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NFL Week 16 opening odds: Detroit Lions 5.5-point underdogs despite big win

The Lions are 9-5 against the spread this year, and they could very well reach 10 wins this week against a suspect Falcons team.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions may be riding high after an improbable win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, but consider Vegas not impressed.

This week, the Lions will travel south for an NFC matchup against the 6-8 Atlanta Falcons. As of Monday night, the Lions are 5.5-point underdogs to Atlanta according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

The Falcons have not been a very good team all year, but they’ve pulled out a bunch of narrow victories. All six of their wins have come by a single score, including three game-winning field goals as time expired.

But the Falcons’ losses have been big losses. They’ve had a 26-point loss to the Eagles, a 40-point loss to the Cowboys, a 25-point loss to the Patriots, and most recently, an 18 point- loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Put it all together and Atlanta actually has a worse point differential (-126) than the Lions (-123) despite having four more wins than them.

Of course, that line has very likely been impacted by the latest news that Jared Goff has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, as the virus continues to work its way through the Lions locker room. Given the new COVID protocols, Goff could very well return to the lineup in time to play on Sunday, but for now, it’s likely this Vegas line reflects the possibility that Tim Boyle could start his second game this season.

If this Vegas line seems unfair to the Lions, you’re probably right, simply because Detroit has been fantastic against the spread all season. Including last week’s decimation of the 13.5-point line, the Lions are now 9-5 against the spread. Can they make it a 10-win season this week?