Bet Lions -5 ½ Over Giants for Monday Night Football Picks

Swinging Johnson

Monday, September 8, 2014 2:27 PM GMT

The Detroit Lions were flying high last season until they dove deeply into a shame spiral and out of the playoffs. But tonight will they be the right side to back in your NFL picks?

New York Giants (0-0, +0 units)
This is a tale of two diametrically opposite losing streaks occurring in 2013 that yielded the same result. While the Lions swooned in the second half of the season, courtesy of a seven-game winless streak, the Giants got the pain out of the way early by starting the season 0-6.  But if there is a silver lining to their 7-9 record in 2013 then it would have to be their seven victories out of 10 games down the stretch. New York never sniffed the playoffs but at least it gave Big Blue’s fans hope for this season.

The Giants ranked 28th in points allowed and surrendered a whopping 44 turnovers which of course contributed mightily to their demise. The offseason changes were fast and furious as the team replaced the retiring Kevin Gilbride with 37-year-old Bob McAdoo who previously plied his trade as the Packers tight ends coach and quarterback coach. He will now make his debut as an offensive coordinator and try to put the pieces back together with a revamped offensive line. 

However, Eli Manning did not look comfortable with McAdoo’s quick release offensive scheme during the preseason and will have to adjust to this vastly different approach. Manning had the dubious distinction of leading all NFL passers with 44 interceptions which was a career high in ‘13.

 

Detroit Lions (0-0, +0 units)
The Stafford to Johnson connection is one of the most feared aerial combinations in the league and there’s no reason to believe they won’t test the Giants new-look defense early and often tonight. After their epic collapse last season head coach Jim Schwartz was unceremoniously dumped and Detroit management summoned Jim Caldwell, offensive architect of the 2013 Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl team, to take over the head coaching duties. 

As one would guess, the bitter taste of 2013 has lingered and All-World receiver Calvin Johnson had this to say, "We're incredibly motivated after what happened last year. We know what we had in our grasp, but there were so many games down the stretch that we couldn't finish. We learned from that, and we're in a position now that we can win those games and get into the playoffs. Once you get in, anything can happen."

As of this writing, it appears that the betting public believes that the Lions are ripe for redemption. The game opened with the Lions as four-point favorites in NFL odds but has that now ballooned to a six-point point spread in most offshore sportsbooks. However, Pinnacle.com is a viable option for those who won’t mind laying the lumber tonight as they are dealing Lions -5 ½.

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Free NFL Pick
In the interest of full disclosure I have gone on record that the Detroit Lions are going to be the team they were at the beginning of last season throughout this entire 2014 campaign. The Giants are without 2013 sack leader Justin Tuck and though they have conceivably upgraded their secondary with former Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Seattle Seahawks refugee Walther Thurmond, it will still be a tall task for New York’s defensive front to get pressure on Stafford. If that’s the case look for Stafford to launch early and often while Reggie Bush leads the ground attack.

Though the NFL odds currently reside at Lions -6 in most offshores, a potentially decisive number to be sure, I don’t believe that the Giants can keep to within a touchdown of a team that has plenty of explosive weapons at its disposal and a defense that has the ability to cause Manning fits. Back the Lions ATS for Monday night's NFL picks.

NFL Picks: Lions -5 ½ at Pinnacle.com