The Detroit Lions are – at least for this week – the Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL.
No respect, I tell ya.
How else to explain the fact America’s sportsbooks have them as mere field goal favorites — best current odds of -118 at DraftKings — for their Sunday afternoon road tilt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Now sure, the Bucs are 3-1, but they beat the Vikings, the Bears, and the Saints in the game where Derek Carr couldn’t throw the ball 10 yards downfield.
Then the Bucs got smoked by the Eagles.
The Lions? Outside of that Seahawks loss – which came on the heels of their opening night victory in Kansas City – the team has been dominant, having their way with the Falcons, Packers, and Panthers. Not exactly a murderer’s row, to be fair, but still: The Lions are simply a much better team than the Buccaneers, even if the -166 moneyline at FanDuel barely shows it.
Numbers don’t lie
The Lions are third in total DVOA, per FTN Fantasy, whereas the Bucs are 14th. The Lions are third in offensive DVOA and fourth in defensive DVOA. The Bucs are 18th on defense and 6th on offense, and they might be without stud wideout Mike Evans.
Not a lot of player props are popping up yet, but Baker Mayfield’s passing yardage is set at 231.5, a number Mayfield has exceeded twice and a number the Lions have given up three out of five games. But if Evans doesn’t play, this number could crater.
One reason for the lack of Lions props as of Thursday is the uncertain status of Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jahymr Gibbs. They both missed last week, but are both expected to be back this week.
Anytime touchdown props also haven’t been posted yet, but David Montgomery is +360 on DraftKings to score in the first quarter. He’ll almost certainly come in at minus-odds for an anytime score, making the +360 look relatively attractive.
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