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Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions Point Spread - Pick

Chicago Bears (7-3 SU, 7-3 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (4-6 SU, 6-4 ATS)
Week 12 NFL
Date/Time: Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018 at 12:30PM EST
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: CHI -3.5/DET +3.5
Over/Under Total: 44.5

The Chicago Bears make the trip to Ford Field to take on the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day. This is a familiar NFC North matchup and it has a Thanksgiving feel to it. These are two teams with divergent perspectives, with the Bears being a rising team trying to make a playoff push, while the Lions are in a transition-period, trying to make progress, while not quite getting the best results. They got some good ones on Sunday with a 20-19 win over Carolina. Meanwhile, the Bears notched a season-best win on Sunday night, beating the Vikings on the road, 25-20.

With these divisional rivals, we don't have to wonder how they play off each other, as they last played only on November 11, with the Bears winning at home, 34-22. That score could be deceiving with it suggesting a marginally-competitive game. But it was more or less a wrap after the Bears got off to a 26-0 second-quarter lead. The Bears didn't run the ball that well, but they didn't need to with Mitchell Trubisky surgically picking apart the Detroit "D" en route to a huge game. What can change to make this one any different?

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The Lions have been pretty erratic this season. While more often that not, they've come up short, they can surprise from time to time, as they showed against the Panthers on Sunday. In week one, they were thrashed at home by the Jets by 31 and a few weeks later they popped up to smoke the Patriots. So yeah, they're bad, but they're bad with a twist. There are parts of their team that are really good, but getting it to manifest consistently is the problem. All told, they're not the easiest team to get a read on from week to week.

If looking for positives with the Detroit offense, there are some to isolate. Matthew Stafford can get a lot out of this offense. Looking at their point-outputs in recent weeks, we continue to see a separation from statistical excellence and points. Stafford's numbers always seem better than what's on the scoreboard. Kenny Golladay is a rising receiver and offers hope in this offense, along with rookie RB Kerryon Johnson (questionable). With LeGarrette Blount, there are signs of a big run-game and Johnson had another nice game Sunday. But just when they tease with a big showing, the ground-game goes back in the dumps for a few weeks. At its best, they have a nice spark and some variety. But against defenses like what Chicago brings to the table, this could be another problematic spot for this side of the ball. Two weeks ago, they gave up three turnovers, with Stafford throwing two picks.

Detroit's defense had its moments against Chicago, but unfortunately, it was after the Bears had built a huge lead. The pass-rush was negligible and therefore, the pass-defense was up against it. Trubisky was connecting with his receivers with too much ease, as two Bears' ball-catchers were well over 100 yards on the day. Cam Newton did more of the same last week. Their secondary usually plays better than that, with their run-defense usually being the main bone of contention.

For the Bears, they will need to reproduce the same effort to beat the Lions. Detroit was working its way into that game and if Chicago thinks they can mail it in or if Detroit just carries their momentum home, it could be tough. The Bears have made gains this season—make no mistake about it. But this last handful of weeks will reveal their true mettle. Before letting their foot off the gas against Detroit, they were really dominating their longtime division foe. They look for more this week. And make no mistake—Sunday was a coming-out party. The win over the Vikings on the road suggests they are for real.

Different dimensions of the Chicago offense have been manifesting this season. Still getting it done is solid running back Jordan Howard, with versatile Tarik Cohen lending a hand, while also being one of Trubisky's top ball-catchers. Taylor Gabriel has been good at receiver, with Trey Burton having a good season at tight end. But we see different receivers offering a potential boost for this offense, guys like Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, and others. The line has been doing a good job and we see a lot of things coming together on this side of the ball.

The Chicago defense is what made this team an up-and-coming commodity and whatever they established last season has grown in 2018. Sure, there are some bumps along the way, but they are indeed very good. Their run-defense has thrived this season. They weren't at their best against Detroit at times a few weeks ago, but for the most part, they are very solid. Khalil Mack is a game-changer and seems to be getting healthier and therefore more-lethal. Rookie Roquan Smith is getting after the QB, as well. A lot of players were harassing Stafford a few weeks ago on this defense and the Detroit line will need to find answers. With six sacks, three turnovers, and a lot of general mayhem, the playmaking element of this "D" was on display a few weeks ago against Chicago and again last week, with Eddie Jackson getting a pick-six. They look for the same on the road on the short-week on Thanksgiving.

This is the second of three straight home games for Detroit, as they look to lend some credibility to their wayward 2018 season. And being at home could help, not to mention how the last few quarters of their loss a few weeks ago and their win over Carolina lends a bit of promise. Granted, Chicago seems to match up favorably in this spot on a lot of levels. But a Thanksgiving Detroit team isn't always an easy nut to crack and I see this being a tight game where having points ends up providing a good feeling.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Detroit Lions plus 3.5 points. Bet the Bears vs. Lions Thanksgiving Day game for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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