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How to watch the NFL on Thanksgiving: Live stream all three football games

(Image credit: Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

Thanksgiving means two things in most U.S. homes — turkey and football. Time it right on Turkey Day, and you can watch NFL games starting just after noon ET, with the action not wrapping up until late into Thursday night.

This year is no exception with a trio of NFL games that you can watch on Thanksgiving. The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions kick things off first, followed by the Buffalo Bills vs. the Dallas Cowboys. The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons cap things off in the final NFL game on Thanksgiving night.

Whether you're a die-hard fan of either of those teams or just want to watch some football before falling into a turkey-induced nap, it's easy to tune in to any of these three NFL games, even if you're not anywhere near a TV or have to track down a second screen. Here's how to live stream all three NFL games this Thanksgiving, including VPN options if your holiday travels take you away from your usual streaming services.

When can I watch NFL games on Thanksgiving Day?

Here's when the three NFL games kick off this Thanksgiving.

  • Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions, 12:30 p.m. ET on Fox
  • Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. ET on CBS
  • New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons, 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC

All three games air on network TV in the U.S. so all you need to watch the action is a TV set and an HDTV antenna — no cable subscription required.

In the U.K., Sky Sports Main Event carries the Bears vs. Lions game, while the Bills vs. Cowboys and Saints vs. Falcons games air on Sky Sports Action. A £9.99 Sky Sports day pass from Now TV lets you watch the sports channel for 24 hours.

How can I use a VPN to watch the live stream of NFL games on Thanksgiving Day?

Have your Thanksgiving travels taken you out of the country? You can still watch the three NFL games taking place this Thursday with the help of a virtual private network, or VPN. Using a VPN, you can disguise your location, giving you the ability to access the same streaming services you'd have at home.

We've reviewed many VPN services, and based on our testing, we think ExpressVPN is the best overall VPN. With ExpressVPN, you can access more than 3,000 servers spread out across 160 locations in 94 countries. And if you sign up for more than a year of service, you can get a very good price.

ExpressVPN: Expect a good mix of solid performance and helpful, responsive customer service from ExpressVPN. One month of ExpressVPN costs $12.95, but you can lower that to $6.67 a month if you opt for a year of service; ExpressVPN will throw in three additional months for free. There's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied.View Deal

How can I live stream the NFL games on Thanksgiving Day?

The NFL mobile app (Android, iOS) lets you stream local market games on your phone. You can also turn to NFL Sunday Ticket, which lets you watch almost any game, though for national telecasts like these three Thanksgiving games, you don't really need Sunday Ticket. It's a better value for watching out-of-market games you can't otherwise find on TV. (At this point in the NFL season, a Sunday Ticket subscription costs $58; an option for a package that includes the Red Zone channel raises the prices to $102.96.)

If you've cut cable out of your life, you can also turn to a subscription streaming service, which will make it possible to stream these NFL games to your smartphone, tablet or computer. Just be sure that the service you turn to includes local channels like CBS, Fox and NBC. Not every service does in every market. Sling TV, for example, only includes local channels in select cities.

CBS includes the NFL games it airs, such as Bills vs. Cowboys, as part of its $5.99 CBS All Access Service. You get other CBS programming through CBS All Access including original shows such as Star Trek: Discovery and Picard, but you'll have to turn elsewhere if you want a streaming service that offers additional channels. Here are your best bets.

Fubo.TV: You'll find CBS, Fox and NBC for most markets in Fubo.TV's $55-a-month service, which also includes a cloud DVR feature for recording programs to watch later.View Deal

Hulu: The live TV tier of Hulu costs $45 a month and includes all three networks in most markets. There's a cloud DVR feature if you'd like to record the Cowboys vs. Patriots game and watch it later.View Deal

YouTube TV: YouTube offers 70-plus channels, including CBS, Fox, and NBC in most markets, plus a cloud DVR feature for $50 a month.View Deal