There’s hardly a good reason to watch Detroit Lions football this season other than you flying some flag of pride like, “Hey, look, I hate myself and have the luxury to waste three hours every week!”
On the other hand, I understand, football fans wait so long for the season to arrive, and to jump ship and abandon the one thing they’ve been looking forward to for eight months after just six weeks seems like the cruelest joke to be played by the football gods.
So with that being said, how can we make this matchup between the winless Detroit Lions and the glamorous Los Angeles Rams a game worth watching? Money. You put your own money on the line and watch it increase as the play on the field unfolds. According to DraftKings sportsbooks, the Lions are -16.5 point underdogs to the Rams.
Here are this week’s best bets and odds for Lions-Rams — a match truly fitting of a David vs. Goliath comparison where David will be bludgeoned to death with a jagged rock.
With these two items parlayed, the return is better than a hand of blackjack at +115.
There’s virtually no chance the Detroit Lions pull off an upset. According to Pro Football Focus, the Lions have a 7.8 percent chance of winning. According to ESPN’s “Matchup Predictor,” the Lions have a 13.5 percent chance of pulling off the upset. According to myself, the Lions have absolutely no shot of winning this game. The Lions are shorthanded on offense due to injuries to key players like Frank Ragnow, Taylor Decker, and on the defensive side of the ball, where the team is missing their top defensive player in Romeo Okwara and their No. 1 cornerback in Jeff Okudah.
As far as taking the under here, that’s a projection that takes into account the Rams defense absolutely locking down a Lions offense that’s completely out of sorts. Last week against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Lions earned the majority of their offensive yards on their final two drives of the game after they were down 27-0 and the game was all but over. They couldn't run the ball last week against a top-five run defense in the Bengals, and I don’t see much of a reason why they’ll be able to establish a ground game against a Rams defense with a top-11 run defense according to DVOA—and a Rams offense that will absolutely force them into abandoning the run game to keep up.
Even if the Rams hang 40 on Detroit, I don’t see the Lions scoring more than 10 points to save face.
Player prop: Matthew Stafford OVER 290.5 passing yards (-115)
Stafford has hit this mark three times so far this season, and it’s the Lions special teams—Jack Fox specifically—that has me thinking it will happen this week.
Fox is second in the NFL in punting average (51.3) and downed punts inside the 20 (10). With Fox pushing the Rams offense’s starting field position back deep more times than not, Stafford will have plenty of yards to accumulate on the way to scoring points.