Detroit couldn't beat Green Bay's backups in Week 17 and as punishment their first playoff action is many years is a tough road test against the red-hot New Orleans Saints in Wild Card betting action Saturday.
Drew Brees broke Dan Marino's passing yardage record and the Saints reeled off 8 straight wins (and ATS covers) to end the season. The opened as 10-point home chalk here against a Detroit team that may be happy just to make the playoffs.
The Lions lost 31-17 here a month ago and have lost the past 3 against New Orleans. Lions bettors should be wary of a recent trend that has seen NFC road teams going 10-4 ATS in the past 14 NFC Wild Card games.
The Saints however are 11-1 ATS at home recently, while Detroit is 0-4 ATS lately on the road. The Lions have been OVER machines on the road, going 9-1-1 past 11 trips away from Ford Field. [ See NFL playoff bonus offers and perks like free BCS bowl game wagers at TopBet ]
Oddsmakers opened the Saints as 10-point NFC Wild Card odds favorites in the game, while the betting total was sitting at 58 over at TopBet to start the week. Watch for line moves and injury updates.
Power Rankings / Prediction:
According to the Power Rankings here at OddsShark it's the No. 5-rated Saints and the No. 14-rated Lions in this matchup. Predictive formulas point to a 40-33 win for the Saints on Saturday.
Lions vs Saints Game Props, courtesy of :
DET vs NO
Total Passing Yards – Matthew Stafford (DET)
Total TD Passes – Matthew Stafford (DET)
Over 2½ (+135)
Under 2½ (-165)
Total Interceptions – Matthew Stafford (DET)
Over ½ (-200)
Under ½ (+160)
Total Completions - Matthew Stafford (DET)
Total Receiving Yards – Calvin Johnson (DET)
Will Calvin Johnson (DET) score a TD in the game?
Will Ndamukong Suh (DET) get a 15 yard penalty in the game?
Total Passing Yards – Drew Brees (NO)
Total TD Passes – Drew Brees (NO)
Over 2½ (-165)
Under 2½ (+135)
Total Interceptions – Drew Brees (NO)
Over ½ (-175)
Under ½ (+145)
Total Receiving Yards – Marques Colston (NO)
Total Receiving Yards – Jimmy Graham (NO)
Will Jimmy Graham (NO) score a TD in the game?
Which team will have more time of possession in the game?
New OrleansSaints -150
New Orleans3rd down conversion % in the game
How They Match Up:
The game also pits New Orleans's No. 2-ranked offense, averaging 34.2 PPG, against a Lions defense that ranks No. 23 this week at 24.2 PPG. The Saints aerial game is averaging 334.2 yards per game, more than the Lions secondary allows through the air, 239.4 YPG per game.
Defensively, the Lions feature the league's No. 14-rated road run defense, allowing 114.8 yards per game. New Orleans, meanwhile, ranks No. 1 in rushing offense at home.
Detroit lost its last outing, a 45-41 result against the Packers on January 1. The Lions failed to cover in that game as a 6.5-point favorite, while the 86 combined points took the game OVER the total. Matthew Stafford beat the Packers secondary for 5 TDs last time out, but the Lions lost to Green Bay 45-41 at Lambeau Field.
Last time out for New Orleans, they were a 45-17 winner as they battled the Panthers at home. The Saints covered in the match as a 7-point favorite, while 62 combined points moved the game OVER for totals bettors. In their last game, the Saints got 5 passing scores out of Drew Brees en route to a 45-17 win over the Panthers on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Detroit Lions Trends:
When playing in January are 3-7
When playing on turf are 6-4
After outgaining opponent are 5-5
When playing outside the division are 7-3
New Orleans Saints Trends:
When playing in January are 5-5
When playing on turf are 9-1
After outgaining opponent are 8-2
When playing outside the division are 8-2
A few Lions at Saints trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Detroit's last 9 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Detroit's last 12 games when playing New Orleans
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Detroit's last 7 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
Detroit is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games on the road
New Orleans is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
New Orleans is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of New Orleans's last 12 games when playing Detroit
The total has gone OVER in 5 of New Orleans's last 7 games at home