Minnesota at Detroit Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info
As usual, there is a Thanksgiving tripleheader on the U.S. holiday this Thursday and, as usual, the Detroit Lions are hosting the first game of the day. The Lions were really bad on Turkey Day for most of this century but have won the past three on the holiday in blowout fashion. The Lions are slight favorites this time on NFL odds in a battle for first place in the NFC North against Minnesota.
Minnesota at Detroit Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info
The #Vikings look to get revenge against the Lions on Thanksgiving.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) November 22, 2016
Why Bet on Minnesota?
The Vikings (6-4) ended a four-game losing streak with a 30-24 home win over Arizona on Sunday. Xavier Rhodes had a 100-yard interception-return touchdown and Cordarrelle Patterson had a 104-yard kickoff-return touchdown in the victory. The Vikings are the first team since the 1962 Dallas Cowboys to have a 100+ yard interception-return touchdown and a 100+ yard kickoff-return touchdown in the same game. On October 14, 1962, the Cowboys’ Amos Marsh had a 101-yard kickoff-return touchdown and Mike Gaecther had a 100-yard interception-return touchdown in Dallas’ 41-19 win over Philadelphia.
After scoring twice each on defense and special teams during their NFL-best 5-0 start, the Vikings failed to produce a return touchdown over their last four games until this breakthrough. They also sacked Carson Palmer four times, two by Danielle Hunter, for the most since their last victory six weeks ago.
After giving up 261 yards in the first half, the league’s third-ranked defense returned with a roar. The Vikings allowed only 29 yards in the second half, giving up just seven points. The Vikings sent five or more pass-rushers after Palmer on just four of his 43 dropbacks, or just 9.3 percent of the time. It was the first time in Zimmer’s 42 regular-season games that the Vikings had sent extra pressure on less than 10 percent of an opposing quarterback’s dropbacks. New Vikings kicker Kai Forbath made a short field goal and three extra points, but he had one PAT blocked in the second quarter that loomed large at the end. Forbath was just signed when the team released Blair Walsh.
The Vikings remain without top running back Adrian Peterson, but he’s progressing and could play by mid-to- late December. Peterson has not yet resumed running full speed, but the Vikings are encouraged by his progress enough that he is expected back before the end of the regular season. Peterson underwent surgery to repair a right lateral meniscus tear on Sept. 22.
Why Bet on Detroit?
The Lions (6-4) scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter of the team’s 26-19 come-from- behind victory over Jacksonville on Sunday. The Lions, who are the first team in NFL history to have each of its first 10 games decided by seven points or fewer, have trailed in the fourth quarter in all 10 games. Detroit is the first team in NFL history to have six wins when trailing in the fourth quarter in the team’s first 10 games of a season.
Lions tight end Eric Ebron had a go-ahead, 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Ebron’s first carry of his career, a handoff as he went from left to right after lining up as an off-the- line tight end, was set up by his career-long, 61-yard catch. Matthew Stafford converted a third-and- 5 from the Jacksonville 36 with a 7-yard pass to Theo Riddick with 2:18 left that helped set up Matt Prater’s 43-yard field goal with 22 seconds left. Tavon Wilson sealed the victory with an interception with 2 seconds left.
Golden Tate caught 3-of- 4 targets for 27 yards Week 11 against the Jaguars. Tate almost came down with a diving third-down conversion in the first half, but the ball just hit the ground. He also fumbled on an end around in the second half. Other than those two plays, it was a quiet afternoon with the passing game doing next to nothing all game. Marvin Jones caught 1-of- 2 targets for 15 yards. Jones’ only catch came in the two-minute drill at the end of the first half. He now has one catch in back-to- back games.
Stafford moved up two places in the all-time NFL passing ledger Sunday. With 278 yards, he threw past Trent Green (28,475) and Chris Chandler (28,484) into 52nd place all-time with 28,627 yards. Next up is Len Dawson, who has 28,711 yards.
The Lions won 22-16 at Minnesota in overtime in Week 9. Stafford threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Tate, who vaulted into the end zone in overtime for the win. After Prater kicked a 58-yard field goal as time expired in the fourth quarter to force overtime, Tate finished the opening drive when he ran through arm tackles by Rhodes and Harrison Smith and leaped in for the winning score.
Minnesota at Detroit Expert Pick: Detroit
Take the Lions and home on NFL odds and go under the total.