GREEN BAY (-13.5) 30 Detroit 17May 24, 2016
The Lions aren't as bad as they were last season, as a difficult schedule has made things seem worse than they really are. Detroit is still horrible defensively (6.4 yards per play allowed to teams that would average 5.7 yppl against an average defense), but the Lions are only 0.4 yppl worse than average on offense (4.7 yppl against teams that would allow 5.1 yppl).
It doesn't matter too much whether rookie Matthew Stafford or veteran Duante Culpepper start at quarterback, but being without WR Calvin Johnson will be a problem. Johnson was injured early last week and the Lions actually played pretty well offensively without him, but Johnson has averaged 8.2 yards on the 40 balls thrown to him this season while the other Lions' wide receivers have combine to average just 5.5 yards per attempted pass. The works out to about 2 points per game difference, so keep an eye on Johnson's status (he's doubtful as of Friday morning).
Green Bay is 0.6 yppl better than average offensively despite allowing a league high 5.0 sacks per game and the Packers are average defensively overall with a very good run defense and a bad pass defense. If Johnson is healthy enough to play the Lions should be able to move the ball well through the air.
My math model favors Green Bay by 13 points with Johnson playing for Detroit and by 15 points if he doesn't. Either way, I'll prefer to lean slightly with the Lions on the basis of a 168-86-6 ATS situation.
Read more on my website www.drbobsports.com
I have 6 NCAA Best Bets and 6 NCAA Strong Opinions this week, and 1 NFL Best Bet and 1 NFL Strong Opinion!
Read an article about me in the Wall Street Journal
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!