The Detroit Lions are on the road again in Week 14, taking on their division rival Chicago Bears. In what figures to be an exciting game, the folks over at DraftKings Sportsbook have provided us with some interesting play props and odds for the game.
Let’s take a look at some of our favorites.
Sam LaPorta, OVER 46.5 receiving yards (-110)
On the season, LaPorta averages 5.3 receptions and 56.6 yards per game. The Bears are average against defending tight ends (15th in DVOA vs. TEs), allowing eight targets, 5.7 receptions, and 51 yards per week.
The last time the Lions faced the Bears, LaPorta was held to a season-low of three receptions for 18 yards. Since then, LaPorta registered game totals of five receptions on eight targets for 47 yards and a touchdown vs. the Packers, and nine receptions on nine targets for 140 yards and a touchdown against the Saints.
While this suggested wager is about riding the hot hand, LaPorta also has the trust of the coaching staff and sees volume targets as part of their weekly game plans.
“I think I’ve said it a few times now, we keep trying to find out things that he can’t do, and we’re still scratching our heads there,” Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said earlier in the week.
Jahmyr Gibbs, OVER 29.5 receiving yards (-120)
The last time the Lions faced the Bears, Jared Goff completed 23 passes and six of them went to Gibbs. The rookie running back converted those six receptions into 59 yards, his highest total receiving yards on the season.
When you examine the numbers, replicating this output is realistic.
While the Bears are solid vs. the run, they have struggled to defend running backs in the passing game. Teams are targeting running backs 7.6 times per game against Chicago, allowing 6.1 receptions and 59.4 receiving yards—worst in the NFL.
Jameson Williams, OVER 19.5 receiving yards (-115)
Williams’ weekly involvement in the Lions offense has been steady all season and he seems on the precipitous of breaking out. Over the last three weeks, Williams has had a play per game that achieved at least 19 yards, including a 38-yard reception against the Packers and a 32-yard touchdown catch against the Bears.
As the NFL Tweet says, Williams was “wide open” on this play, something we have seen often when targeting Williams in this area of the field. But there’s even more like here when you dig deeper into the advanced stats.
While Chicago’s secondary has improved, they are at their worst when defending the opponent's right side (31st in DVOA) and deep (24th in DVOA). When teams target the deep-right part of the field, as the Lions did with Williams above, Chicago is 29th in DVOA and susceptible to giving up explosive plays.
Cold weather games can often limit players' athleticism, especially on surfaces like the Lions will find inside Soldier Field. But when a player grows up in a cold weather environment (Williams grew up in the St. Louis area and originally attended Ohio State), they understand how to unlock their speed, and as we have seen from Williams all season, it only takes one opportunity for him to make a big play.