Expert's Final Thoughts On Monday Night Football Lions vs. Saints

Kevin Stott

Monday, December 21, 2015 12:06 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 21, 2015 12:06 PM UTC

Let’s review the NFL odds and trends and find some logical NFL picks here under the primetime spotlights on Monday Night Football to hopefully start Christmas week by earning big profits.

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Predicted Final Score: New Orleans Saints 28 - Detroit Lions 27
Monday Night Football Picks: Saints Money Line -145; 1st Quarter Over; 1st Half Over 25½ -105; Over 50 -133
Monday Night Football Props Bets Picks: Willie Snead +150 Anytime TD Scorer
Best Lines Offered: at Bet365


Both Drew Brees and the host New Orleans Saints and Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions are out of the NFL Postseason picture after Sunday’s Week 15 play, so with nothing to lose, a fast playing surface on the turf of the Mercedes-Benz Dome in New Orleans and scads of great Skill Players on both sides, it looks like we could see a shootout on Monday night under the lights in primetime in The Big Easy. So, is backing the Over under the simple premise with both teams likely easily topping the 24-point mark the best approach or approaches here or are there some others?


Odds Overview
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints (5-8 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) welcome Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions (5-8 SU, 5-8 ATS) to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (UBU-Synthetic Turf) in New Orleans, Louisiana on Monday night in a completely meaningless inter-divisional Week 15 NFC date between two teams who’ve had pretty disappointing seasons and yet another primetime game that looked much better before the NFL Regular Season began. Current Odds (Sunday) have the Saints in a 2½- to (Pinnacle) 3-point range (Bovada) as the home favorites with the Total (Points) in this game now ranging from 51 (Pinnacle, Station Casinos, Treasure Island) to 52 (, CG Technology,, Coast Casinos). In the Money Line (Winner) marketplace, the Saints are priced at -139 with WR Calvin Johnson and visiting Detroit priced at +126 on the takeback (Pinnacle). The New Orleans Saints Total Team Points is at 27 (Ladbrokes) while the Detroit Lions Total Team Points is at 24 (Ladbrokes) while the First Half Total is 25½u -115 (Over -105, Ladbrokes). The Advanced Line (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) out last week for this game installed New Orleans as 1½-point favorites for this matchup.


Last 10 Final Scores Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints Series Lifetime
2014—@ Lions 24 Saints 23 (DET -2) Total Points Scored: 47 (Over, 46)
2012—@ Saints 45 Lions 28 (NO -10½) Points: 73 (Over, 58) (NFC Wild Card Game)
2011—@ Saints 31 Lions 17 (NO -8) Total Points Scored: 48 (Under, 55½)
2009—@ Saints 45 Lions 27 (NO -14) Total Points Scored: 72 (Over, 49½)
2008—Saints 42 @ Lions 7 (NO -7) Total Points Scored: 49 (Under, 50½)
2005—Lions 13 @ Saints 12 (NO -2½) Points: 25 (Under, 38) (Alamodome, San Antonio)
2002—@Lions 26 Saints 21 (NO -8) Total Points Scored: 47 (Over, 46)
2000—Lions 14 @Saints 10 (NO -1) Points: 24 (Under, 38) (Louisiana Superdome)
1997—@ Saints 35 Lions 17 (DET -6) Points: 52 (Over, 39) (Louisiana Superdome)
1993—@ Saints 14 Lions 3 (NO -5½) Points: 17 (Under, 39) (Louisiana Superdome)


Why Dat? Why Take the New Orleans Saints on Money Line? (In List Form, Rudy)
The Saints -139 (Pinnacle) may seem like they are worth a small play on the Money Line on Monday Night Football for some seemingly logical reasons, but remember this is a game many bet simply because it’s the only (NFL) game of the day, it’s on primetime TV and for many, simply because it’s there. Sometimes you have to ask yourself: would you be betting this (or any similar type of MNF, TNF) game if it were in the middle of the Sunday p.m. (EST) games slate? And then that Guilt kicks in...

1—Detroit has been a fairly bad team on the Road over the L3+ seasons, going 9-20 SU (31%) and losing 8 of its L9 heading into this meeting on Monday night in New Orleans. The Lions are just 1-5 SU this season away from Motown, with that lone Win coming on Thanksgiving Day win at Lambeau Field in Green Bay against their NFC North rival, the Packers, 18-16.

2—New Orleans has been above average at Home at the Mercedes-Benz Dome lately, going 14-8 SU over its L22 games played in the in The Big Easy, although it seems this season’s Saints squad isn’t as good as many past seasons. But still, New Orleans is 10-2 SU in its L12 on Monday Night Football, so...

3—The Home team in this NFC series has Won 4 straight games by an average of 12.5 ppg, covering 3 of those 4 with the lone exception missing buy a single point in the last meeting in 2011 when the Lions defeated the Saints 24-23 at Ford Field in Detroit but failed to cover ATS, laying 2 points. One of those games was the NFC Wild card game in The Big Easy in 2012.

4—New Orleans has won the L3 meetings here at the Mercedes-Benz Dome, covering ATS all three times and winning by a very healthy double-digit average of 16.6 ppg.

5—Drew Brees has historically been good at Home, going 55-47-2 ATS lifetime at Home heading into this season and 70-41-0 SU at Home (63.1%) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and New Orleans Superdome in his career—the third best mark of all active NFL QBs behind fellow future Hall of Famers Peyton Manning (109-39 SU) and Tom Brady (114-20 SU).

