Thursday, November 23, 2017
Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions (NFL) - 12:30 PM EST Premium Pick
Pick: Money Line: -130 Minnesota Vikings Pick Title: Mike's 9 Star Thanksgiving Day Massacre (WIN)
At first glance, we find Detroit winning the last 3 in this series including a 14-7 Week 4 win as 2 1/2-point dogs in Minnesota. Not too many mushes are giving this game a second thought after knowing the Lions have won & covered their last 4 Turkey Day affairs with a most-recent 16-13 triumph over these same Purple People Eaters last year. However, since their earlier loss to Mo-Town's finest this year, the Vikings have reeled off 6 straight wins SU behind the direction of backup QB Case Keenum (12/5 TD/INT ratio). Keenum has thrived of late because he has an offensive line that's given him time to throw. He's been sacked only 2.9% of the time this season (best in the NFL) & just once in the past 5 games. I love the fact that Keenum comes into this with triple-revenge (Minny 18-7-1 ATS with revenge versus the Silver & Blue) & extra motivation knowing he has to step it up with Teddy Bridgewater waiting in the wings. The Metropolitans have the #1 NFC WR in Adam Thielen who has 916 receiving yards & has 16 catches for 20 yards or more (ties him with Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown for NFL lead) & should get some contribution from Stefon Diggs as well. My bottom line says that the name of the game is DEFENSE! I feel Minnesota's "D" has vastly improved since their 1st meeting & proved they can shut down a premier back like Todd Gurley & the now #2 scoring team in the NFL - Los Angeles Rams. HC Mike Zimmer is excellent @ shutting down playmakers & force opposing QB's out of their comfort zone. i love the fact that the home team is only ranked 23rd overall on "D" & have an offense that's 27th @ protecting their QB. Expect Zimmer & DC George Edwards to have an effective plan for neutralizing RB Ameer Abdullah & WR Marvin Jones, Jr.. Look for the "Purple Crew" to employ a difficult to combat 4-3 "over" alignment with attacks from the double-A gap when in their in blitz packages. In the numbers strongly support our cause with the Lions a perfect 0-6 ATS in their 2nd of back-to-back divisional games. NFL favorites on Thanksgiving have gone a lights-out 51-14 SU the past 27 years! In addition, QB Matthew Stafford has gone a very undependable 3-9 ATS off back-to-back wins & facing a divisional opponent. Detroit only sits 2-3 SU @ home this year & has gone a dismal 2-7 ATS their last 9 versus winning teams. This series has seen 5 of the last 7 games covered by the road team. On the flip side, the Vikings are winners of 6 straight SU, have covered 6 of 8 NFC games & is a superior 15-7 ATS versus winning teams. They've played well on the road going 2-1 SU while also winning a neutral site game versus Cleveland in London. Here's the dagger for us! Before Game 15 of the NFL season, teams with exactly triple revenge have covered 14 out of the last 15 tries. This will be a smash-mouth type of game where OC Pat Shurmer will establish the run game with Latavius Murray & Co. to open up some play-action for Keenum. Detroit has thrived on turnovers (+8 TO differential) which the Vikes don't do much. Let's get ready to carve up some Lions as we go to Ford Field in Michigan to play the MINNESOTA VIKINGS as my 9 Star Thanksgiving Day Massacre!
A nice start to the week & an excellent run since Nov. 5th going 12-2 for 86%!
Be back Monday for complete NFL review & overall record.