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The biggest regular-season events in the NFL occur this Thursday as Thanksgiving Matchups take the big spotlight. The Detroit Lions will, once again, host a Thanksgiving Day matchup as it is tradition. This year’s matchup will have a much different feeling as they will host the game, not as punching bags or jokes of the league, but as heavy favorites.
The Detroit Lions (8-2) come into Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day matchup hosting the Green Bay Packers (4-6) as 7.5-point favorites, according to DraftKings. Dating back to 2006 when the NFL expanded the number of Thanksgiving games to three, the Lions have an overall record of 4-13 during that span. They have not won on Thanksgiving since 2016 when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings at home 16-13.
Detroit has been one of the most productive and reliable teams this season. They opened the 2023 NFL Season with a statement 21-20 road win over the Kansas City Chiefs in week one’s Thursday Night Football. After losing to the Seattle Seahawks in week two with a 37-31 score in overtime, the Lions won four consecutive games by an average margin of 15.5 points. The Lions are looking to sweep the Packers and their fourth consecutive win on Thanksgiving.
The Jordan Love era is off to a rough start for the Green Bay Packers. The Packers started the season with a 2-1 start with a win at the Chicago Bears and at home against the New Orleans Saints. They went on to lose four consecutive four games, including the 34-20 loss at home in week four to the Lions. They have won two of their last three games, both against the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers.
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Over 3.5 Detroit Lions: Team Total Touchdowns
Detroit Lions -2.5 - Spread 1st Quarter
Over 47.5 Total
The Lions have been making statements all season, but one more can’t hurt. They especially want to make their statement on national television on the biggest sports holiday tradition in the United States.
Detroit’s offense has been firing on all cylinders as they established multiple ways to score. The Lions are in the top ten of all major offensive categories including sixth in points per game (27.2), second in total yards per game (399.6), fifth in rushing yards per game (136.6) and fourth in passing yards per game (263).
Former first-overall pick in quarterback Jared Goff has revitalized his career. The Lions have a steady offensive line and a dynamic set of weapons to utilize.
The Lions scored four touchdowns in the 34-20 road win over the Packers in week four. Three of them came on the ground from running back David Montgomery. Goff only threw for one against the Packers’ defense.
Detroit is no stranger to finding its way to the scoreboard this season. Whether it is in the passing game, the run game or through the field goal unit, the Lions are going to find ways to score early in the game. Detroit has scored in the first quarter in eight of their ten games this season. They are averaging 6.1 points per game in the first quarter.
The Packers’ offense is young and not ready to showcase their potential under quarterback Jordan Love. Green Bay ranks 20th in points per game (20.2) and 21st in total yards per game (319.6).
The Packers are averaging 2.1 points per game in the first quarter. Green Bay has only scored in the first quarter in four of their ten games played with two touchdowns and two field goals.
In the week four matchup, the Lions outscored the Packers 14-3 in the first quarter. The Lions should have a comfortable lead at the end of the first quarter.
Detroit’s history in the Thanksgiving games hasn’t been great as they have played poorly on offense. 47.5 points is not many points to break for a highly efficient Lions’ offense and a Packers’ offense looking to prove itself worth under Love.
The Lions have scored 72 total points in the last two games while the defense has allowed a combined 64 points. Green Bay has scored 20 or more points in two of the last three games. There is momentum with Love leading the offense.
This game has the chance to be a high-scoring matchup as the Lions has a chance to dominate the Packers again for the Packers will keep up the pace on offense.
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What: Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
When: Thursday, November 23, 12:30 PM E.T.
How to Watch: FOX, YouTube TV, NFL
Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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