Bears vs. Lions Thanksgiving NFL spread, odds: Matt Nagy reportedly will be fired regardless of result; likely Andy Dalton vs. Tim Boyle at quarterback

It's not exactly a marquee quarterback matchup in the first Thanksgiving NFL game Thursday.
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The Detroit Lions have been hosting the first NFL game every Thanksgiving for decades and that's not going to change anytime soon no matter how bad that franchise is. Unfortunately for football fans, we could be looking at a less-than-appealing quarterback matchup this Thursday at 12:30 p.m. ET between backup Andy Dalton of the Bears and former third-stringer Tim Boyle of the Lions. Chicago opened at -3.5 at Caesars Sportsbook and there are rumors swirling in the Windy City that Coach Matt Nagy could be fired on Black Friday if the Bears lose. In fact, one report says he will be fired regardless. There has been no confirmation of that yet.

If the Lions (0-9-1) lose this game, it almost locks them into the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft because every other team in the league has at least two victories and either the Jets or Texans will get a third on Sunday (barring a tie) because they play one another.

That Chicago is Detroit's first win of the season is a +150 favorite followed by winless at +300 and the visiting Minnesota Vikings in Week 13 at +500. Every other remaining opponent is priced +1000 or higher. That the Lions finish with the fewest wins in the NFL is a -400 favorite with the Jets at +800, Texans +1000 and Jaguars +1400.

With Jared Goff dealing with an oblique injury, Boyle made his first NFL start Sunday – and first since his senior season at Eastern Kentucky in 2017 – in a 13-10 loss in Cleveland. The former Packers backup was 15-for-23 for 77 yards and two picks, but with Goff expected out again Boyle should get another start over David Blough.

Apparently, the Lions still want to see what Boyle has because he only recently returned to practice off a broken thumb suffered in training camp that sidelined him eight weeks. The team also is impressed with his intelligence and attitude.

The Bears lost their fifth straight game Sunday, 16-13 at home vs. Baltimore despite catching a massive break in that Ravens star QB Lamar Jackson was scratched with an illness. Fields left in the third quarter in obvious rib-area pain. The former Ohio State star reportedly has avoided broken ribs but they are badly bruised and it's more likely that not he doesn't play in the really quick turnaround Thursday. Andy Dalton looked solid in his place, going 11-for-23 for 201 yards and two scores – although his 60-yard TD pass to Darnell Mooney was all Mooney as it was a receiver screen.

As for Nagy, boos and chants of "Fire Nagy" were raining down on him most of Sunday at Soldier Field and it's now all but assured he's not back next year and just a matter of whether the Bears fire a coach in-season for the first time.

Perhaps the best symbol of Nagy's season came early in the fourth quarter when the Bears were up 7-6 and facing fourth-and 1 at their own 49. Nagy ran the punt team out, then called a timeout, then went for it — and failed. He blamed his headset. Did we mention the Bears were coming off their bye week? Chicago is winless SU & ATS after a bye under Nagy. 

Listening to Chicago sports radio all today, the consensus via beat writers, etc., is that Nagy will be gone as early Friday (ownership won't do it on Thanksgiving) if Chicago is embarrassed on national TV. The Bears are 15th in a 16-team NFC, with only the Lions behind them. The Bears also don't own their 2022 first-round pick, traded to the Giants in the package to move up for Fields.

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