The Detroit Lions (0-4) are still searching for their first win of the season and will be out for revenge when they host the St. Louis Rams (2-2) on Sunday. The Lions (-3 @ Diamond Sportsbook) fell victim to the Rams at home a year ago 17-10, which turned out to be the only win of the season for St. Louis. While Detroit is still struggling to produce a victory this year, their opponent has already doubled its win total from last season thanks in part to rookie quarterback Sam Bradford.
Before this season started, this game looked to feature the last two overall top picks in the NFL draft. But Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was taken down in their season-opening loss at Chicago and has not been on field since due to a shoulder injury. Still, they are only one point away from being a perfect 4-0 record against the spread despite their winless straight-up mark.
There is no doubt that Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz has made a positive impact on his young team even though that has not yet translated to many wins. Schwartz led the Lions to a couple wins last season, and they have been as close to victory this year as Calvin Johnson’s potential game-winning touchdown catch against the Bears that was ruled a drop.
Detroit rookie running back Jahvid Best played with a toe injury in last week’s 28-26 loss at Green Bay and managed to rush 12 times for 50 yards and make five catches for 34 yards. That was better than his previous performance in a 24-10 loss at Minnesota the week before but nowhere near what he did in his home debut against Philadelphia. Best scored three touchdowns against the Eagles in his only home game back in Week 2, rushing for 78 yards and adding another 154 receiving yards in a tough 35-32 setback that saw a late rally fall just short.
Best might be getting some serious competition from Bradford this season for Offensive Rookie of the Year after the former Heisman Trophy winner has led his team to consecutive wins. Bradford won both of those games against Seattle and Washington as a home underdog and has already earned some high praise from former NFL greats like Hall of Famer John Elway.
Bradford was 23 of 41 for 289 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in a 20-3 win over the Seahawks last week and was solid in his only career road start at Oakland in Week 2. He threw for 167 yards with two touchdowns and one interception against the Raiders to help the Rams cover the spread and could be ready for a shootout at Detroit.
Lions quarterback Shaun Hill helped them outgain the Packers in total yards 431-261 last week thanks to his 331 passing, including two touchdowns to Johnson. However, Hill also threw two interceptions, including one that was returned 48 yards for a touchdown by Green Bay cornerback Charles Woodson.
The two previous regular-season meetings between Detroit and St. Louis before last year each sailed OVER the total. The Rams have averaged 25 points in their last two games overall while the Lions are scoring at a clip of nearly 23 over their last three.