Patriots vs. Lions Betting Guide: What to Make of Bill Belichick’s Preseason Record

Patriots vs. Lions Betting Guide: What to Make of Bill Belichick’s Preseason Record article feature image

Tim Fuller/USA Today Sports. Pictured: Bill Belichick

New England Patriots at Detroit Lions Betting Odds

  • Spread: Patriots -1
  • Over/Under: 35
  • Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET

The Lions host the Patriots in one of 11 Preseason Week 1 matchups on Thursday night. Let’s take a look at key storylines for both teams, complete with betting and daily fantasy analysis.

New England Patriots

Kings stay kings, but Tom Brady has always been a bit more vulnerable without Rob Gronkowski on the field since the Patriots drafted him 42nd overall in 2010.

  • Brady with Gronk (112 games): 25.2 PPR | 2.2 TDs | 0.5 INTs | 8.01 Y/A | 66% cmp | 289 yards per game
  • Brady Without Gronk (28 games): 21.4 PPR | 1.8 TDs | 0.6 INTs | 6.89 Y/A | 60% cmp | 260 yards per game

The Patriots don’t have the look of one of the league’s most productive offenses, but we know better by this point than to underestimate Bill Belichick’s evil empire.

Somehow, New England has fielded a top-10 scoring offense in each of the past 15 seasons. Things have been even more impressive in recent years, as Brady and Co. have snuck inside the league’s top-five units in nine consecutive seasons.

The Patriots have fielded a top-10 scoring offense in 15 consecutive seasons:

2004: 4th
2005: 10th
2006: 7th
2007: 1st
2008: 8th
2009: 6th
2010: 1st
2011: 3rd
2012: 1st
2013: 3rd
2014: 4th
2015: 3rd
2016: 3rd
2017: 2nd
2018: 4th

— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) June 5, 2019

Still, Belichick knows better than to overrate the preseason. His 25-31-4 record against the spread is the third-worst among active head coaches.

Detroit Lions

New offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was out of football in 2018, but spent 2006 to 2010 as the Vikings offensive coordinator then 2011 to 2017 as the Seahawks offensive coordinator. Bevell led above-average scoring offenses, ranking inside the league’s top-12 scoring units seven times over that span with an emphasis on running the football.

The biggest change to expect in the Lions’ passing game could be an added emphasis on the deep ball. Overall, Russell Wilson posted four seasons with a top-10 deep-ball rate from 2012 to 2017 under Bevell while Matthew Stafford has ranked 17th, 23rd, 33rd, 35th, 25th, 13th and 30th over the past seven years.

The Lions don’t boast the league’s healthiest front-seven at the moment and allowed an average of 27.8 points per game during the 2018 preseason. I lean Patriots despite Belichick’s not-so-great preseason reputation.

LEAN: Patriots -1.5

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