On Sunday night, the Lions will host the Los Angeles Rams in an NFC wild card matchup. This is the first playoff game the Lions have hosted since 1993, when they lost to the Green Bay Packers 28-24. The franchise hasn’t enjoyed a playoff victory since Jan. 5, 1992.
It’s fair to say the Ford Field faithful are more than ready for the game.
Of course, leave it to the Lions to be in a position where one of their favorite sons — Matthew Stafford, who played for Detroit for 12 years — is the quarterback for the opposing team.
And this opposing team is not to be taken lightly. The Rams were generally expected to finish well under .500 (their preseason win total on most sports betting apps was 6.5), but head coach Sean McVay has turned this team into something of a machine. After starting the season 3-6, they closed out the year 7-1, with their only loss an overtime thriller to the Baltimore Ravens.
Notable, though: Three of those wins were by a single point. A bounce here, a fumble there, and the 10-7 Rams are 7-10 and far away from Detroit.
As for the Lions? They come into the game with a record of 12-5, but they also come in probably without their star rookie tight end Sam LaPorta, who got injured in last week’s more-or-less meaningless game.
The sportsbooks, however, still like the Lions’ chances: They’re field goal favorites across the board, with BetMGM offering the best odds at -110. On the moneyline, Caesars Sportsbook is offering the best odds, at -160. The total shows the dominance of both of these offenses, with it sitting at 51.5 at -110 at FanDuel. It’s the highest totaled game of wild card weekend.
Stafford’s return to Detroit comes with a hefty passing yardage total: It’s set at 272.5 at FanDuel at -114 on either side. Jared Goff isn’t far behind, with his yardage number pegged at 260.5 and BetMGM offering the best odds at -115 on either side.
For the Lions, who will be on the other end of all those passing yards is a big question. With LaPorta almost certainly out, his number is not posted.
But it’s worth noting that last year, after the team traded T.J. Hockenson, running back DeAndre Swift became a much more prolific receiver for the Lions, with six out of 10 games over 24 yards receiving and eight games with three or more receptions.
This year’s new and improved version of Swift is Jahmyr Gibbs. His receiving yards number can be had for 20.5 at PointsBet at -115, or at 19.5 yards at -122 on the over at FanDuel. His reception number is 3.5 at +114 on the over at DraftKings.
Meanwhile, either Gibbs and David Montgomery has scored a touchdown in every game but one this year. Their anytime touchdown props are both at -115 at BetMGM.
Amon-Ra St. Brown is widely expected to be fed early and often, and his props demonstrate that. His yardage number is all the way up at 87.5 (at -114) at FanDuel, and his reception prop is at 7.5 at -110 at BetMGM. He’s exceeded that yardage number in his last four outings (and 11 times overall this season), but the reception number has only been exceeded once in the last four games (and only seven times overall).
St. Brown has also scored in each of the last four games (and in seven of the last nine). His anytime touchdown prop is at even odds at FanDuel.
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