After walloping the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks by a combined score of 75-9, with a victory over the Arizona Cardinals sandwiched in between, the Baltimore Ravens looked the part of a serious Super Bowl contender. But a 33-31 home loss to Cleveland — one that included blowing a 14-point fourth quarter lead — on Sunday cast doubt on that impression.
Baltimore’s recent plight is a microcosm of how it’s gone for the NFL‘s top teams this season. Right when you think the Ravens or Lions or Cowboys or 49ers look the part of a world-beater, they come crashing back to earth by virtue of a humbling loss or three.
Just past the midway point of the season, DraftKings gives the 7-2 Lions 10/1 odds of winning the Super Bowl, making them its co-fifth pick (along with the Cowboys) behind the Ravens (9/1). The Niners are again the betting co-favorites (along with the defending champ Chiefs) at 5/1 after throttling the Jaguars in Jacksonville this past Sunday to snap a three-game losing streak, with last year’s Super Bowl runner-up, the 8-1 Eagles, nipping at their cleats at +550.
With odds slightly shorter than those of Dallas (4/1), Detroit is +380 to win the NFC and advance to the Super Bowl and a -1100 favorite at DraftKings to win the NFC North. For sports bettors looking to fade the Lions, 6-4 Minnesota (7/1 at DraftKings) has won five straight and plays two of its final three games against Detroit.
Goff a value bet in yardage market
Before the Lions go Vikings-Cowboys-Vikings to close out the regular season, they’ll enjoy the puffiest portion of their schedule to date, facing Chicago, Green Bay, New Orleans, Chicago (again), and Denver in succession.
Should Detroit catch a heater against lesser competition and split or sweep the Minnesota series, it will serve to strengthen the Coach of the Year campaign of Dan Campbell, who is currently a +150 favorite in that market over Houston’s DeMeco Ryans (3/1).
As for Campbell’s charges, Jared Goff currently has the sixth-shortest odds (11/1, level with Justin Herbert) at DraftKings to lead the league in passing yards. Considering Goff is fourth among all quarterbacks in yards per game and one of those QBs ahead of him, Kirk Cousins, is out for the season, this price would seem to hold considerable value.
Despite playing in just six of Detroit’s 10 games, David Montgomery is tied for fourth in the NFL with seven rushing touchdowns. Should he stay healthy and continue scoring at that rate, his 8/1 price to lead the league may be attractive to those who think he’s capable of catching +225 favorite Raheem Mostert of Miami, who could see a dent in his production now that De’Von Achane has been activated off injured reserve.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (16/1 to lead the league in receiving yards) and Jahmyr Gibbs (13/1 to win Offensive Rookie of the Year) are the only other Lions with odds lower than 20/1 to claim an individual honor. Gibbs was spectacular in taking on an increased workload with Montgomery out and has four touchdowns in his past three games, but it would take a season-ending injury or epic collapse by Houston QB C.J. Stroud (-1600) to clear a big enough hole for the former Alabama speedster to slip through.
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