Detroit Lions (9-4 SU, 7-5-1 ATS) vs. New York Giants (9-4 SU, 7-6 ATS)
NFL Week 15
Date/Time: Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 1:00 PM EST
Where: Metlife Stadium
TV: FOX, DTV: 212
by Chad Holloway, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:DET +5/NYG -5
Over/Under Total: 41
If the season ended today, both the Detroit Lions and New York Jets would be in the Playoffs; in fact, the NFC North-leading Lions would have a first-round bye while the Giants would be the 5th seed, good for a Wildcard spot. However, there are several teams chasing each, so this game could have big Playoff implications.
The Lion, who look to hold off the Green Bay Packers in the North, enter Week 15 with the 21st-ranked offense in the league averaging 336.2 total yards per game (YPG) and 22.7 points per game (PPG). Their passing game is 14th averaging 252.5 YPG, while their rushing game is one of the worst in the league averaging just 83.7 YPG, which puts them 29th.
Defensively, the Lions are ranked 15th holding opponents to an average of 350.2 total YPG (252.5 passing YPG and 97.7 rushing YPG) and 20.6 PPG. As for the Giants, their defense holds opponents to an average of 349.3 total YPG (256.6 passing YPG and 92.7 rushing YPG) and 18.8 PPG, which puts them one spot ahead of the Lions at 14th.
Offensively, the Giants rank 27th in the NFL averaging 322.2 total YPG and 19.6 PPG. Their passing game is 16th averaging 252.5 YPG, while their rushing game is the second-worst in the entire league averaging just 78.7 YPG.
As you can see from the numbers, neither team really has a run game; in fact, neither of the teams’ top rushers – Theo Riddick for Lions and Rashad Jennings for the Giants – even have 500 yards of rushing. That means both teams have to rely on their passing game.
Stats-wise, Matt Stafford and Eli Manning are having a comparable season, and both have weapons to work with. For the Lions, Golden Tate has caught 71 passes for 820 yards and three touchdowns, while Odell Beckham has caught 79 passes for 1,109 yards and nine touchdowns for the Lions.
Another factor to consider in this game is the weather. The high on Sunday will be 58 degrees with rain. Similar weather the day before, which is when the Jets host the Dolphins at Metlife, the field is going to be in rough condition. This could negatively impact the Lions, who are a dome team.
Chad Holloway's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Here’s an unbelievable fact, the Lions have trailed in the fourth quarter in 12 of 13 games. They’ve won nine of them! That’s incredible, but it also suggests to me that they’ve had their fair share of luck. I don’t think that’s going to hold on the road come Sunday, and I look for their five-game win streak to come to an end. The question is, will the Giants cover by covering the spread. I think that they can and will. I also think the two teams will combine for enough points to cover the over.
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