Bears vs Lions Thanksgiving Day Football Picks and Predictions: Roasted Lions

The winless Lions might have their best shot at getting a win today against the Bears. But unless they can finally eclipse 20 points again — which our NFL betting picks thinks is highly unlikely — then a goose egg may remain in Detroit's win column.

Last Updated: Nov 25, 2021 11:06 AM ET Read Time: 5 min

The Detroit Lions are still looking for their first win of the 2021 NFL season as they head into their annual Thanksgiving Day matchup — this year against division rival Chicago Bears.

Chicago hasn't been much better but NFL betting odds still opened with the Bears as 3-point road favorites for this Week 12 Turkey Day showdown. 

With nothing but pride — and maybe a job or two — on the line between these NFC North rivals, here are our best free NFL picks and predictions for Bears vs. Lions on Thursday, November 25, with kickoff at 12:30 p.m. ET. 

Bears vs Lions odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

The Bears opened as 3-point favorites with the Over/Under at 43. Early money has piled in on the Under making the total tick down to 41.5. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.

Bears vs Lions predictions

Predictions made on 11/23/2021 at 3 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Bears vs Lions game info

Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Date: Thursday, November 25, 2021
Time: 12:30 p.m. ET

Bears at Lions betting preview


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Key injuries

Bears: Justin Fields QB (Out), Allen Robinson WR (Out), Eddie Jackson S (Probable), Akiem Hicks DT (Out), Damien Williams RB (Out), Khalil Mack ED (Out), Danny Trevathon LB (Out), Tarik Cohen RB (Out).
Lions: Jared Goff QB (Probable), Trey Flowers DE (Out), Michael Brockers DL (Probable), Halapoulivaati Vaitai OT (Out), AJ Parker CB (Out), Da'Shawn Hand DL (Out), Jeffrey Okudah CB (Out), Frank Ragnow C (Out), Quintez Cephus WR (Out), Romeo Okwara DE (Out).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a losing record. Find more NFL betting trends for Bears vs. Lions.

Bears vs Lions picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

Both teams are coming off three-point losses in ugly low-scoring contests. Detroit was outgained 349-245 and had almost 10 fewer minutes of possession but somehow managed to keep things close in a 13-10 loss to the Browns, while the Bears allowed the Tyler Huntley-led Ravens to orchestrate a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter. 

The Lions are 0-9-1, but with low expectations come big spreads as an underdog, and they have managed to go 6-4 ATS. However, one time they didn't cover came against the Bears in Week 4 when they traveled to Soldier Field and fell behind 21-0 before losing by 10.

The Bears took that game and upset the Raiders the following week, but it's all been downhill since. The Bears have lost five in a row while going 1-4 ATS over that span, and Chicago fans have even taken to chanting "fire Nagy" at Bulls games to voice their displeasure with the football coach. 

Both offenses have been brutal with the Bears ranking 26th in offensive DVOA (30th in passing DVOA) and the Lions ranking 30th (32nd in passing). Rookie quarterback Justin Fields is out with bruised ribs but backup Andy Dalton replaced him last week and threw for 201 yards and two scores.

The Lions are expected to have Jared Goff back under center and while he's an upgrade over last week's terrible QB Tim Boyle, he still ranks second-last in the league in both yards per pass attempt (6.3) and QBR (26.8). 

On the other side of the ball, the Bears have a middle-of-the-pack defense ranking 16th in the league in DVOA. That's not great, but it's still far better than a Lions unit that ranks 28th and gets torched both through the air and on the ground. 

There is plenty of uncertainty swirling around the Bears and whether Nagy has lost the locker room. And it seems like the Lions are due for a win with how close some of their games have been lately. But there were also rumors of Nagy's job being on the line the last time they faced off and the Bears took care of business comfortably. We don't see it going much differently this time around.  

Prediction: Bears -3 (-110)

The Lions played a very conservative offense on Sunday with Boyle completing just 15 passes for 77 yards and two interceptions. But the Lions weren't exactly attacking downfield with Goff, either. Detroit has one of the worst groups of wide receivers in recent history and Goff is last in the league with just 3.6 average completed air yards.

The Bears are nearly as bad when it comes to airing the ball out and they rank 29th in the league in scoring with 16.3 points per game. That's still marginally better than the Lions, who are mustering 16 ppg and haven't cracked the 20-point plateau since a garbage-time explosion of points in Week 1. 

This isn't the fearsome Bears stop unit we've seen in the past but they're still more than good enough to lock down the Lions.

With the Under cashing in seven of Detroit's last eight games, and also going 7-2 in Chicago's previous nine contests, we're expecting another low-scoring matchup. Let's just say that watching this game might be less interesting than staring at that turkey while it sits in the oven. 

Prediction: Under 41.5 (-110)

This Lions offense has been so pathetic that it's almost hilarious. Detroit ranks 31st in the league in third-down conversion rate, ranks last in pass completions of 25 or more yards, and 30th in red-zone touchdown percentage.

They rarely get big plays, can't consistently get first downs, and when they do manage to somehow get the ball into the red zone they don't punch it in. Yep, that just about sums it up. 

At this point in the season they don't even seem to care anymore, often throwing passes well short of the marker on third down and settling for field goal attempts when down by at least a touchdown late in games.  

The Lions mustered 19 points against the Rams in Week 7, which was actually the only time they have scored more than 17 points in their last nine games. Many books have the Lions team total for Thursday set at 18.5 but some still have it at 19.5, which we don't see them hitting even if Goff returns to the field. 

Pick: Lions team total Under 19.5 (-106)

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