The Detroit Lions are on the road in Week 13, taking on the New Orleans Saints. 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.
David Montgomery, OVER 64.5 rushing yards (-115)
With Detroit’s running backs being proficient in the passing game, I typically recommend taking a look at the “rushing + receiving” betting line. For Montgomery, that line is set at 74.5 (-110), which is 10 yards more than “rushing yards” alone.
When you examine Montgomery’s production throughout the season—excluding the game he was injured in—he has only missed this “rushing + receiving” combination twice, producing 74 yards in Week 1 and 71 yards last week. Both are still very close to the projected number, but not quite as efficient as his “rushing” numbers alone.
When looking at just Montgomery’s “rushing” numbers, he has rushed for at least 67 or more yards in every game this season, and he averages 90.6 rushing yards per game (again, save the Bucs game in which he was injured).
With the betting line between “rushing” yards and “rushing + receiving” yards being close, taking the lower number with the higher chance of efficiency seems like the logical move.
Sam LaPorta, OVER 40.5 receiving yards (-125)
“You will win on Sunday because the Saints just cannot stop tight ends,” Miguez said. “They have not been able to stop tight ends this year, and historically, they’ve done a nice job of that defensively. This year has been a completely different story, so Sam LaPorta is kind of my X-factor in this game.”
That comment led to me taking a deeper look into how the Saints have been performing against tight ends from a production standpoint. On the season they allow roughly 4.45 receptions and 45.1 receiving yards per game to tight ends—which is average to slightly above-average in league stats.
But if you look at what they’ve done recently, you can see more of what Miguez is suggesting. Over the last six games, the numbers have favored a higher level of production for tight ends, especially for teams who feature a tight end in their offense.
Against the Falcons last week, Atlanta focused on the run (they rushed for 228 yards) and Kyle Pitts caught just 2 passes for 22 yards. But in the two games before that, when they faced offenses with top 10 tight ends (like LaPoprta), the Saints surrendered 11 receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown to T.J. Hockenson and 6 receptions for 55 yards and 2 touchdowns to Cole Kmet. Both Hockenson and Kmet produced above their season averages against New Orleans. Additionally, the Colts' collection of tight ends produced 3 receptions for 50 yards, Evan Engram put up 5 receptions for 45 yards, and Dalton Schultz registered 4 receptions for 61 yards in the prior weeks.
TL:DR version: On the season, the Saints give up, 4.45 receptions and 45.1 receiving yards per game to tight ends, but over the last six games, they have given up an average of 5.33 receptions and 63 yards per game to tight ends.
With LaPorta averaging 5 receptions and 49 yards per game, and the Saints' recent struggles against tight ends, especially against top tight ends, take the OVER 40.5 receiving yards here.
David Montgomery, OVER 0.5 rushing touchdowns (-115)
There are two factors here that pushed me toward recommending this wager. First, save game where he was injured and left early against the Bucs, Montgomery has scored a rushing touchdown in every game he has played for the Lions. Second, like with the tight end production numbers above, the Saints' defense has been vulnerable in recent weeks.
On the season, the Saints have only allowed seven rushing touchdowns, but six of those have happened over the last five games. The Falcons and Colts each scored once on the ground, while the Vikings and Jaguars put it in the end zone twice. The only team that failed to score a rushing touchdown against the Saints over the last five weeks has been the Bears.
Alternate option: If you are a bit more risk-averse, you could always consider a Montgomery “anytime touchdown (-130)”, which allows him to score a touchdown in any fashion.