A showdown for the top spot in the NFC North takes place Thursday, when the Detroit Lions host the Minnesota Vikings in their traditional Thanksgiving Day contest. Detroit has won five of its last six games to surge into a tie atop the division with Minnesota, which snapped its four-game skid last week.
The Lions beat the Vikings 22-16 in overtime in Week 9, as Matt Prater made a game-tying 58-yard field goal at the end of regulation and Matthew Stafford hit Golden Tate for a 28-yard touchdown in the extra period. The late-game heroics were nothing new for Detroit, which has had all 10 of its games decided by seven points or fewer – with its six wins coming by a total of 24. “I think they’ve done a great job at the end of ballgames, including the one we played,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told reporters. “The biggest thing is once you start winning, you develop confidence, and that’s what they’ve done at the end of ballgames.” Minnesota’s confidence was trending in the opposite direction with four straight losses before holding on for a 30-24 home triumph over Arizona on Sunday.
TV: 12:30 p.m. ET, CBS.
LINE HISTORY: The Lions opened as 2.5-point home favorites over their division rivals from Minnesota and, as of Tuesday evening, that line hasn’t moved. The total hit the board at 42.5 and was bumped up to 43 on Monday morning. Check out the complete history here.
WEATHER REPORT: Dome.
Vikings – CB M. Alexander (Probable, shoulder), LB C. Greenway (Questionable, personal), S A. Sendejo (Questionable, illness), WR S. Diggs (Questionable, knee), DT T. Johnson (Questionable, illness), CB T. Newman (Questionable, neck), CB M. Sherels (Questionable, ribs), LB E. Kendricks (Questionable, hip), CB C. Munnerlyn (Questionable, ankle), QB T. Heinicke (Questionable, foot), DT S. Floyd (Questionable, knee), C Z. Kerin (Questionable, hand), S H. Smith (Questionable, ankle), RB A. Peterson (Mid December, knee), G M. Harris (Questionable, illness), T J. Long (I-R, achilles), T A. Smith (I-R, tricep), T M. Kalil (I-R, hip), QB T. Bridgewater (I-R, knee), DT S. Crichton (I-R, undisclosed), CB J. Price (I-R, knee), S A. Exum Jr. (I-R, leg).
Lions – RB T. Riddick (Probable, ankle), CB A. Barnes (Questionable, hamstring), S D. Carey (Questionable, hamstring), DE E. Ansah (Questionable, ankle), C G. Glasgow (Questionable, ankle), DT K. Thornton (Questionable, foot), LB D. Levy (Out, quadricep), DE A. Bryant (Elig Week 13, suspension), TE B. Pettigrew (Doubtful, knee), RB A. Abdullah (Questionable, foot), TE C. Wick (I-R, knee), TE T. Wright (I-R, knee), LB J. Bostic (I-R, foot), LS J. Landes (I-R, shoulder), CB I. Wells (I-R, knee), WR R. Spadola (I-R, pectoral).
ABOUT THE VIKINGS (6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS, 4-6 O/U): Minnesota’s league-worst offense had another rough showing last week with 217 total yards, but a defensive score and a special-teams touchdown helped make up for it. The Vikings could be without a major offensive weapon in Stefon Diggs, who has averaged 10 catches over his last four games and ranks second in the NFC with 67 receptions but is questionable with a knee injury. Minnesota’s third-ranked pass defense will be put to the test but is coming off a strong outing in which it limited Arizona to 155 yards.
ABOUT THE LIONS (6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS, 4-6 O/U): Detroit has become increasingly one-dimensional on offense, all but abandoning the run in recent weeks and finishing with just 14 rushing yards against Jacksonville on Sunday. Running back Theo Riddick is nursing an ankle injury but is expected to play, but he is a bigger factor for Stafford and the passing game than the ground attack. The defense has been excellent of late, holding the last three opponents to an average of 297 total yards and forcing three turnovers last week.
* Vikings are 6-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
* Lions are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games on fieldturf.
* Under is 14-3 in Vikings last 17 vs. NFC North.
* Under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The home favorite Lions are picking 54 percent of the point spread action and the Over is getting 62 percent of the totals wagers. View full consensus data here.