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2021 Thanksgiving NFL Best Bets and Player Props: Bears at Lions

A Thanksgiving Day betting breakdown of the matchup between Chicago and Detroit.

As families around the country dig into the appetizers ahead of their Thanksgiving feasts, sports bettors will be treated to the first of three holiday matchups on the gridiron. Gathering around the television for the mid-week highlighted games in Week 12 is easily the biggest tradition in the sport.

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The action will kick off from Ford Field when the Chicago Bears (3-7 SU; 4-6 ATS) travel to Motown to take on the Detroit Lions (0-9-1 SU; 6-4 ATS). The Bears are currently 3.5-point road favorites with a total sitting on the game at 41.5 at SI Sportsbook.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Lions own a 37-42-2 record. However, Detroit has not found success in recent years, last winning in 2016, 16-13, against the Vikings. The Bears and Lions have faced off on three of the last seven Thanksgiving games, with Chicago coming away with victories in two of those matchups.

Check Out the Latest Lines at SI Sportsbook

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Spread: Chicago Bears -3.5 (-110) | Detroit Lions +3.5 (-110)

Moneyline: Chicago (-190) | Detroit (+155)

Total: 41.5– Over (-110) | Under 41.5 (-110)

Public (Spread) Betting Percentages: CHI 40% | DET 60%

Game Info: Monday Nov. 25, 2021 12:30 p.m. EST | FOX

Chicago will look to snap a current five-game SU losing streak when they take on the only winless team in the NFL for the second time this season. The Bears defeated their NFC North foe in Week 4, 24-14, as 3-point home favorites at Soldier Field.

The Bears, who own a 3-7 SU record, have also posted a disappointing 4-6 Against The Spread (ATS) mark over that span. Chicago, who is 1-4 (SU) on the road, has only recorded a slightly better 2-3 ATS mark over those contests. It should be noted that the Bears have played well in recent weeks. In fact, Chicago has come up short in losses to Baltimore and Pittsburgh by a combined total of five points.

On the flip side, the Lions, despite owning a league-worst 0-9-1 SU record, have rewarded bettors with a 6-4 ATS mark over that span. Detroit, who has earned a 3-1 ATS mark in their last four games, has posted that impressive ATS success for bettors against Cleveland, Pittsburgh and the Rams.

Chicago Player Prop Info

After suffering bruised ribs in Sunday’s loss to the Ravens, Justin Fields will be replaced by veteran Andy Dalton under center on the short week. The Bears possess the worst (32nd) passing attack in the NFL producing 155.8 passing yards points per game. Chicago will likely lean on its running game, led by David Montgomery, facing the NFL’s second-worst rush defense (140.5 rushing yards per game).

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Chicago will strongly feature Montgomery on Thanksgiving. The powerful back produced his best game of the season in the first matchup between these NFL rivals, rushing for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Respected money has targeted Montgomery as a solid investment to surpass his betting rushing yard projection of 76.5 — a number he has surpassed twice this season. A deeper dive reveals that the third-year back has rushed for 377 yards (75.4 average per game) and four touchdowns in five career games against the Lions. Once again, we will look to follow the heavy volume looking to return to the betting window to cash our wager.

On the outside, it appears that Chicago will be without top wideout Allen Robinson for its second straight game due to a hamstring injury. In his place, Darnell Mooney shined last week with five receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown. The second-year wide receiver leads the club in targets (75), receiving yards (571) and receiving touchdowns (3).

Detroit Player Prop Info

On the other side of the ball, the winless Lions will likely head into Thanksgiving without quarterback Jared Goff (oblique) for the second consecutive game, leaving the reins to Tim Boyle. Detroit, which owns the league's third worst scoring offense at 16.0 points per game, will look to earn its first win of the season with a signal caller making his second career start. Boyle struggled in his starting debut, amassing only a paltry 77 passing yards (3.3 yards per attempt) and two interceptions against the Browns in Week 11.

Detroit will try to prove the oddsmakers wrong once again. The Lions have earned the designation of underdog in all 10 games posting a 6-4 ATS mark in that role. Detroit will look to develop a game plan that will focus on star running back D’Andrew Swift finding continued success. The second-year fantasy star leads the team in rushing yards (555) and rushing touchdowns (4) as well as second in receptions (53), receiving yards (420) and receiving touchdowns (2). Fantasy managers should look to insert Swift into all lineups as the clear best option in this matchup.

Frankie's Thanksgiving Plays

On paper, this game is unappealing with two NFC North rivals that are a combined 3-16-1 SU on the season. I expect this to be a low scoring affair and will invest in the total.

BET: Under 42 (-120)


David Montgomery RB, Chicago: OVER 76.5 Rushing Yards


2021 SI Betting Monday Night Football: 6-5 ATS / Props 11-11 +3.15 units

2021 SI Betting NFL Football Overall YTD: 30-25 ATS & Props +6.05 Units

2020 SI Betting NFL Football: 72-58-1 ATS (55%)


Check Out the Latest Lines at SI Sportsbook

Frankie Taddeo is a successful high-stakes fantasy football player who created the first-ever DFS program ever offered in a Las Vegas sportsbook. Frankie is SI Betting's Senior Analyst and provides his significant experience and resources in the sports betting scene. You can follow Frankie on Twitter @Frankie_Fantasy for his latest betting and fantasy insights from Las Vegas.

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