Detroit Lions (7-4 SU, 7-4 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (5-6 SU, 8-3 ATS)
NFL Week 13
Date/Time: Sunday, December 4th 2016 at 1:00PM EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans, LA
by Bob, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: DET +6 / NO -6
Over/Under Total: 53.5
This Sunday in the Superdome, the Detroit Lions will bring their 7-4 record in and try to pull an upset over the 5-6 New Orleans Saints. Yes, you read it correctly. The Saints who sit a game under .500 are favored by almost a touchdown over the 7-4 Lions who currently sit atop the NFC North division. The Lions started the season at 1-3 but since that time have won six of their last seven games, most of them in comeback fashion late in the fourth quarter. The Saints are old new in the NFL. What was once a very feared franchise is on the decline. They can still score points, but defensively, these guys just are not the same as they once were. This is a very interesting game to say the least.
At this time, the line has the Saints favored by six points at home over the Lions and the total points are set at 53.5 combined. Up until Wednesday night, 56% of the action was actually on the Saints to cover. Much of this can be due to the fact that the Saints just play well at home, and although Detroit is 7-4, the public still is not buying into the fact that Detroit can go into a hostile environment and get the win. On the season, the Saints are the more impressive team against the spread. New Orleans is 8-3 while the Lions are 7-4 just like their record.
Detroit regardless of what you think is a solid team. You do not win in the NFL by luck, there is something clicking in D Town and it appears that things are coming together for the Lions after decades of frustration and losing. Quarterback, Matthew Stafford, has had a pretty decent season. He is not among the top passing leaders, but he is throwing for nearly 250 per game and leading the Lions to 22 points a game. No, again these are not impressive numbers but they have been just good enough. How have they been good enough? The defense. Detroit is allowing right at 21 points per game which is not an elite defense but in the NFL I have always said hold teams under 23-24 points and have a decent offense and you will find yourself in the post season more times than not. Dont get me wrong, I do not see this Lions team as an NFC title contender but once you are in the playoffs, all bets are off and anything can happen.
Detroit this Sunday needs to focus on their defense. They do not want to get into a shootout with the Saints, that would not end well for Detroit. Although New Orleans is not the same New Orleans as years past, they can still put up numbers on offense. Drew Brees has already thrown 30 touchdown passes in 2016 and has the Saints at the number one ranked passing offense in the NFL. Not only that, the Saints are also the 9th best rushing offense averaging another 114 yards per game on the ground. And with that said, to top it all off, New Orleans has the second best scoring offense in the NFL ranked only behind Atlanta. So how in the world are these guys 5-6? Well, the same reason the Lions are winning gamedefense. The Saints defense is bad, real bad. They are ranked 30th in the NFL giving up almost 28 points per contest. Even with an amazing offense, you have to get stops, at least a few per game. In 2016, the Saints have lost two games in which they scored over 30 points. When you score over 30, you should win, plain and simple. Those two wins would have them tied with the Falcons for the NFC South lead. They are THAT close to being in the playoff hunt so this team is still no pushover.
The key to both of these teams are defense. Whoever gets more stops, forces a turnover or two, and keeps the opposing offense on the sideline will get this win. Easy as that. Who do I think it will be? I really am shocked that the Saints are favored as high as they are, but I will say this, I just do not think Detroit can run with these guys offensively. Detroit has an okay defense but not good enough to stop this offense and on the flip side, Detroits offense is not that impressive either. I think this game stays relatively close for a few quarters but the Saints make some big plays late to pull away. I am seeing a crazy 38-24 win for the Saints in the Superdome.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Take the New Orleans Saints -6