Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and with it comes a day full of NFL games. The Chicago Bears will hit the road and take on the Detroit Lions in a classic Thanksgiving matchup. It's time to continue our NFL odds series and make a Bears-Lions prediction and pick.
Both of these teams are having disappointing seasons. The Chicago Bears are 3-7 and coming off a tough loss to the Baltimore Ravens, with plenty of rumors swirling around head coach Matt Nagy. Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions are winless with a record of 0-9-1. This has the potential to be a real ugly matchup between two of the NFL's worst teams.
For more insight on the Bears-Lions matchup in Week 12, listen below:
Here are the odds for the Bears-Lions matchup on Thanksgiving, courtesy of FanDuel.
NFL Odds: Bears-Lions Odds:
Chicago Bears: -3 (-110)
Detroit Lions: +3 (-110)
Over 41.5 (-115)
Under 41.5 (-105)
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Why The Bears Could Win
The Chicago Bears have certainly struggled this season and have lost five games in a row, putting Matt Nagy squarely on the hot seat. Still, the Bears aren't quite as bad as their 3-7 record suggests. They fell short to Baltimore on Sunday, losing that game 16-13 in the final minute. In the game prior, they lost to the Steelers at the end as well, 29-27. So, they have been mostly competitive.
Chicago will not have rookie quarterback Justin Fields available because of an injury, but Andy Dalton is a competent backup who can fill in admirably. Dalton almost led the Bears to victory with two touchdown passes in relief of Fields against Baltimore, so he could very well come out and have a strong showing. Chicago has a solid running game to support Dalton, so this struggling offense could have some success.
On the other side of the ball, the Bears rank 12th overall in total yards allowed to opposing teams, limiting opponents to under 350 yards of offense per game. Where they have really impressed is in limiting the passing game. Chicago's defense allows under 230 passing yards a game. This Lions offense has struggled mightily this whole season, and that will likely continue on Thursday no matter who's under center. The Bears should have no problem holding down one of the worst offenses in the league. Expect Chicago to likely come out ahead of this one.
Why The Lions Could Win
The Detroit Lions are only playing games at this point in order to get the No. 1 pick in the draft. They have no hope for the rest of the season and are likely to be looking toward the future. Detroit is coming off a surprisingly close game on Sunday, though, a 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns. This Lions team has been trending somewhat upward. Two weeks ago they got their first non-loss of the season, tying the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Detroit actually comes into this game trying to get a win, this could very well wind up being the first win of the season.
It looks like Jared Goff is going to be back for this game after missing last week, though that's not certain just yet. Goff has had his share of struggles this season and, due to injury, was replaced last week by backup Tim Boyle. Boyle had an abysmal outing, throwing for only 77 yards and two interceptions. The Lions have made it clear that Goff will return to his starting role as soon as he is healthy. On the season he has thrown for over 2,100 yards, eighth touchdowns, and six interceptions. If the Lions want to win this game, they will need their quarterback — whether it's Goff or Boyle — to seriously step things up.
A bright spot on this Lions offense has been D'Andre Swift. Swift has somehow managed to piece together a solid season in spite of all of Detroit's struggles. Against Cleveland, Swift rushed 14 times and amassed 136 yards and a touchdown. On the season, the running back has 555 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Swift is a big part of this offense, and without him it is likely that this Lions team would somehow be doing even worse. Expect the sophomore back to have a big game on Thursday.
The other thing going for Detroit is the current dysfunction surrounding the Bears and the status of Nagy. If Chicago is distracted by all the rumors of Nagy's possible firing, the Lions could take advantage.
Final Bears-Lions Prediction & Pick
Both of these teams have been extremely underwhelming and are essentially battling for better draft picks at this point. With that said, Thanksgiving games do tend to be more competitive, and the Bears are dealing with a lot of drama. There are also injuries on both sides that could impact the outcome. With all this being said, the Bears are still the choice here, not only to win but to cover.
FINAL BEARS-LIONS PICK: Chicago Bears -3 (-110)