New York Giants at Detroit Lions: What Are Experts Saying About Detroit?

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New York Giants at Detroit Lions: What Are Experts Saying About Detroit?
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Kickoff inches closer for the Detroit Lions, who must wait until Monday night before taking the field at home against the New York Giants.

Fortunately, Lions fans get an ample amount of football between now and then. And because the games start on Thursday night, we get to see what the football cognoscenti think about Detroit's chances a few days early.

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When looking for picks around the Internet, it was hard to find much dissenting opinion on this game. The football experts love the Lions more than Kim Kardashian and Kanye West love themselves.

At NFL.com, Elliot Harrison is pretty confident in the Lions offense while conversely expressing real skepticism at the New York offense.

He justifies his 24-14 Lions win by declaring, "Expect Detroit coach Jim Caldwell to call on Reggie Bush between the 20s and Joique Bell in the red zone, so that this one doesn't turn into a Matthew Stafford 60-pass special. Methinks the Lions rush for more than 120 yards and win."

While they don't provide any commentary to explain their picks, all 12 of ESPN.com's pundits forecast a Lions victory. From former players like Keyshawn Johnson and Cris Carter to prominent reporters Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, everyone agrees the Lions are the pick.

The forecast from Fox Sports is sunny for Motown as well. All eight of its pickers choose the Lions.

The WhatIfSports.com simulator from Fox wound up with the Lions winning 26-23, with an actual aggregate box score from the computerized games. Detroit won roughly 56 percent of the simulations.

John Minchillo/Associated Press

The polled writers here at Bleacher Report also exude a great deal of confidence in a Detroit home victory. Only Mike Freeman kept the Lions from being a unanimous pick.

Interestingly the commentary focuses on the Giants' troubles rather than anything positive about the Lions. It seems the picks here are stated more as a vote of no-confidence in New York rather than strident Lions fervor.

David Steele of Sporting News offers a similar rationale, focusing more on negativity toward the Giants than any real advocacy of Detroit:

The Giants offensive players are a little confused by the new game plan, or at least are playing that way. Coach Tom Coughlin is testy about being asked how rookie receiver Odell Beckham’s hamstring is doing – and he should be, because Beckham would likely make the new offense less confusing. The Lions, meanwhile, are being watched for signs that they’re still the Lions, even with a new coach. They’ll be good enough on this night, though.

It's not exactly a ringing endorsement. Then again, these Lions probably don't deserve much confidence after blowing fourth-quarter leads in eight of their nine losses last year—including the Giants game in Week 16.

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Yet another panel, this one from USA Today, looks like an election result in a military dictatorship: Every ballot reads the same. Once again, Detroit is the unanimous choice.

If you're scoring at home, that's 43-1 in favor of the Lions. Suffice to say it would be a real stunner if the Giants somehow pull off the upset.

As for my take, here's my prediction from RealGM:

(The Lions) hold a huge matchup advantage in the defensive front seven against New York’s remade offensive line and a skittish, out of sync Eli Manning. ...

New York’s defense should be game, but they can’t hold down Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Reggie Bush and Joique Bell forever. If the Lions don’t win this one, it’s going to be a long season in Motown. ...

Lions 27, Giants 13

Surely 44 of 45 "experts" cannot be wrong, can they?

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