Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Detroit Lions Vs. New England Patriots: DET +7.5 (Bovada)

Market Watch

The advanced line had this game at -6.5, and it reopened at that number after Detroit lost in Arizona, but when the Patriots whipped up on Indy, it moved to -7. If you like the dog like I do, there are +7.5's available if you have sportsbook options. Though it might make a full move there anyways since a massive 91% of the bets are on the Patriots so far.


Bottom Line

Before I say anything about this game, full disclosure up front - I don't have a good track record when it comes to Patriots games. They've always been one of the most difficult teams to handicap because they outperform their stats on such a consistent basis.  One could easily lay the -7 on the Patriots and I wouldn't say they were wrong, but there's no question that it's an inflated number based on the matchup data.

In reality, I think this line should be somewhere around -4.5 (if that). The primary reason is I expect the Lions defense to keep them in this one. Even though they lost in Arizona, their defense locked things down after getting beat early. Yes, Tom Brady isn't Drew Stanton, but Arizona isn't an easy place to win games either.

Detroit matchup well with pretty much anyone because they are solid against the pass and the run. They consistently disrupt drives and know how to get off the field on third down.

On the flip side, the Patriots defense hasn't improved to a top 10 unit yet. Perhaps they don't need to be to win games, but it should give the Lions offense a better chance to move the ball and put up points.

Is there a chance the New England keep rolling and finish with a double-digit win?  Sure.

Is there a better chance that a game featuring two top 10 DVOA teams stays within one score? I'm willing to say yes.

And even if the Lions are down two scores in the 4th quarter, I like their odds for a backdoor cover now that Megatron is finally healthy.

It won't be a popular pick this week, but I'm willing to roll the dice.

NFL Pick: DET +7.5.

Read moreWeek 12 picks.