Lions vs Jets Odds and Pick | Week 15 NFL Betting Predictions

Lions vs Jets Odds and Pick | Week 15 NFL Betting Predictions article feature image

Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Zach Wilson.

  • Lions vs Jets odds make New York a small favorite at home against Detroit.
  • With Zach Wilson back at quarterback, where's the betting value on this Week 15 NFL matchup?
  • Our expert breaks down his Lions vs Jets pick and prediction based on the odds.

Lions vs. Jets Odds

Sunday, Dec. 18
1 p.m. ET
Lions Odds
Jets Odds
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

I love that a Lions vs. Jets matchup matters in Week 15.

I wouldn't be saying that in previous seasons, given the talent makeup of each team historically. But this year, these are two young and exciting teams vying for the playoffs.

What a time to be alive.

This matchup got potentially uglier as the Jets' drama continued into the week. There's no shortage of press coverage when it comes to their quarterback situation, and man, does it feel like they should be the stars of Hard Knocks In Season.

So, let's continue to talk about the drama. (Am I the drama?)

Zach Wilson is starting since Mike White wasn't cleared to play, Quinnen Williams is questionable with a calf injury, and Corey Davis is out. The potential absence of these three incredibly valuable position players could significantly affect the Jets against a scorching hot Lions squad in one of the most important games of the season.

The Lions have won five of their last six, covering each in the process. Dan Campbell has this squad fired up, and regardless of whether he can bet (see: his press conference on the Lions being favored), he knows he's making waves in the market.

Two Coach of the Year candidates meet head-to-head in this contest. Who will have his team better prepared in a game that the market sees as evenly matched? Let's dive in.

Lions vs. Jets Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Lions and Jets match up statistically:

Lions vs. Jets DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA76
Pass DVOA96
Rush DVOA109
Overall DVOA1924
Pass DVOA2321
Rush DVOA1222

The Lions have been nothing short of incredible after a 1-6 start against the Eagles, Cowboys, Dolphins, Patriots and Seahawks.

That said, the Lions have lost a few one-possession games, which can be an indication that you're getting unlucky or that you can't close. Based on their recent six-game sample, it seems we're in the "slightly unlucky, just a tough schedule" camp.

Bet Detroit vs. New York at FanDuel

There's no question that this team is not the same old Lions. Aidan Hutchinson is a force on defense, winning Defensive Player of the Week recognition in November, and Amon-Ra St. Brown is statistically one of the league's best wide receivers.

However, the most surprising performance is coming from none other than Goff. Once viewed as a transition quarterback after he was traded to Detroit, No. 16 has completely flipped that narrative as he's currently ranked third (!!) in Football Outsiders' DYAR metric.

Despite this hot streak, this is not a good spot for the Lions. They've been at home in four of those last six games and were favored in two (only their third game they've been favored this season). So, they were expected to win two of their games, then were underdogs of four or fewer points against the Packers, Bears and Giants, which implies a one-possession game.

As I mentioned before, they should perform better in those based on early-season performances in similar situations, but there was still some luck involved (daaaa Bears).

While the Lions are good — even fun! — they are not performing that much better than their market expectation.

In that same six-week span, the Jets have had quite the rollercoaster. They played the Patriots and Bills twice, destroyed a Fields-less Bears squad, and lost to the Vikings in heartbreaking fashion (thanks, Braxton Berrios). Their defense has been as solid as ever, but their offense started to really click with White at the helm. They had legitimate chances to win against the Vikings and a drive to tie the Bills.

The Jets no longer have the luxury of The White Lotus, and their defense might take a hit if Williams sits and for how much of the game. It's easy to put Wilson down, but in fairness, the Jets were 5-2 with him under center — and I still believe there's gas left in the tank. If Wilson is going to prove that, this is the spot to do it, mainly because there wouldn't be one at all if White was cleared.

He's played well against teams that don't have Bill Belichick as their head coach, especially those with poor defenses. With Wilson and White, the Jets have played well at home (again, not vs. Belichick) by beating the Dolphins, Bears and Bills. Granted, the starting quarterbacks of two of those teams were out (nearly one-third if Josh Allen wasn't such a diehard).

Regardless, their offense has performed well at home, and their defense always gets the job done. Will that translate into a key victory for Gang Green?

Betting Picks

Let's start with the projection.

I make the Jets 1-point home favorites, so I thought the line move toward the Lions after news broke Wilson would be starting was relatively justified, but ultimately wrong.

Again, this is a tough spot for the Lions. They've played only five games on the road and are coming off a three-game homestand, while the Jets come off two one-possession losses on the road. This is a buy-low and sell-high league, and this spot fits the mold for both teams.

Let's look at how Detroit performs on the road. I'm most interested in the games they've lost, where they went to New England and Dallas for two massive losses.

What do those teams have in common? Defense.

If we look at which teams Detroit has beaten, we can see that none — especially over these last six games — have a top-15 defense. In fact, even starting with the Miami game, they are all bottom-10 defenses (with Buffalo as the lone wolf).

While the Lions offense has surged in performance from last season, there's little doubt that the Jets defense is the best unit on the field on Sunday, with or without Williams available in the middle. I'm expecting that to show. I'm also expecting New York's offense to take advantage of Detroit's 24th-ranked defense.

The Jets have performed well against teams that have poor defenses: Cleveland, Miami, Green Bay and Chicago. While this line is fairly sharp, I absolutely love the situational spot and narrative buy here for New York. The Jets have played more road games  than home, yet finally get a two-game home stand that's not against their division rivals.

I'm expecting them to take advantage of this situation, Wilson to show people that he's still alive, the Lions offense continue to struggle against top-five defenses and Robert Saleh to show that he's got something to say about that Coach of the Year award.

Say it with me now: J-E-T-S, JETS JETS JETS.

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