The Detroit Lions (4-6) host the Chicago Bears (7-3) in an NFC North showdown to kick-off Thanksgiving Day action here in Week 12 of the NFL season. Kickoff is set for 12:30 PM EST on November 22nd at Ford Field and the game will be broadcast on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Bears listed as 4.5-point road favorites. That line has shifted by just half of a point after early betting, as Chicago is currently available at -4. The total for this matchup is 45 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 12 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Lions vs Bears Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Chicago extended their lead in the NFC North in Week 11, beating the Minnesota Vikings 25-20 on Sunday Night Football to move to 7-3 on the season overall. The Bears looked solid on both sides of the ball all game long, as they took a 14-0 lead into the 3rd quarter and never looked back. QB Mitch Trubisky continues to play extremely well, throwing for 2,469 yards and 20 touchdowns in just ten games. Trubisky has also been a threat on the ground, rushing for 363 yards and three touchdowns. It appears he is getting even stronger in the second half of the season, passing for two or more touchdowns in five out of his last seven games. Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard offer a very solid 1-2 punch in the rushing game, combining for almost 800 yards and seven touchdowns. Chicago is more than happy to spread the ball around through the air, as Taylor Gabriel, Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, and Anthony Miller all have played vital roles. As a whole, the offense is currently averaging 29.4 points per game (6th overall) on 357.9 total yards.
The Bears have also looked quite strong on the other side of the ball this year, giving up an average of only 19.5 points per game (4th overall) on 314.4 yards of total offense. They are really shutting down opponents on the ground, surrendering an NFL-best 77.8 rushing yards per game (1st overall).
Detroit finally put an end to their three game losing streak, sneaking past Carolina 20-19 to improve to 4-6 on the season heading into Week 12. The Lions actually played quite well defensively, holding Cam Newton and the rest of the Panthers offense to just 56 yards on the ground. QB Matthew Stafford was solid but unspectacular, throwing for 220 yards and a touchdown. However, he did finally manage to avoid getting picked off for four quarters. He had already thrown eight interceptions in just nine games prior to Week 11, so it was nice to see him turn things around against a tough Carolina secondary. Stafford leaned heavily on WR Kenny Golladay, as he is pretty much the last man standing in a receiving corps that once featured Marvin Jones Jr. and Golden Tate. Tate, of course, was traded to the Eagles while Jones Jr. was unable to suit up last weekend due to an injury. RB Kerryon Johnson was finally gaining some traction in the back field before injuring his knee against the Panthers. Johnson still had a nice game before being forced to leave in the second half, rushing for almost 100 yards and adding a touchdown. He is currently being labelled as “week to week”, which means he will avoid surgery but be unavailable on Thanksgiving Day. Overall, Detroit is currently averaging 22.2 points per game (20th) on 343.7 total yards.
The Lions haven’t been all that effective on defense so far this season, allowing opponents to score an average of 26.3 points per game (25th overall) on 364.6 total yards of offense. They have really struggled against the run for the most part, giving up an average of 125.0 yards per game on the ground (24th overall).
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Chicago -4
This particular spot for Chicago seems like an absolute slam-dunk value play to me. I know the Lions really played well against a tough Carolina squad last weekend, but I think those types of performances will likely be the exception and not the rule over the final six weeks of the season. Stafford doesn’t have enough help on offense, as Golladay certainly can’t shoulder the load by himself. It certainly doesn’t help that rookie sensation Kerryon Johnson, the only other real bright spot for Detroit on offense this year, is going to be forced to miss the next couple of games with a bruised knee. On the other hand, Chicago is really firing on all cylinders right now. They should also have a ton of confidence after a statement game against the Vikings on Sunday night in prime-time.
Click on the link for more free NFL picks from our experts on staff.
The Bears are a rock-solid 6-1 ATS over their last seven games against NFC opponents. They are also a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. Detroit is only 1-3-1 ATS over their last five meetings with Chicago. They also lost by double-digits when these two teams met back in Week 10 at Soldier Field.
One other important factor in this matchup is how well the Bears have closed games as of late, as they have now outscored opposing teams by an average of 15.75 points during their current four game winning streak. I am fully expecting that trend to continue on Thursday afternoon, so I’m laying the points and rolling with the road favorite to cover with ease – give me Chicago.