On Sunday, the New England Patriots head to Motown to take on the Detroit Lions in Week 3’s Sunday Night Football game. The top storying heading into this contest is former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the current head coach for the Lions, taking on his mentor and former boss Bill Belichick. Kickoff inside Ford Field will be at 8:20 PM ET.
|Betting Data History||New England Patriots||Detroit Lions|
|2018 ATS Home||1-0||0-1|
|2018 ATS Away||0-1||1-0|
|2018 O/U Home||0-1||1-0|
|2018 O/U Away||1-0||1-0|
Since 1971, these two teams have faced each other 11 times with the Patriots leading the series 7-4. Since 2000, the Patriots have gone 4-1 against the Lions, including winning the last 4 straight contests. The Patriots have played at Detroit 5 times in their team’s history, and hold the slight advantage with a 3-2 record.
New England (1-1) is coming off a 31-20 loss to the Jaguars where they dominated on both sides of the ball. It was one of the worst Patriots performances in recent memory. Since that loss, New England traded with the Browns for wide receiver Josh Gordon who is expected to play against Detroit on Sunday night. The Patriots will have to shake off that loss and look to trick their former defensive coordinator with new plays and schemes.
Detroit (0-2) is coming off a 30-27 loss to the 49ers where they made a furious comeback late in the game before falling short. The Lions are trying to find a running game and a defense. They have played as bad as any team in the league and look to get a big win on Sunday so that they can turn their season around.
Sportsbooks opened with the New England Patriots favored by 7, but most sports betting sites have the spread coming down slightly to 6.5 points. The Over/Under opened at 46 points and has gone up to 51.5 total points.
New England played about as poorly as I’ve seen them play in recent years. They only put up 302 total yards with just 82 of those on the ground. Brady only went 24 of 35 for 234 yards and 2 TDs. The Patriots also had 1 turnover and just 18 first downs. This was definitely an un-Patriot like performance and I expect the team to bounce back this weekend against a shaky Lions defense.
Making things worse for New England last Sunday was that their defense allowed a 21-3 lead at halftime, 481 total yards for the game, and 27 first downs to a normally anemic Jacksonville offense. Blake Bortles threw for 377 yards and 4 TDs on what was supposed to be a good New England secondary. Without starting RB Leonard Fournette playing this game, the Jaguars were still able to tally 104 rushing yards.
Fortunately for New England, the Lions defense has been atrocious as they’ve given up 39 ppg and 381.5 total yards per game. They allowed the Jets offense to demolish them at home and allowed the 49ers to score 30 on the road. There’s not much to like about anything the Lions have done on defense. So, I expect this to be a “get right” game for the Patriots offense even if Josh Gordon is getting up to speed.
For the Lions offense, a lot of their numbers have come in garbage time after they’ve been down big. Detroit is horrible running the ball as they only average 68.5 ypg. I don’t expect them to have much success running against the Patriots this Sunday as they will be down by a few scores in the early 2nd quarter. That will eliminate the run, which might be a good thing for Detroit since they’re averaging over 323 ypg in the air. Matt Stafford is putting up big numbers for the Lions, but unless you have him on your Fantasy football team, it doesn’t really matter since Detroit keeps losing.
The Lions are 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 Week 3 games, 3-7 ATS in their last 10 fieldturf games, 3-6 ATS when an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points, 3-6 SU and 3-6 ATS in their last 9 games against the AFC. The Patriots are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against the NFC, 19-8 ATS in their last 27 fieldturf games, 13-4 ATS in road games, 6-0 ATS when a road favorite of 3.5 to 7 points, and 11-4 ATS in their last 15 overall games.
I expect New England to get out to a big lead in this game before Detroit racks up some late garbage points just like they did last Sunday against the 49ers. I see the Patriots offense getting back on track as they get out to a big lead by halftime and then put it in cruise control by time the 4th quarter hits. Look for Brady to break 300 passing yards and for the Patriots defense to force a few turnovers. Both sides of the ball will look to bounce back and perform well on Sunday night.
I’m going with New England to win 37 to 24, easily covering the 6.5 point spread. I do think the Patriots moneyline is as close to a guarantee win as we can get, but I don’t typically take odds that high.
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