2012 Detroit Lions Betting Preview
Check the temperature in Hades; the Detroit Lions made the playoffs. Now, their task is to do it again, and maybe even advance past the Wild-Card round. But that’s no guarantee; while Detroit looks like an up-and-coming team, they’ve got some problems, and some stiff competition to deal with in both the NFC North and the NFC as a whole. This might be a very important season for the Lions, as far as the near-future of this franchise is concerned.
Last Season in Review
With help from come-from-way-behind victories over the Vikings and Cowboys Detroit started 5-0 last year. But then the Lions lost that crazy game at home to San Francisco and another one to the Falcons, part of a 2-5 stretch that caused some serious concern. Detroit recovered to win three in a row, including a tough one out in Oakland, but with a chance to avoid New Orleans on Wild-Card weekend they went to Green Bay for the season finale and lost, as the Packers’ back-up QB carved them up like a tender Thanksgiving turkey.
Then, in their first playoff game since 1999, the Lions lost to the Saints 45-28.
In the end, Detroit got swept by Green Bay, and went just 1-6 vs. teams that made the playoffs, including the Wild-Card loss.
The Lions ranked fifth in the league in offense last year at 396 YPG, but 29th in rushing at just 95 YPG, as injuries downed their top three rushing options at one point or another.
On defense Detroit ranked 23rd both overall at 368 YPG and vs. the run at 128 YPG.
So overall the Lions ranked ninth in total yardage at +28 YPG, but 27th in total rushing at -33 YPG.
Around the league last year teams that got outrushed covered the spread in just 31 percent of games.
Detroit managed to go 7-7-2 ATS.
Also, as Lions games averaged 54 points, third-most in the league, they played the totals 10-6.
Individually QB Matt Stafford was wonderful last year, completing 64 percent of his passes for 5,000 yards and a 41/16 TD/INT ratio. All-World WR Calvin Johnson caught 96 balls for almost 1,700 yards and 16 scores; TE Brandon Pettigrew caught 83 passes for almost 800 yards; and WR Nate Burleson grabbed 73 balls for 750 yards. But the Lions’ leading rusher, Jahvid Best, tallied just 390 yards on the ground.
Detroit lost just one starter, CB Eric Wright, over the off-season, and didn’t do much in the acquisitions department.
At the draft the Lions used their first two picks on offense, taking Iowa OT Riley Reiff at No. 23 overall and Oklahoma WR Ryan Broyles at No. 54, then went defense with their last six picks. Which looks a bit backwards, considering we’d have thought they’d try to address the defense first.
2012 Lions Schedule
According to last year’s W/L records Detroit will play the tenth-easiest schedule in the league this season. The Lions only have five games against teams that made the playoffs last year, although they do have several games against teams that could make the playoffs this season, including the Titans, Eagles and of course two with the Bears. Detroit might benefit as the NFC North matches up with two of the weaker divisions in the league, the NFC West and AFC South. And five of their last seven games are at home, including the last two vs. Atlanta and Chicago. The Lions could be favored in as many as 10 or 11 games this season.
2012 Detroit Lions Betting Odds and Prediction
Detroit is being offered at +500 at Bovada Sports book to win the NFC North this season, 11/1 to win the NFC and 20/1 to win the Super Bowl. The Lions have also been tagged at Bookmaker with a regular-season wins ‘over/under’ of nine (O -125/U -105).
Detroit has some talent, no doubt about it, but it now has to play with some expectations of success. And that can be hard to deal with for teams that haven’t had a lot of success in the recent past. The Lions have also had some off-field legal problems, and that kind of thing can rot a team from the inside. On the field Detroit needs to improve the running game and the defense before we’ll consider them conference championship contenders. We’re guessing the Lions will take a small step backwards this year, so we’re leaning toward the ‘under’ nine wins.
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.