Lions vs. Falcons Odds & Picks: How To Bet Sunday’s Total
Leon Halip/Getty Images. Pictured: Kenny Golladay
Lions vs. Falcons Odds
The Lions enter Week 7 coming off an impressive 34-16 win over the Jaguars. This was the first time this season the Lions were able to convert a 10-point lead into a victory — they were previously 0-3 in such games.
The Falcons also come into Week 7 following an impressive victory, as they were able to blow out the Vikings, 40-23. Selecting defensive coordinator Raheem Morris as interim head coach paid off with the Falcons’ defense was able to hold the Vikings’ eighth ranked rushing attack to 32 yards on the ground.
With their volatile play, trusting the Lions or Falcons to cover comes with too much risk. However, both teams bring offenses with big-play capability and weak pass defenses. Betting the over is the way to go. Let’s see why.
The Lions’ offense has been a tale of two halves this season: They’re averaging 4.9 yards per carry and a 98.6 passer rating in the first half then dropping down to 3.7 yards per carry and an 84.3 passer rating in the second half.
Marvin Jones improving his play — even back to average — would be a big step to improving the second-half offense. Jones has produced only 6.1 yards per target, far down from his 8.6 and 8.2 marks over the previous two seasons. Jones’ improvement would provide relief for quarterback Matthew Stafford and make teams think twice before overcommitting to slowing down Kenny Golladay.
Facing the Falcons — who rank 31st in both passing yards and passing touchdowns allowed per game — should be the perfect opportunity for Jones to have a big game.
On the other side of the ball, the Lions’ 29th-ranked rushing defense will be looking to stop Todd Gurley and the Falcons’ rushing attack. While the Lions’ rushing defense looks bad on paper, that could mostly be due to giving up 259 yards to the Packers and 164 yards to the Saints. After stopping the Jaguars’ rushing attack and allowing only 44 rushing yards, Detroit will have the opportunity to repeat its success as Atlanta averages only 4.0 yards per carry, ranked 23rd in the league.
While the Lions’ passing defense has ranked 15th in yards per game, this will be a difficult for the Lions. Rookie cornerback Jeffrey Okudah — who owns a Pro Football Focus grade of only 37.8 — will match up against either Julio Jones or Calvin Ridley, either of whom would present a mismatch for Okudah that the Falcons will look to exploit early and often.
Replacing Dan Quinn as head coach brought some excitement to the Falcons as they blew out the Vikings in their first game since the coaching move. The change in philosophy could be felt as the Falcons looked to score early and even created big plays when they were up late in the game.
The return of a fully healthy Jones made a huge impact last week, as the Falcons threw for 363 yards in Week 6. Julio’s return was able to help Ridley find his first touchdown since Week 2 and Russel Gage have 65 receiving yards, his most since Week 1. Now, these receivers get the chance to go against Okudah and second-year player Amani Oruwariye.
Going against Detroit’s second-worst unit in ESPN’s Pass Rush Win Rate will let Matt Ryan have extra time in the pocket. The Falcons currently rank sixth in intended air yards per attempt (per NFL’s Next Gen Stats), so extra time or even just a clean pocket to throw from can translate to big plays or simply better passes from Ryan.
On the defensive side, injuries have left the backend of the Falcons’ secondary decimated, which has led to them allowing 8.6 yards per pass attempt, tied for worst in the NFL. The Falcons rank third in pass attempts against per game and 30th in rush attempts against per game, the latter of which is for good reason considering they allow only 4.1 yards per carry.
The Lions and Falcons come into Week 7 off big wins ready to show they were not a fluke.
The Falcons will have Ryan, Jones and Ridley facing the young Detroit cornerbacks. The Lions will be excited for a similarly enticing matchup with Stafford and Golladay facing down the young backups for the Falcons. There will even be perfect weather since the game will be in a dome.
With the mismatches in the passing game, this could could snowball quickly into a shootout.
PICK: Over 54.5