The Detroit Lions and the New Orleans Saints are set to square off in Sunday Night Football betting action this week at the Louisiana Superdome. But before you make your NFL picks for the big game on Sunday, check out some of the great NFL betting trends that we have for the duel!
Detroit Lions Notes: The Lions know that they are probably going to have to win this game to make sure that they are holding onto their playoff spot for the time being. They are in a bad spot with tiebreakers against teams like the Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons, and they definitely don’t want to add the Saints to that list as well. Detroit is 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven road games, and it is 5-0-1 ATS in its last six games played in the month of December. However, it is only 1-4 ATS in its last five games in conference and just 2-4 SU and ATS in its last six overall. All four losses have come against teams that are likely going to be in the playoffs in the NFC.
The defense has just been atrocious for Detroit over the course of the last few weeks, allowing at least 27 points in three in a row and a least 23 in five out of six. Though this offense is great, it isn’t that great, and if it doesn’t find a way to continue to force teams to punt, it could be a long day. This will all be magnified by the fact that the New Orleans offense has been remarkable this season, especially here at the Louisiana Superdome (more on this in a minute).
The big news is that DT Ndamukong Suh isn’t going to be available in this one. He was suspended earlier this week for stomping on an offensive lineman for the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day, and his appeal has already been denied. On top of that, RB Kevin Smith, who was thought to be playing in this one at the start of the week, will likely be held out one more week with his ankle injury. DBs Chris Houston and Brandon McDonald are both out with knee injuries, and DE Lawrence Jackson is likely out with a thigh problem as well.
New Orleans Saints Notes: Depending what happens with the Atlanta Falcons earlier in the day, the Saints could be moving two games up in the NFC South with a win, or be falling back into a tie for the division lead with a loss. Either way, the chase is clearly on to run down the San Francisco 49ers for the No. 2 seed in the conference, something that is probably going to require winning out and getting a heck of a lot of luck to get the job done. The Saints have covered five straight games here at the Superdome, and they have covered six in a row played on field turf. December just doesn’t seem to be their month though, as they are just 2-7 ATS in their last nine games played in December, and 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games played from December onward, including games in the playoffs.
To say that this offense is unstoppable at home is a bit of an understatement. Thus far at home in 2011, New Orleans has scored 49, 27, 62, 40, and 30 points. In those games, QB Drew Brees has averaged throwing for 317.2 yards per game, and he has 17 TDs against three INTs. Though we know that it is the defense that needs some working, going against the Detroit defense should leave plenty of chances for the men in black and gold to score points, and they are going to have to take full advantage of the fact that Suh is out of the lineup to get the ball down the field.
Things are fairly quiet on the injury front for the Saints. TE Jimmy Graham suffered a helmet to helmet hit last week, but he is expected to be fine for this one, and LB Jonathan Vilma should be back in the fold after sitting out for a month with a knee injury. RB Chris Ivory is questionable with a hamstring injury, but it was definitely up in the air how many carries he would really get at this point with RBs Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram both healthy.
Head To Head: It should come as no surprise that the Saints have just dropped oodles of points on Detroit over the last few years. Since Brees came to the Bayou, New Orleans has beaten the Lions 45-27 at home and 42-7 at Ford Field. Needless to say, the Saints covered both games. However, the Lions had won and covered three in a row before that, so there has to be some hope that the men in blue and white can figure out how to at least keep this game remotely competitive for the full 60 minutes.
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.