Lions Look For First Spread Win At Philadelphia Eagles
By: Michael Robinson
Thursday, October 11, 2012
The Detroit Lions are the only NFL team without an against the spread win this season. They get another shot coming off a bye at the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
The Don Best Pro Odds screen has Detroit getting 4-points with a total of 47½. FOX will be on hand from Lincoln Financial Field at 1:00 p.m. (ET).
Detroit (1-3 straight up, 0-4 ATS) made the playoffs last year with 10 wins and were expected to contend again with an elite passing attack led by quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson, plus some menacing defensive players like Ndamukong Suh.
That passing attack currently ranks third in the NFL (322 YPG), but that’s misleading with Stafford’s yards per attempt (6.83) and quarterback rating (81.6) both below average. The running game is again towards the league’s bottom. Mikel Leshoure (126 yards) has helped some after missing the first two games, but he’s averaging just 3.2 yards per carry.
Coach Jim Schwartz’ defense has also underachieved at 28.5 PPG allowed, ranked 26th. That’s despite not playing one elite offense with St. Louis, San Francisco, Tennessee and Minnesota the previous four opponents. The secondary is the big weakness with an opposing passer rating of 101.3 and the team doesn’t have an interception this year. Oakland is the only other squad that can say that.
The ‘D’ should get a big spark with the return of safety Louis Delmas (knee). He’s probable after missing the first four games. Defensive end Cliff Avril (knee) is questionable after getting hurt last game and the pass rusher is needed with only nine team sacks.
The Lions’ two road games were losses at San Francisco (27-19 as 7-point ‘dogs) and Tennessee (44-41 OT as 3½-point favorites). They’re 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven road games overall.
The Eagles (3-2 SU, 1-3-1 ATS) have played a lot of close games with their three wins by a total of four points and having a tough 16-14 loss at Pittsburgh last week (their first cover as 4-point ‘dogs).
Quarterback Michael Vick had two more fumbles to bring his yearly total to five. He also has six picks, which makes him a one-man turnover machine even if he doesn’t seem too concerned about it. Coach Andy Reid obviously doesn’t feel the same way no matter what he says to the media.
The Eagles are 31st in scoring (16 PPG) with turnovers a huge reason. The defense has kept them in games for the most part (19.8 PPG, ranked 10th) despite a pretty tough schedule.
LeSean McCoy is sixth in the NFL in rushing (87.4 YPG). He did get contained at Pittsburgh with 53 yards on 16 carries, but that happens to a lot of opposing backs there. Look for him to rush for at least 80 yards this week, but only around 20 carries as Reid will still put the ball in Vick’s hands despite his problems.
The Eagles are 0-1-1 ATS at home this year with close wins over Baltimore (24-23) and the New York Giants (19-17). Both games required scores with under two minutes remaining, with Vick showing a flair for the dramatic.
The Eagles have won the last five meetings between the teams dating back to 1996. They covered the first four before winning 35-32 as 6½-point road favorites in 2010.