NFL Expert Picks: Are the Vikings Favored on Thanksgiving?

The Vikings (6-4) are on the road for a Thanksgiving Day game with the Detroit Lions.

The matchup with Lions (6-4) will determine who will be in first place in the NFC North heading into the last five weeks of the regular season

Let’s see who the experts pick to win Week 12’s holiday matchup in Detroit.


When two Thanksgiving teams are neck-and-neck close, favor the one playing at home.

Why? Two reasons. First off, teams such as Detroit take their league-bestowed honor seriously on Thanksgiving. They’ll want to defend their turf and go home to their families.

It works the other way too. A fatigue factor almost always sets in for the visitors, who know their Thanksgiving celebrations are two bus rides and a flight away. Minnesota isn’t too far from Detroit, but believe me: It’s an issue.

I’m going with the home team in a tight NFC North fight. In doing so, I’m also going with Matthew Stafford, a creative passing game that doesn’t shoot itself in the foot and an offensive line capable of handling Minnesota’s big front four.

*Lions 17, Vikings 13 *— Chris Simms, Bleacher Report


*This is for first place in the NFC North, a huge Thanksgiving Day game for both teams. The Vikings broke a four-game losing streak last week, while the Lions edged the Jaguars. The Vikings won with special teams and defense. That won’t be the case here. This will be close, but I like the Lions at home. *

Lions 21, *Vikings 20 *— Pete Prisco, CBS Sports


The winner of this one is the favorite in the NFC North with five games to go. Last time they met the Lions came back to win in overtime, and this time I think the Lions will again win a close one.

*Lions 24, Vikings 23 *— Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk


The NFC North title could be on the line — unless the Packers can finally find the gas pedal. Detroit’s habit of cutting it close isn’t sustainable, and the streaky Vikings are back on the right track, at least for now.

*Vikings 27, Lions 24 *— Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk


Each Tuesday, WhatIfSports.com's NFL simulation engine generates predictions and box scores for every NFL game for the coming week. The highly sophisticated algorithms simulate every play of every game to produce each team's likelihood to win. Each matchup is simulated 501 times.

Vikings Win Likelihood Percentage: 48.9 percent, Average Score: Lions 22.8, *Vikings 22.8 *WhatIfSports


FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 NFL forecast uses an Elo-based model to calculate each team’s chances of advancing to the playoffs and winning Super Bowl LI. Playoff probabilities are based on 20,000 simulations of the season and will update after each game.

Pre-game win probabilities: *Vikings 44 percent *FiveThirtyEight.com


*2 of 8 experts pick the Vikings, *CBS Sports

2 of 5 experts pick the Vikings, USA Today

*3 of 10 experts pick the Vikings, *ESPN


This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising