Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints
Date and Time: Sunday, December 4, 2016, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Week 13 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Saints -5.5, 53.5
Lions vs. Saints TV Coverage: FOX
It just doesn’t feel like a Detroit game unless the Lions have their backs against the wall trailing in the fourth quarter. That was once again the case on Thanksgiving when the Vikings took a 13-10 lead with over 12 minutes remaining in the game. The Lions tied it up with just under two minutes remaining, and was then gifted the win after a head scratching Minnesota turnover was committed deep in its own territory which allowed Jim Caldwell’s troops to pull out the 16-13 win at the gun.
The win now finds Detroit sitting perched atop the NFC North with the tiebreaker in hand against the Vikings. A very enviable position for most when you take into account how competitive two of the other three NFC conferences have been this season.
A week removed from absorbing successive gut-wrenching defeats against the Broncos and Panthers, the Saints took all of their frustration out on the hapless Rams last week en route to pounding Los Angeles 49-21 as 8 point home chalk. Drew Brees converted his 28 successful passes into 310 yards and four touchdowns with rookie Michael Thomas the main beneficiary hauling in nine receptions for 108 yards and a pair of scores.
The win saw the Saints even their home record up at 3-3 SU and against the spread for the year. After taking advantage of LA’s No. 7 ranked pass defense, New Orleans shouldn’t have many issues picking apart Detroit’s No. 16 ranked unit. I stress shouldn’t since Detroit has come up with some excellent defensive efforts when least expected to.
Player to Watch
Matthew Stafford – The Lions field general has been a major fantasy disappointment this season. He’s amassed a grand total of two 300-yard passing games, and each occurred over the first three weeks of the season. He’s passed for an average of just 224 yards in Detroit’s last three road games at Chicago, Houston and Minnesota. Not surprisingly, the Lions dropped two of those three games.
Brees is going to get his in this game like he always does whenever he stops onto the gridiron in front of the hometown faithful. With Detroit having absolutely no run game to fall on and New Orleans’ defense excelling at defending the run, it will be up to Stafford’s arm to keep his team in this game and prevent it from getting laughed off the field much like Jared Goff and the Rams did last week.
Lions vs. Saints Free Picks
Detroit struggling against Minnesota’s No. 4 ranked pass defense hardly came as a shock last week. I don’t foresee those struggles occurring in this game with the Saints ranked No. 27 defending the pass in allowing over 271 yards per game. It’s also been hit for 17 touchdown passes, so the trio of Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and Eric Ebron should get fat taking advantage of this suspect defense.
That said, the Saints are going to take advantage of a Lions defense that’s feasted upon poor offenses over the last month. Houston, Minnesota twice and Jacksonville hardly holds a candle to what New Orleans brings to the table offensively for this matchup. These teams have played to high scorers against the total odds at BookMaker.eu each of the last two seasons, and though this total is the highest of the week 13 slate, I still foresee both sides having enough success to still push it over.
Lions vs. Saints ATS Pick: Over 53.5 at BookMaker.eu
Lions vs. Saints Score Prediction: Saints 38 – Lions 36