Tennessee Titans vs. Detroit Lions Preview and Pick – Thanksgiving Day NFL Football Picks

Tennessee (10-1) -11, 44 O/U at Detroit (0-11)
Ford Field, Detroit, M.I., 12:30PM, Eastern, Thursday

By Jay Horne of Predictem.com

Once again Thanksgiving Thursday is here and that means NFL Football on T.V. When its Thanksgiving you can always count on seeing the Detroit Lions take the field. The Detroit Lions get the pleasure of playing every Thanksgiving Holiday and they will host the Tennessee Titans. The Lions are winless on the year while the Titans dropped their first loss last week after a perfect 10-0 start. Who knows maybe the Lions will keep this one close so everyone can enjoy a good football game while we eat some Turkey.

Tennessee dropped their first loss last Sunday to the Brett Farves New York Jets 34-13. The Titans rush offense was completely shut down by the Jets defense for a game total of 45 yards on the ground. Tennessee had averaged 132 ypg on the ground as a team prior to that and placing them as one of the best in the NFL in rush offenses. The Titans will look to try and dominate the Detroit defensive front which is the league worse rush defense giving up 171 yards per game on the ground. The stage is set for the Titans to bounce back in a big way.

Detroit has had an awful year so far this season. The Lions dropped their 11th straight loss last week to Tampa Bay 38-20. Detroit has had their share of close calls this season losing 4 games by a touchdown or less, but some way just has not been able to capture that first victory. Detroit has had problems on both sides of the ball. The offense ranks as one of the 5 worse offenses in the NFL averaging only 276 yards per game of total offense while the defense ranks next to last giving up an abundant 402 yards per game. Maybe, just maybe the Lions can get some things clicking when they play in front of the world on Thanksgiving.

The books have opened the betting line favoring the Tennessee Titans by 10.5 points over the huge underdog Detroit Lions. The betting public early on is favoring heavily with the Titans ATS. The over/under for the contest has been posted at a mark of 44. ML numbers have the Titans posted at the -700 mark and Detroit listed at +500.

For Detroit to win this game, they will have to play some strong defense. Every team that has played solid defense against the Titans has kept the score close. That means they must play solid against the run since the Titans are a run first offense. The Lions have had a big problem with simply holding on to the football giving the ball away 17 times this season. One bright spot the Lions have on their side is the play of WR Calvin Johnson. The young WR has been very impressive this season for Detroit catching 45 passes for 839 yards with 7 touchdowns. Opposing defenses have really tried to shutdown Johnson this season and it simply has not worked. If Detroit wants to be in this ball game, they must get the ball in the hands of Calvin Johnson.

Tennessee simply needs to do what they have done all season long this Thursday and that is taking care of the football while establishing the run. The Titans are at their best when the running game is moving, controlling tempo, and the defense is striving. That is smash mouth style of football and it has given the Titans success all season. Tennessee will put the game in the hands of veteran QB Kerry Collins and running back Chris Johnson. Collins has thrown the 2nd least interceptions of any starting QB this season only throwing 4 picks on the year, while Johnson has been a work horse racking up 787 yards on 177 carries. Another big factor in this game could be the Tennessee defense, and not if, but how many times they force Detroit into turning the ball over.

Betting Trends
Detroit is 5-14 ATS in their last 19 games while going 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games at home. The over total has been reached in 5 of the last 6 games for the Lions. The Titans are 10-1 ATS this season while going 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games on the road. The Titans have reached the under total in 3 of their last 4 games as well.

Jays Pick – Look for Detroit to somehow pull out a miracle back door cover to spoil the general betting public’s holiday.