6—The Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks Wins on Sunday at Home in Week 15 play knocked the New Orleans Saints (5-8 SU) out of any Playoff possibility this season, so with nothing to lose and some killer Skill Position players on Offense in WR Brandin Cooks (64 receptions, 869 yards, 7 TDs, 13.6 ypc), Rookie (Ball State) WR Willie Snead (52 receptions, 798 yards, 3 TDs, 15.3 ypc), TE Benjamin Watson (61 receptions, 712 yards, 4 TDs, 11.7 ypc), WR Marques Colston (43 receptions, 481 yards, 3 TDs, 11.2 ypc), WR Brandon Coleman (21 receptions, 328 yards, 2 TDs, 15.6 ypc) and RB CJ Spiller (32 receptions, 223 yards, 2 TDs), veteran QB Brees and the Saints (6-2 ATS L8 at Home) should put the ball quite a bit, knowing they’re at Home, on Prime-time (Note that Saints RB Mark Ingram, 50 receptions, 405 yards, 8.1 ypc is Out for this one). And playing a team like the Lions with the aforementioned Johnson, WR Golden Tate, WR Lance Moore and TE Brandon Pettigrew (Injured-Reserve) and Stafford which will make it more-than-likely a shootout, and on the Turf in a Dome at around 72° means no hands will feel anything but comfort—and Gloves, God Forbid—may be forsaken by some who actually think those new-wave scuba gloves help them all the time. Ask former Raiders WR Fred Biletnikoff about Bare Hands and Stickem and dropping like one football ball every hundred passes. If Santa Claus were a WR—we all know he was a Center, obviously—he would not be wearing gloves. Anyway, the long-winded point here is the Saints (24.8 ppg) have tons of targets and a gunslinging QB and nothing to lose so scoring 30+ points and going Over their posted Team Total Points of 27 (Ladbrokes, -110) would surprise no one here.

7—The Lions are the Lions.


Thoughts On The Total (Points Not Commercials)
Lowest Total in Market: 51 (Pinnacle, Station Casinos, Treasure Island)
Consensus Total in Market: 51½
Highest Total: 52 (, CG Technology,, Coast Casinos)
Totals Trends, Thoughts: As you can see from the list of the L5 meetings in this series, the Over is just 3-2 ATS, but the two games that went Under the posted closing Total did so by just 7½ and 1½ points. The L5 games have seen combined total points by both sides of 47, 73, 48, 72 and 49—an average of 59 ppg—while the L3 here in New Orleans have all gone Over, averaging a robust 67.6 ppg in the mall-like conditions, just like Papa Bear George Halas always envisioned. So with all that jazz and New Orleans and Detroit Overs are both 7-6 ATS heading and the Over 11-3-2 in the Lions L16 games in Week 15, the call here is the Over—despite the Lions 13-3 ATS Under martk the L16—moderately and the key comes down to shopping around and getting the lowest number and deciding what the right amount is—always an underrated aspect of sports betting, as too many make this decision (and the actual amount) about Greed and Perception and usually what they expect to win when maybe making a bet of a more conservative amount—something you can afford to lose by not ruin your mood while still gauging it right—is a better route. This seems like a 28-27 type of football game to me. And the Prop bet “Will There Be Any 1st Quarter TDs?” with the ‘Yes’ priced at -450 (Paddy Power) speaks volumes about perceptions about possible scoring and probable Pace in this potential track meet.


Trends, Monday Night Football Trends and How Could This Week 15 Inter-Divisional NFC Game Play Out?
The last time these two met, the Lions beat New Orleans 24-23 in Detroit last season (2014), but failed to cover ATS as 2½-point favorites while the last meeting here in New Orleans saw the Saints roll the Lions 45-28 in the opening round of the 2011/12 NFC Playoffs, covering as 10½ favorites in Motown. One big recent and relevant Trend which points to backing the Saints here is New Orleans 5-0 ATS the L5 in this series as well as their 5-1 ATS the L6 here at Home in New Orleans. The Saints were installed as 3½-point favorites in this game here at the SuperBook in their renowned NFL Games of the Year and besides rocketing over the Total despite the Under being 8-1 ATS in the Lions L9 Monday games. Those (meaningless) Monday Night Football Trends? New Orleans is 8-8 ATS as a Home Favorite while the Lions are 2-3 ATS as a Road Underdog on Monday nights. Also in the Quirky Trend Department, where all Trends are 25% of until Christmas Eve, New Orleans is 9-3 ATS against teams coming off a Loss (Lions to Rams in Week 14). So, here it looks like that 12-2 SU MNF mark for 9th-year Head Coach Sean Payton (78-70-2) along with the 5-0 ATS the L5 in the series here at Home and the 5-1 ATS the L6 here at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome means betting the Side on the Money Line and the Total for about equal, moderate amounts would be the prescription if bets have to be made on this one. The (Saints WR) Willie Snead Prop (+150, Anytime Scorer, bet365) may be a hidden gem as may some others in that marketplace like the Lions Moore (+400, Boylesports) and Tate (+137, Ladbrokes, Coral) and Snead’s Saints’ teammate Cooks (+110, William Hill) as Touchdown Passes Dans L’Air (In the Air) will probably be the expected Main Course served up at 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive on Monday evening. Bon appétit.

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