Lions Host Surging Bears in Week 12 Thanksgiving Day Betting

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D.S. Williamson

November 20th, 2018

NFC North leading Chicago travels to Ford Field for Thanksgiving Day betting to battle the rival Detroit Lions. The Bears beat the Lions in the first game between these two and, although the 34-22 score doesn’t imply it, Detroit outplayed Chicago in the second half.

Because of how the Lions battled hard in the second half, Bears fans should feel some trepidation as their team heads east to Marshall Mathers’ home town. Chicago’s been on a roll the past month and are coming off a season-defining win against the Vikings on Sunday Night Football.

Detroit hasn’t played as well as Chicago in the past few weeks, but are coming off a strong victory over the Carolina Panthers. Detroit’s looking for some homefield, Turkey magic, while the Bears hope to continue motoring through the division.

This is our first Thanksgiving day betting game of the day, so let's carve up this game and see where the meat of the matchup is.

NFL WEEK 12 THANKSGIVING DAY BETTING Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Thursday, November 21st – Ford Field – 12:30pm ET Odds: Bears -4 (45.5)

Bears Look for Fifth Straight

What a strange journey it's been for the Bears, but they've finally arrived. A thrilling 31-38 loss to the Patriots seemingly galvanized this squad. They've since gone 4-0 SU and ATS and looked absolutely dominant. On Thursday, they'll look for their fifth straight victory but it will be under duress. The Bears are going from a Sunday Night beatdown of Minnesota to the early game Thanksgiving day betting game, which is probably the tightest turnaround you could ever have in the NFL without getting the union involved.

The continued winning streak is awesome and all, but a pattern did seem to emerge in the Vikings game that could hurt the Bears on Thanksgiving Day. Chicago once again allowed an opponent to get back into it after running out to a huge lead.

This also happened in the first meeting with Detroit in Week 10, when the Bears went up 26-7 at halftime only to win 34-22. In the victory over the Vikings, Chicago rushed to a 14-0 halftime lead. They held on for a 25-20 win.

If the Bears hope to notch their fifth straight, they can’t afford to go to sleep in the second half. Detroit’s a tough team to beat and this matchup’s on Thanksgiving where Lions football and turkey are synonymous.

Chicago can’t take a nap and hope to beat Detroit on Thursday.

Patricia Has an Edge

You might say that Detroit got lucky in their 20-19 win over the Carolina Panthers in Week 11. Or, you might say that Detroit played hard enough to beat a road favorite that had the backing of every NFL handicapper on the planet.

I’m taking the second approach because even though Cam Newton made some mistakes, the Lions stopped Carolina’s awesome rushing attack and utilized their own for 96 yards. More importantly, Detroit coach Matt Patricia did what he has throughout this season - come up with a specific strategy to beat the team the Lions face that week. The strategy doesn’t always work, but it’s at least a focused approach.

Patricia put together an unreal defensive game plan to stop Carolina. After already seeing the Bears this season, is it so hard to believe he comes up with a plan to stop the high-scoring Bears?

Bears-Lions Thanksgiving Day Betting Analysis

Chicago’s been impressive, which is why most of the action is hovering towards the road favorite. The line actually opened at -3.5. Enough betting dollars have gone to Chicago for the line to rise to -4.0.

Some trends support the line movement. Other trends don’t. The Bears are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 versus the NFC, but they’re also 2-6 ATS in the last 8 in Detroit. The Lions are 4-10 ATS versus a team with a winning record, but they’re also 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after an ATS win.

I’m not sure which trends are more valuable. What I do know is that Matt Patricia’s turning into a master strategist, and it’s usually quite difficult to go against the Lions in a home game on a short week. Detroit has some moxy to them after a win against a playoff-worthy foe. I'm willing to roll the dice that we haven' seen the last of Detroit this season.

Week 12 Thanksgiving Day Betting Free Pick: Lions +155 ML