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{module  nfl icon} In the first game of the Thanksgiving football slate, the Detroit Lions will host the New England Patriots. Although the Lions are getting seven points in this game, the Lions will win this game on the field. The Lions are much better than their record would indicate and they have lost some close games to some very good teams. Five of the Lions’ eight losses have been by five points or fewer. They lost by three points to the Eagles, two points to the Packers and just three points to the New York Jets. They are playing good football despite losing quarterback Matthew Stafford to an injured shoulder. There is no doubt that the New England Patriots are playing some pretty good football too.

The Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday and are 8-2 on the season tied atop the AFC East with the New York Jets. Quarterback Tom Brady is having a stellar season and is leading the Patriots to another post season berth. So how can anyone believe that Brady and the Patriots would lose to the lowly Lions?

 

First, it is a huge letdown game for the Patriots. They just finished a two game set against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Colts, two of the premiere teams in the NFL. Secondly, the Patriots will be looking past this game. After the holiday stop in Detroit, the Patriots will play a revenge game against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football for the division lead. For those of you that think head coach Bill Belichick will not allow his team to look past this game will just have to be reminded of how hard they fell against the Cleveland Browns before a big game against the Steelers.

Finally, when betting on football remember: the Patriots defense is vulnerable against this offense. The Patriots defense rose to the occasion against Peyton Manning with three interceptions, but that is deceiving. The majority of those interceptions were poorly run routes by wide receivers getting adjusted to Manning.

Sportsbook lists the Lions as the 7.5 point underdogs in this Thanksgiving matchup, with the total over under at 51 points.

The pass defense still allowed almost 400 yards through the air and is ranked 30th in the NFL in total defense, and 31st against the pass, which plays into the strength of the Lions offense. The Lions have the sixth-most passing yards in the NFL this season and rank sixth in the league in passing. The Patriots' defense is among the league's worst in points allowed and passing yards allowed and will have no answer for Calvin Johnson at wide receiver.

The Lions will play in front of a sold out stadium and will move the ball on offense. The Lions defense is decent against the pass, ranking 13th in the NFL and will provide a decent pass rush. The Lions rank 6th in sacks in the NFL and will put Brady under pressure all day long. The Lions will beat the Patriots on Thanksgiving and pull of the biggest upset in the NFL this week.


 

 

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