three NFL games on Thanksgiving on your phone, tablet or connected TV with the NFL app or WatchESPN. Just sign in with your TV provider to watch.

If you don’t have a TV provider, you can still watch the game live through a digital antenna like this one from Amazon. Just connect it to your TV, scan for channels and voilà! You should be able to pick up your local FOX or CBS station. And if you want to watch on the go, most of these antennas come with a suction cup so you can stick it right on your car window.

TV Coverage

On Thanksgiving, all three NFL games will be broadcast on national television.

The early game, featuring the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings, will air on Fox at 11:30 a.m. ET. The second game, which features the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins, will air on CBS at 3:30 p.m. ET.

The late game, featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts, will air on NBC at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Betting on the Games

When it comes to betting on the NFL, there are a few different ways you can do it. The most popular way is to bet on the point spread. This is where you pick one team to win and the other team to lose, and the odds are set based on how many points the winning team is expected to win by.

Another way to bet on the NFL is moneyline betting. This is where you pick one team to win and the other team to lose, but the odds are set based on which team is favored to win.

Finally, you can bet on the total points scored in the game. This is where you pick whether the total points scored will be over or under a certain number, and the odds are set based on how many points are expected to be scored in the game.

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