Can Detroit Lions Send Super Bowl-Sized Statement vs Green Bay Packers?

Can Detroit Lions Send Super Bowl-Sized Statement vs Green Bay Packers?

When you look at the latest odds to win Super Bowl XLIII, you won’t see the Detroit Lions as high on the ladder as the Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers or Dallas Cowboys. At some point, we have to start wondering whether that’s a mistake.

And perhaps that point is Week 12, when the Lions get set for their NFL Thanksgiving Day showdown against the Green Bay Packers. Opening kick-off is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. eastern standard time, on Ford Field, in Detroit, Michigan. If Detroit wins, they will improve to 9-2 on the season, and as it stands, they already have the second highest winning percentage in the NFL

So why aren’t they being talked about more in the Super Bowl discussion, both among linemakers and analysts? We’ll get into that, as well as NFL Thanksgiving Day predictions for Detroit vs. Green Bay. But first, here are the latest NFL online betting odds for Lions vs. Packers:

Detroit Lions-370+295Green Bay Packers

Please remember to double-check these online NFL betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Packers vs. Lions Week 12 betting odds are accurate entering Tuesday, November 21. That gives the best NFL online betting sites plenty of time to make adjustments leading into opening kick-off on Thursday afternoon.

Oddsmakers have clearly decided the Lions deserve to be heavy favorites. We can’t argue with that logic. At the same time, anything can happen when both teams are coming off short weeks. And the Packers defense just held the explosive Los Angeles Chargers offense to 20 points. This game could be in for more twists and turns than advertised. We’re here to help make sense of it all.

Is It Time to Start Talking About the Detroit Lions as a Super Bowl Threat?

Has there ever been a more under the radar 8-2 team in the NFL? It’s impossible to prove this year’s Lions have that crown, but they’re certainly not engendering the same hype a squad with their record normally would. 

That’s in part because of other NFC teams. The Eagles, Cowboys and Niners are all elite, with defensive ceilings significantly higher that Detroit’s own. However, even though the Lions rank around the bottom 10 in points allowed per game, there’s evidence that they may be better than meets the eye. For starters, they just held the Chargers to 20 points in Week 11. They also limited both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons to under seven points apiece. And while they’re not especially adept at forcing turnovers, they don’t allow many extended drives. The Lions are 10th in average opponent drive length as well as seventh in third down defense.

Pair these defensive silver linings with an offense that is fifth in net yards per passing attempt, fifth in net yards per rushing attempt and sixth in points scored per game, and what do you get? One of the most balanced attacks in football.

Advance metrics back this up. A statistic called Defensive Adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) seeks to evaluate teams relative to how they fare against typical performances relative to their opponent. The Lions have above-average scores on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. And their overall DVOA ranking is fourth in the NFL. 

Not surprisingly, we’re in no way predicting an upset at the hands of the Packers. Green Bay’s offense has been all over the place this year. And their 1-4 record on the road is among the NFL’s worst.

OSB Prediction: Detroit Lions (-370)

Detroit Lions To beat the Green Bay Packers

Which Version of Detroit’s Defense Will Show Up Against Green Bay on Thanksgiving?

Though the Lions are coming off a couple of close-call victories, the latest NFL point spread betting odds for Week 12 still expect them to beat the Packers by more than a touchdown—just like they did in Week 4:

  • Detroit Lions, -7.5 (-110)
  • Green Bay Packers, +7.5 (-110)

Detroit is no stranger to handedly winning games. They already have a 14-point victory over the Packers this year. Still, the Lions can get a little turnover-happy. They have three games this season in which they’ve notched three or more giveaways. That makes us a little nervous. 

Plus, their defense and special teams play has lagged over the past couple of weeks. Detroit gave up 38 points to the Chargers in Week 10 and then surrendered 26 points to the Bears in Week 11. Green Bay’s offense has all but cratered in recent weeks, so there’s that. However, the Packers have shown the ability to limit downfield looks on the defensive end. 

For one reason or another, it feels like this game will be closer than advertised. 

OSB Prediction: Green Bay Packers, +7.5 (-110)

Green Bay Packers To cover the point spread against the Detroit Lions

Can the Packers Slow Down the Lions Offense?

The Lions have topped 25 points in three straight games. If you’re optimistic they’ll make it four consecutive weeks with 25-plus points, you’re bound to love the over/under betting lines on Detroit vs. Green Bay:

  • Over 46.5 (-114)
  • Under 46.5 (-106)

Capping Detroit’s offensive output would go a long way toward servicing the “under.” And Green Bay does rank ninth in net yards allowed per passing attempt. But the Packers have not done a good job putting pressure on quarterbacks lately. Their 4.40 percent sack rate over the last three games is among the five lowest in the NFL. That should free up Lions quarterback Jared Goff to let plays develop down the field. 

Meanwhile, the Packers’ rushing defense has verged on a joke for most of this season. This doesn’t bode well against a Lions team that has enjoyed success using three different halfbacks. Expect the Lions’ streak of 25-plus-point outings to continue. They might even enter 35-plus-point territory in this one.

OSB Prediction: Over 46.5 (-114)

Packers and Lions To score over 46.5 combined points

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your 2023 NFL betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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