It is clear that the Detroit Lions have been playing better in recent weeks under second-year head coach Dan Campbell. And they were at least on the periphery of the NFC playoff race until heartbreakingly losing on Thanksgiving day to the Buffalo Bills. If they win out the rest of the way, BetOnline customers could conceivably see them in the postseason.
The same might be said of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who, like Detroit, have a 4–7 record. These teams will go at it on Sunday afternoon at Ford Field, kicking off at 1 PM Eastern time.
Detroit feels much better at home, as they gain an average of 50 yards more for contests there than they do on the road. This version of the Lions is doing something a little different than they have in the past, as they are running the ball. That’s something previous coaches have given lip service to but not really executed.
Jamaal Williams has 734 yards on the ground and scored 13 touchdowns. DeAndre Swift has been in and out of the lineup with injuries and has averaged a robust 5.8 yards per attempt. And it might surprise some people that Detroit is the second-best team in the NFL at converting red zone trips into touchdowns.
There is an interesting flipside to some of this. Detroit happens to be unusually weak on the defensive end, as they have given up an NFL-worst 50.7% on third down. They also surrendered 5.2 yards per rushing attempt, which is never a good thing.
In this case, that might be an open invitation for Jacksonville, which is doing a pretty good job of mixing the run and the pass under Doug Pederson, who is in his first year on the job and rescued this program from the disaster of Urban Meyer (you might call that “urban decay”).
In the odds at BetOnline, we’ll use for our pro football free pick; the Lions are favored ever-so-slightly at home:-
Detroit Lions -1
Jacksonville Jaguars +1
Over 51 Points -110
Under 51 Points -110
The Jags felt as if they could afford to trade away James Robinson because Travis Etienne was ready to take most of the responsibility in the backfield. He has not been a disappointment, averaging 5.5 yards per carry and leading a rushing attack that has averaged 4.9 ypc.
So what you’re basically going to find here are two teams that are not necessarily dependent on the run but use it to set up the pass. In the case of Jared Goff, the quarterback for Detroit, the more play-action opportunities, the better. He’s had 760 yards on play-action passes, fourth most in the league.
This is a game where two quarterbacks who have been chosen first overall in the draft or facing each other. For the Jaguars, that is Trevor Lawrence, who had to spend his rookie season dealing with all of the drama Meyer’s presence created. Last season he tied for the league lead in interceptions at 17, but he’s got that rate way down, as he threw only six packs in 385 attempts [ts. He has already exceeded his touchdown total of last season. And he looked pretty calm and cool, engineering a late drive to beat the Baltimore Ravens last week.
Of course, the Jags got a little lucky that Baltimore had difficulty executing in the red zone. And over these last two weeks, they’ve given up 317 rushing yards.
Lawrence has not been at his best on the road, as he is covered only in three of 13 attempts as a pro. So we don’t mind taking a long look at the Lions, who have been outgained in each of their last eight games but haven’t managed to win three of the last four. So, placing bets on Lions at football sports betting sites is a little bit risky, considering their current situation. We are also looking for this game to go OVER the total.
BetOnline has plenty of options for you. One of them is Prop Builder, where you can check out a number of betting angles on all the playmakers involved, and “Live Betting,” which takes you right into the action even after the opening kickoff. Then, there are Odds Boosters, where you’ll get terrific payoffs on pre-selected parlays. It is easier than ever to make a deposit and open an account. Just utilize your credit card, or if you prefer crypto, choose from the virtual plethora of choices they have for you, including Bitcoin!