The Chicago Bears (3-7) will take on the Detroit Lions (0-9-1) on Thanksgiving at 11:30 a.m. CST. As of Monday morning, the Bears were consensus 3.5-point favorites, though some threes were available sprinkled in throughout the market.
Justin Fields had to leave Sunday’s loss to the Ravens with a ribs injury, meaning there is a good chance Andy Dalton starts for Chicago on Thursday. Detroit, meanwhile, is likely to go with backup Tim Boyle, who finished 15-for-23 with 77 passing yards and two interceptions in Week 11.
It’s the Dalton vs. Boyle prime-time matchup that most TV network executives can usually only dream about.
If you choose, you can bet on the Bears game at Illinois online sportsbooks. You can even wager on the game without watching it.
Here are the best current odds:
But if you would rather spend your Thanksgiving holiday doing, like, anything else, we have some ideas for you.
Here are five alternative ways to consider spending your day.
Bet on college basketball
The NFL is the sport most commonly associated with Thanksgiving, but there is always a loaded college hoops slate around Turkey Day.
This week, the Maui Invitational, Battle 4 Atlantis and several other high-profile tournaments will take place. Many games will happen on Thanksgiving.
We don’t know most of the matchups yet due to the nature of tournament-style play, but there will likely be some good ones.
You can bet on college basketball at sportsbooks in Illinois. Though remember, it is still illegal to bet on Illinois college teams in the Land of Lincoln.
Have intentional conversations with family members
There’s a decent chance Thanksgiving will be the first time you’ll be seeing various family members in quite some time.
Rather than watch the Bears call running back toss plays on third-and-long and burn timeouts just because, this could be an opportunity to catch up with loved ones.
Consider asking what they have been up to over the past few years, what their favorite Thanksgiving food item is, etc. If conversation stalls, a handy go-to is talking about how crazy things have been in the world lately. That typically tends to spark further discussion.
Spend some time outdoors
While Thanksgiving will never be mistaken for a tropical paradise in the midwest, there should be some windows of sunshine in Illinois this year.
In Chicago, the projected high temperature for Thursday is 40 degrees. While that may seem brisk, there should be a lot of sunshine, and layers are your friend. As are fire pits.
In lieu of watching Dalton sling three-yard hitch route after three-yard hitch route, this could be an opportunity to go on a walk with loved ones or play with the dog in the yard. Studies show that spending time outdoors has various health benefits, including lowering cortisol levels.
If you’re feeling really ambitious, consider organizing your own ‘Turkey Bowl’ football game with friends, family, etc. If you’re worried about looking stupid or silly, don’t be! After all, the Bears and Lions are playing on national television.
Play a board game!
Board games are making a comeback, and they are a great way to bond and have fun with friends and family.
Currently, some of the best-selling board games are Ticket to Ride, Catan, Codenames and Hungry Hungry Hippos.
And of course, don’t forget about classics such as Monopoly, Connect 4 and Scrabble. Though obviously, there are many board games to choose from, and you should select the one that sounds the most fun to you.
A board game can also be a perfect activity to lead you up to the Cowboys vs. Raiders game, which kicks off at 3:30 p.m.
Volunteer to carve the turkey
Perhaps in the past, you’ve avoided the turkey carving station in an effort to soak in as much NFL action as possible. But this could be the year to broaden your horizons.
Carving the turkey usually takes a good deal of time, so you won’t be tempted to take a glance at the Bears’ score. In fact, an attention lapse may even be dangerous.
And not only is it a helpful thing to do for the rest of the gathering party, but you may boost your own approval ratings within the group. Those who carve the turkey will also have more to talk about at dinner if you’re worried about running out of conversation topics.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.