Lions vs. Saints Spread Moves Up Half Point to -10.5 Favoring New Orleans

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Jan/06/2012
Lions vs. Saints Spread

The Lions vs. Saints spread opened at -10 and has since moved up to -10.5 in favor of New Orleans.  This one looked like it was going to be especially fluid in the beginning but the line has pretty much settled in.  Bet this game at Sportsbook.com and receive up to $250 in FREE CASH HERE

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: New Orleans -10.5 & 59

Opening Line & Total: Saints -10 & 58.5

The Lions make their first playoff appearance since the 1999 season when they visit the Saints, winners of eight in a row (SU and ATS), on Saturday night at the Superdome.

The New Orleans offense has been unstoppable at home. The Saints are averaging 41.1 PPG and 493 total YPG while going 8-0 SU and ATS at the Superdome. That included a 31-17 win over the Lions in Week 13 when Drew Brees threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns. Detroit’s defense was embarrassed by Green Bay’s second-string offense last week, allowing 45 points to the Matt Flynn-led Packers. Detroit’s only chance would seem to be to keep up with the Saints offensively. Detroit is averaging 35.3 PPG over their past four games, but the Saints did limit WR Calvin Johnson in their first meeting (six catches, 69 yards) and Detroit went just 2-for-11 on third down. But the Saints have had little trouble covering big spreads recently, going 5-2 ATS when favored by 8 points or more.

The Lions haven’t had much trouble scoring on the road this year, putting up 28.9 PPG and 417 total YPG. Calvin Johnson, who led the NFL with 1,681 receiving yards, had an incredible 1,025 yards and 10 TD in his eight road games alone. The Saints were the only home team to hold him below 80 yards. QB Matthew Stafford also had amazing road numbers, throwing for 2,838 yards (355 YPG), 21 TD and 9 INT. He torched New Orleans’ subpar secondary (260 YPG, 3rd-worst in NFL) for 408 yards on 9.27 YPA, but only had 1 TD with 1 INT. Six different Lions had 40+ receiving yards in that game, led by Nate Burleson’s 93 yards. Detroit rushed for a respectable 87 yards on 22 carries (4.0 YPC) in the loss, but has averaged 72 YPG on 3.7 yards per carry in four games since. Considering the Saints had held five straight opponents to 105 rushing yards or less (72 YPG) before allowing 164 to Carolina last week, Detroit doesn’t figure to chew up a whole lot of yards rushing the football on Saturday night, especially with Kevin Smith still not fully recovered from his ankle injury.

On the other side of the ball, the Lions defense has been pretty poor in the second half of the season, allowing 30.0 PPG and 285 passing YPG. That doesn’t bode well against Drew Brees, especially at home. In his eight Superdome games this year, Brees has completed 72% of his throws for 2,624 yards (328 YPG, 8.75 YPA), 29 TD and 6 INT (122.4 rating). He has only been sacked eight times in these home contests, but Detroit does have a strong defensive line with 41 sacks for the season, including 11 by DE Cliff Avril. DT Ndamukong Suh, last year’s top defensive rookie, also gives opposing offense nightmares. But Suh has made more headlines for non-football related matters than what he’s done on the field, posting a paltry 13 tackles and one sack in his past seven games. Detroit has some injuries on the defensive side of the ball as DT Corey Williams (hip), FS Louis Delmas (knee) and CB Aaron Berry (shoulder) are all questionable to play in this game.

Although Brees grabs all the headlines for the Saints with a talented group of receivers: TE Jimmy Graham (1,310 rec yds, 11 TD) and WRs Marques Colston (1,143 rec yds, 8 TD), Lance Moore (627 rec yds, 8 TD) and Robert Meachem (620 rec yds, 6 TD), the team can also run the football. New Orleans has the sixth-most rushing yards in the NFL (133 YPG), which includes 178 rushing YPG over the past three games. Chris Ivory ran for 127 yards on just 19 carries (6.7 YPC) last week, and both Pierre Thomas (562 rush yds, 5.1 YPC) and Darren Sproles (603 rush yds, 6.9 YPC) are capable of breaking off big gains. Sproles has also been huge in the passing attack, catching 86 balls for 710 yards and seven scores. The Lions have had their problems defending the run too, surrendering 128 rushing YPG (23rd in NFL). That number has dropped significantly after they gave up just 94 rushing YPG in the season’s final three games.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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