Lions to Roar Past Vikings in 2nd Straight Turkey Day Matchup

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 3:48 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017 3:48 PM UTC

Thanksgiving Day kicks off (12:30 p.m. ET) with a clash between NFC North rivals as the Lions host the red-hot Vikings. Let’s peruse the NFL odds and get on the right side of this one to pad our bankroll for the weekend.

Free NFL Pick: Lions +3Best Line Offered: Bovada

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Vikings (8-2 SU, 7-3 ATS) at Lions (6-4 SU, 5-4-1 ATS)
  • Detroit is 5-1 ATS in their last six Thursday games.
  • Detroit is 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games in November.
  • Detroit is 4-1 ATS in their last five games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Minnesota is 0-5 ATS in their last five games as a road favorite of 3.5-10.0.
  • Minnesota is 2-6 ATS in their last eight vs. NFC North.
  • Minnesota is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road games.

In the NFL, perception is reality. How else can you explain a legitimate opening line morphing into a manifestation of public perception? The NFL odds on this matchup opened at a pick’em, and from there the line spiked to where the Vikings are now installed as 3-point favorites at all but a few of the major online sportsbooks. The wave of public sentiment on the road dog has everything to do with the Vikies' current six-game winning streak and their 24-7 spanking of the Rams last Sunday. Meanwhile, the Lions pulled off a 27-24 win against a subpar Bears club at Soldier Field. You can see why the number has risen, but it’s also ripe for the picking if you back the Lions in this spot.

The Lions have defeated the Vikings over their last three meetings, and Matthew Stafford has a flair for picking apart this Minnesota defense. The Vikings do not defend the short pass well, and that’s exactly how Stafford will move the chains. In their first meeting, the Lions scored a 14-7 victory but let’s not forget that Stafford’s offensive line was in tatters. He now has the protection he needs, and that extra time will translate into plenty of points against a pass defense that is not equipped to defend the short routes.

Don’t fall in love with Minnesota QB Case Keenum. Yes, he has been reborn over his last three starts, but hitting targets against pass defenses like Cleveland and Washington is no great shakes. When Keenum faced the Rams last week, they were without their best cover man Kayvon Webster which, much to his credit, Keenum exploited. But Keenum will face a different animal this week when he meets a talented Detroit secondary. Eventually, the chinks in the armor will begin to show as Keenum has been a serviceable backup but didn’t suddenly become Hall of Fame material five years into his career. I’ll take Stafford all day long and advise you to back the Lions in your NFL picks while you fill your face on Thursday.

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