Recommendation: Play the Detroit Lions Over 7 1/2 wins 2008 the Detroit Lions went 4-0 in the preseason before going on to become the first team in NFL history to go 0-16 during the regular season. The Detroit Lions went 4-0 this preseason. Sportsbetting3 guarantees that the Lions won’t go 0-16 this year. In fact, we fully expect the Lions to not only post a winning record but make the playoffs as a wildcard.
Jim Schwartz took over the helm of the Lions after that winless 2008 season and Detroit’s improvement is nothing short of amazing. Schwartz was the DC of the Titans from 2001-2008 and he’s orchestrated the Lion turnaround with defense, fundamentals, and a franchise quarterback. In 2009 the Lions won two games, six games in 2010. Last year Detroit was outscored by just seven points and improved their yard differential from -93.1 to -4.6. Turnovers went from -18 to +4 and those numbers figure to improve this year.
Mathew Stafford has shown flashes of greatness but has battled shoulder injuries in each of his first two seasons. If Stafford can stay healthy, he’ll have plenty or weapons to work with including Calvin “Megatron” Johnson and Nate Burleson who had a monster preseason. Jahvid Best is a talented speed burner that has also had problems staying healthy so the Detroit grabbed Mikel Leshore of Illinois with their second round pick. An improving offensive line makes this a formidable unit.
Defensively, the young Detroit defensive line in arguably one of the top three in the league. Ndamakong Suh gets all the press but Corey Williams, DeCliff Avril, and Kyle Vanden Bosch all had big years in 2010. First round draft choice Nick Fairley from Auburn is in a walking boot right now but will provide extra depth when he’s ready to play. The linebacker corps and secondary improve every game and can take chances to make plays with the studs applying the pressure up front.
On special teams, old dependable Jason Hanson returns for his 20th year as the Lion placekicker. Nick Harris has been a dependable punter and Stefan Logan is an electric return man. As the Lions add depth to the bottom half of the roster, coverage and return units can only get better.
What makes the Lions six win season last year doubly impressive is that they did it playing a tough schedule that included the AFC East, the NFC East, plus much improved Tampa Bay and St Louis. This year, the Lions face the AFC West, the NFC South, plus the 49ers and at Dallas. The key to Detroit’s success this year is six winnable road games … at Tampa Bay, at Minnesota, at Dallas, at Denver, at Chicago, and at Oakland. We’ll conceed roadies vs the Saints and Packers but you never know.
The Lions caught some tough breaks last year and could have easily won eight games had they beat the Bears in Week One and the Jets. In Sportbetting3’s estimation, the Lions NFLX Week Three 34-10 blowout of the Pats in the “dress rehearsal” was no fluke. Detroit line play can be dominant at times and with the offense has multiple ways to get points with or without Mathew Stafford.
Two key factors will determine the outcome of our ticket, Mathew Stafford’s health and a fast start. Stafford has the ability to throw for 4000 yards and 30 touchdowns. If the Lions can keep him parallel instead of perpendicular, Stafford could have the Lions in contention for a playoff bid. The Lions games before their November 6th bye are at Tampa Bay, Kansas City, at Minnesota, at Dallas, and then three home games vs the Bears, 49ers, and Falcons before traveling to Denver. If the Lions are half the team we think they are, a 6-2 first half is very doable making our 7 1/2 prop ticket a slam dunk.
Sportsbetting3 has the Lions finishing 10-6, good for second place in the NFC North and a solid contender for a NFC wildcard. Play over 7.5 wins.