Thanksgiving Thursday is always a special day for the NFL, and is always the case – all of your betting needs will be covered throughout the day here at The Sports Geek. My personal record now sits at 28-21-2 on the year, and we’ll be looking to gobble up more W’s for Week 12.
The triple-header kicks off in the Motor City for a pivotal NFC North clash as the Lions welcome Case Keenum and the red-hot Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota is coming off of another impressive victory last week when they easily disposed of the also impressive L.A. Rams. Minnesota is led by their defense but their offense can also put up points. They clearly have their eyes set on the top seed in the NFC, and another win on Thursday can give them the separation they desire.
For the Lions, they’re hanging around in the competitive NFC – coming off of a big win in Chicago on Sunday. I thought Detroit would be plagued by a potential ‘lookahead trap’ but they maintained their composure and at 6-4, they remain threats for the post-season.
Out of the three match-ups, this is definitely the top game of the day. A divisional showdown with some big playoff implications should make for great viewing. Read on below the odds for game analysis and an official betting prediction.
Vikings vs. Lions Betting Odds:
Minnesota Vikings -3 (-105)
@ Detroit Lions +3 (-115)
Over 44.5 (-110)
Under 44.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Vikings vs. Lions Pick:
Much of the hype entering this crucial showdown surrounds the play of journeyman QB Case Keenum. Certainly the veteran quarterback has put together some solid outings, but you need to consider the fact that he has feasted on some weak opposition and flawed defenses. Even last week against the Rams seems like a bit of a mirage when you consider that Los Angeles was without corner Kaywon Webster. Ultimately, this remains Teddy Bridgewater’s team, and I still think that at the first sign of weakness – he’ll enter game action. That could come as early as Thursday afternoon against the Lions.
Unlike most teams, the Lions have a duo of talented corners in Darius Slay and Quandre Diggs. Together that twosome should be able to bottle up Thielen and Stefon Diggs, and be able to take away Keenum’s top options. Keenum will also face a pretty legitimate pass rush from A’Shawn Robinson which could force some hurried situations and ill-advised throws. Keenum has been solid, but I’d expect his run to come to an end on Thursday with Detroit’s talented secondary looming.
On the other side of the ball is Matt Stafford – a guy who has actually beaten the Vikings in three straight outings. Minnesota has a great defense but they don’t have too many linebackers who are great in coverage. Look for Stafford to continue his trend of making short throws to his tight end and running backs to pick on that crew. Detroit should also be able to limit Minnesota’s defensive front and pass rush better than previous times. The offensive line of Detroit is finally healthy again and has been able to give Matt Stafford time and space in the pocket.
At home, with a huge QB advantage – it’s hard not to like the Lions on this holiday Thursday. The Vikings are becoming wildly overhyped at the moment, and when you consider the advance line last week was Lions -1.5, this spread is even more off than first imagined. Nothing Minnesota did last week should have shifted this margin 4.5 points, and as a result – Detroit seems like the value here. The Lions play only tight games, and in getting a full field goal, I like the Lions to make things more interesting at the top in the NFC North.
PICK = Lions +3 (-115)