Bears vs. Lions: The best player prop bets for Thanksgiving
For the 19th time in NFL Thanksgiving Day history, the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions will battle on the holiday in a showdown set for kickoff at 12:30 p.m. ET inside Ford Field.
Thu, November 25 2021, 5:30 PM
The first of three Thanksgiving Day games, this NFC North clash will pit a 3-7 Bears team against the winless Lions, who may be without injured starting quarterback Jared Goff.
Chicago will also be without rookie starter Justin Fields, and will rely on veteran Andy Dalton, who got the start for the Bears in Weeks 1 and 2.
Both offenses have been inefficient in 2021, and rank in the bottom five in scoring, while the defenses both struggle against the run.
Lions running back D'Andre Swift and Bears back David Montgomery will likely see plenty of touches in this contest, as a result.
The Bears have won 10 of their previous 18 Thanksgiving Day matchups with Detroit, including the last two in 2018 and 2019, but Thursday's matchup should be more of a tossup, with the number of injuries on both teams.
Let's examine the Bears and Lions' Thanksgiving Day contest further, as we look at the three best player props to bet.
Andy Dalton: Over/Under 216.5 passing yards
Despite Chicago using a first-round draft pick to select Fields in the offseason, Dalton was scheduled to spend at least the first half of the season as his team's starter.
A knee injury in Week 2 against his old team, Cincinnati, forced Fields into a leadership role sooner than expected, but a rib injury to the rookie has placed Dalton back in the spotlight.
In last week's narrow 16-13 loss to Baltimore, Dalton entered the contest in the third quarter and quickly found receiver Darnell Mooney for a 60-yard touchdown.
He also connected with Marquise Goodwin for a 49-yard touchdown reception to lift Chicago 13-9 with under two minutes to play.
While Dalton's heroics ultimately came up short, he finished with 201 yards, just five yards shy of his season high, which he achieved in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams.
On Thursday, Dalton will confront a Lions defense that gives up 140.5 yards per game on the ground but is much more effective against the pass.
Detroit ranks fourth in opponent completions per game (19.6) and 15th in opponent completion percentage (65.12%).
Head coach Matt Nagy will likely focus on the run game to keep his veteran from doing too much in his first start since Week 2. Look for Dalton to hit the Under on 216.5 passing yards, as a result.
David Montgomery: Over/Under 77.5 rushing yards
To exploit Detroit's weaknesses on defense, Nagy will turn to Montgomery, who ran for 106 yards and two scores the last time Chicago played Detroit, in a 24-14 win in Week 4.
While Montgomery has surpassed 77 yards just twice in six games this season, Thursday's matchup will offer the perfect opportunity for the veteran to run wild.
Detroit's defense faces more rushing attempts per game (31.6) than any other unit in the league, and it gives up an average of 4.4 rushing yards per carry.
Montgomery recorded a season-high 23 carries against the Lions last time out. Considering how well that game plan worked for Chicago in Week 4, Nagy will return to it on Thursday to break down the Lions defense and control the clock.
D'Andre Swift: anytime touchdown scorer
With either a banged-up Goff or backup Tim Boyle getting the start on a short week, Detroit is just as likely to lean on its rushing attack.
Second-year stud D'Andre Swift has been on a tear the last two games, with back-to-back 130-yard rushing performances, and will go up against a Bears defense that ranks 24th against the run.
Back in Week 4, Swift rushed for just 16 yards on eight carries, while Jamaal Williams assumed lead back duties and carried the ball 14 times for 66 yards.
Williams missed time recently with a groin injury and ran for just 11 yards on seven carries in last week's loss to Cleveland.
Chicago has surrendered eight rushing scores across its past six games, and with the way Swift has been playing lately, he'll get the chance to run into the end zone for the fifth time this season.