Here at Pride Of Detroit, we do not condone gambling. Hell, I don’t even like predicting. Sports — and particularly football — are way too randomized by weird bounces, unfortunate injuries, bad officiating and several other unknowable factors to ever risk anything financially significant on the outcome of a football game.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun and make ourselves either look foolish or crazy intelligent by the time February comes around. Thanks to Bovada, we have a bunch of prop bets for the Detroit Lions 2016 season.
If you don’t know how these prop bets work, here are the basics. The gambling site sets a statistical benchmark for each player. The bettor then can choose to wager whether that player will exceed that benchmark or fail to reach it. It’s that simple. Here are the prop bets for the this year’s Lions team:
Matthew Stafford - Total Passing yards in the 2016 Regular Season
My take: Under. In his two years under Jim Caldwell, Stafford has thrown for 4257 and 4262 yards. While I expect the offense to be better and more efficient, that won’t likely impact Stafford’s yardage much. The Lions are expected to run more this year, too, so the under seems like a safe bet.
Matthew Stafford - Total TD Passes in the 2016 Regular Season
My take: Over. Stafford threw for 32 touchdowns last year. Granted, that was the second-most in his career, but the majority of those came when Jim Bob Cooter took over as offensive coordinator. In his last six games of 2015, Stafford threw 17 touchdowns. Take the over with confidence.
Matthew Stafford - Total Interceptions in the 2016 Regular Season
My take: Under. I don’t have a ton of confidence in this one. Stafford has thrown between 12 and 19 interceptions in each of his last five seasons. The only reason I’m really saying under is because he threw just two interceptions in his last eight games last year.
Ameer Abdullah - Total Rushing Yards in the 2016 Regular Season
My take: Over. I don’t think the Lions are going to be very good at running the ball this year, but Abdullah should get a huge portion of the carries in 2016. After playing second fiddle to Joique Bell in the first half of his rookie year, Abdullah still managed 597 rushing yards. He should hit 700 by Week 16 at the latest.
Ameer Abdullah - Total Rushing & Receiving TD's in the 2016 Regular Season
My take: Over. Having tallied three touchdowns in his rookie year, five should be an easy benchmark for the second-year player. Abdullah may not have a breakout year this season, but if he doesn’t hit at least five touchdowns between rushing and receiving, it’s going to be a huge disappointment for him.
Theo Riddick - Total Receptions in the 2016 Regular Season
My take: Under. Theo Riddick hauled in 80 passes last year. The only running back to match that total was San Diego’s Danny Woodhead. For Riddick, this came out of nowhere, as his previous season-high was just 34 catches. So is something like 80 catches actually sustainable? Well, Woodhead caught 76 passes in 2013, but it’s hard to find any other examples of that. The Lions promise to spread the ball around more, but I would be surprised to see Riddick hit the high 50s in receptions.
Golden Tate - Total Receiving Yards in the 2016 Regular Season
My take: Under. A lot of people are pointing to Golden Tate as the player to step into the No. 1 receiving role with Calvin Johnson gone, but I don’t see it. I think that man is Marvin Jones, and with the Lions having a plethora of receiving options, I think Tate will see a small dip in his productivity.
Golden Tate - Total Receiving TD's in the 2016 Regular Season
My take: Under. Touchdowns are extremely hard to predict, but my feeling here is that the Lions have a lot of better red zone options than Tate. He has averaged 5.0 touchdowns per season with the Lions, so it makes sense to take the under.
Marvin Jones - Total Receiving Yards in the 2016 Regular Season
My take: Over. I think Marvin Jones will lead this team in receiving yards this season, and there will be plenty of yards to go around. Jones is the outside/deep threat that fits so well with Matthew Stafford’s arm, and we saw that in the preseason. Guys like Tate and Anquan Boldin and Eric Ebron will be great to dink and dunk their way down the field, but when the Lions catch the defense sleeping, they’re going to hit Jones over the top with a big gain.
Marvin Jones - Total Receiving TD's in the 2016 Regular Season
My take: Over. If you can’t tell, I’m very high on Jones this year. He caught 10 touchdowns in 2013 behind A.J. Green. He could put up similar numbers as a No. 1 receiver in Detroit.
Ezekiel Ansah - Total Sacks in the 2016 Regular Season
My take: Under. I hereby announce I am leaving Pride Of Detroit for Pro Football Focus. Okay, just kidding, but I am indeed taking the under here. I think teams will be heavily focusing on Ansah, devoting additional blockers to chip Ansah at the line of scrimmage. Defenses would rather take their chances with Devin Taylor, who has been plunged into a starting role for the first time in his career.