NFL Week 12 Pick: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 11:09 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 27, 2017 11:09 PM UTC

As usual, Thanksgiving Day kick off NFL style from the Motor City as the Lions play a huge one in the NFC North against the first-place Vikings. Survivor Pick: Detroit.

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (+3, 44.5)

We get the three-game slate of Turkey Day football started per usual from Detroit. It’s always the toughest ticket each regular season for the Lions. The franchise hosted its first Thanksgiving game in 1935 as a way to try and lure more fans – the team was very much in the shadow of the very good Detroit Tigers back then. Lions owner George A. Richards decided that the team could draw a bigger crowd by playing on Thanksgiving, and he would be proven right although the Lions lost that first game 19-16 to the Bears. Detroit is 37-38-2 all-time on Thanksgiving Day and has won the past four. The includes 16-13 last year over Minnesota. Sam Bradford threw a horrible late interception for the Vikings and Detroit turned it into the winning Matt Prater 40-yard field goal as time expired. This marks the first time since 1979-80 (Chicago) that the Lions will host the same team on Thanksgiving in back-to-back seasons. It’s the first time the Vikings play back-to-back on the holiday since the 1987-88 seasons. Minnesota has a two-game lead in the NFC North over Detroit, so a Vikings victory here practically wraps up the division.

  • Vikings are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 vs. NFC North.
  • Lions are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games in November.
Free NFL Pick: Lions +2Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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These teams played Week 4 in Minneapolis and the Lions won 14-7 in a defensive battle. Neither club reached 300 yards of offense. The difference was the Vikings turned it over three times, which the Lions converted into 11 points, and Detroit didn’t give it away while dominating time of possession. The Vikings saw star rookie running back Dalvin Cook go down with a season-ending injury in that one. Minnesota hasn’t lost since as it enters on a six-game winning streak. One of the NFL’s top defenses was in fine form Sunday in holding the high-powered Rams to seven points and 254 yards, both season-lows. Case Keenum continues to play over his head – Mike Zimmer can’t possibly replace him with now-healthy Teddy Bridgewater this week.  Keenum completed 27 of 38 passes for 280 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. "It's going to be hard to yank him out of there right now," Zimmer said after the Rams win. "He's playing good. I still have really high hopes for Teddy, and a lot of things happen throughout the course of the season, so we'll just see how it goes." The Lions won a third straight Sunday, 27-24 in Chicago thanks to a late Prater field goal and the Chicago kicker missing his in the final seconds. Matthew Stafford has a rating north of 120 in the winning streak. The last three games between these two have been low scoring. I see no reason why Thursday would be any different.

  • Under is 18-5 in Vikings last 23 vs. NFC North.
  • Under is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings.
Free NFL Pick: Under 44.5Best Line Offered: Heritage

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