Denver Broncos (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (0-2SU, 0-2 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date/Time: Sunday, September 27th, 2015, 8:30 pm EST
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.
by Badger, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: DEN -3/DET +3
Over/Under Total: 44.5
We are only two weeks into the Nation Football League season and already the Detroit Lions are faced with a must-win game at home in Ford Field in week three, when the Lions host Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on NBCs Sunday Night Football in America.
Of course the bad news for Detroit is that they played so bad in their week two 26-16 loss at NFC North rival Minnesota that the Lions may have to face Manning and the Broncos without starting quarterback Matthew Stafford. Stafford was knocked around so much and so often last Sunday that head coach Jim Caldwell stated at his Monday morning press conference that Stafford has bruised ribs and will be listed as questionable all week leading up to Sunday night.
Denver will come into the matchup with a few days of extra rest following their, 31-24, win on the road at the AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs last Thursday night. The Chiefs and running back Jamaal Charles gift-wrapped the Broncos victory last week when Charles put the ball on the carpet with only 27 seconds remaining in the game, allowing safety Bradley Roby to scoop up the fumble and return it for the winning score only 9 seconds after the Broncos rallied to tie the game with a late Emmanuel Sanders touchdown.
Because of the uncertain status of Stafford for Sunday nights game, oddsmakers currently have the game off the board as of press time.
Denver is 2-0 on the young season, but anyone who has watch the games will tell you that the Broncos are a lucky 2-0. Manning has struggled to get the Denver offense rolling and through two games the Broncos and Manning are dead-last in total offense averaging just 259 yards a game. A lack of running game (29th 65 ypg) is the main problem, but its no secret that Manning is not the same Manning weve watched in Denver the past few seasons. If the Broncos have troubles this week, against a Detroit defense that lost Ndamukong Suh in the offseason and is still playing without LB DeAndre Levy, there will be little excuse because the Lions currently sport the NFLs 30th-ranked defense in yards allowed (416.5 ypg) and 28th in points allowed (29.5 ppg).
Even with Stafford the Lions offense would have had a tall task this week going up against a Denver defense currently ranked No. 1 in pass defense (135 ypg allowed), 2nd in yards allowed (243.5 ypg) and 8th in points allowed (18.5 ppg). Without Stafford, the task may be insurmountable. Dan Orlovsky is the only other quarterback on the Lions roster currently, and the 11th-year pro out of Connecticut has a total of 472 career passing attempts with four different teams and a career passer rating of 76.0 so it could get ugly if Elvis Dumervil and DeMarcus Ware continue to knock him around like Stafford has been tagged so far this season.
Detroit has actually won the past two meetings with the AFCs Broncos, beating them 45-10 in 2011 when Tim Tebow was calling signals for Denver; and then 44-7 in 2007 when Jay Cutler was still wearing the orange jersey behind center. So really, any possible betting trend angles worth playing based on history should be tossed aside.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: News is that Stafford is good to go this week and will start. He’ll get some added protection from RT LaAdrain Waddle who is expected to get a lot of playing time this week. I’m not sold on Manning and the Bronco offense and I’m expecting the Lion’s to play it safe with screens to the RBs and short outs to the tight ends. Take the under 44.5
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