NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Can Lions Cover After Big Win Over Cardinals? Why Our Expert Already Bet Falcons
Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Lions QB Jared Goff
Lions vs. Falcons Odds
|Time||1 p.m. ET on Sunday|
|Odds as of Monday and via DraftKings|
NFL Picks: Falcons -4
This is pretty gross, but I have to do it.
Yes, the Lions got a big win and dominated the Cardinals, but that doesn’t mean they’re good now.
Just look at the yo-yo season the Lions have had so far — they hung with the 49ers in the opener, then got blown out by the Packers. The Lions almost beat the Ravens, then lost by 10 to the Bears. The Lions should’ve beat the Vikings, then immediately lost by 21 to the Bengals. The Lions led the Rams in the fourth quarter, then got smashed by 38 by the Eagles.
Even when the Lions finally got a win over the Vikings, they immediately lost to the Broncos by 28.
Detroit got the big win over Arizona, but let’s not go crazy.
The Cardinals drove deep into Lions’ territory just before halftime, but turned the ball over on downs inside the 10-yard line trying to score, then nearly did the same thing to start the second half before settling for a field goal. The Cardinals have been the NFL’s best team on late downs and in the red zone all season — most games, they’re likely suddenly back to 17-14 and win this game easily, even after the awful start.
But it’s football. It happens.
Detroit still isn’t a good team while Atlanta has been pretty solid against not-good teams. The Falcons don’t have good underlying metrics, but it’s because they get demolished by any team that’s even sort of good. Against the Bucs (twice), Cowboys, Pats, Eagles and Niners, the Falcons are 0-6 with an ugly -145 point differential. But against anyone else — all the mediocre and bad teams — the Falcons are 6-2 with a positive point differential.
There are a couple Action Labs trends in our favor, too. Teams coming off a cover of 26 or more points are 117-147-11 against the spread (ATS) the following game. That’s what the Lions just did, winning by 18 when they were double-digit underdogs, and that’s only a 44% cover rate. Another trend shows that teams that win by 17 or more playing teams that just lost by 17 or more are 63-98-4 ATS the following week, covering only 39% of the time.
It’s ugly, but this line was about a touchdown on Sunday morning — before their Week 15 games — so the Lions’ win over the Cardinals is buying us almost a field goal of value.
We have to take it before it gets bet back up.