The Eagles are reeling after dropping 3 of 4 while the Lions are beginning to roar with consecutive wins over the Packers & Raiders. Let’s check NFL odds & analyze on which side to lay NFL picks.
Philadelphia Eagles (4-6 SU, 4-6 ATS)
The Eagles were forced to go with backup quarterback Mark Sanchez last week, after Sam Bradford was ruled out with a shoulder injury and concussion, but the results were not pretty as the former Jets’ starter tossed two touchdowns but his three interceptions including a pick-six overshadowed those scoring drives.
To be fair this loss was a team effort as rookie Jameis Winston scorched the Philadelphia secondary for five touchdown passes while running back Doug Martin steamrolled his way to 235 rushing yards. It was a monumentally poor effort on behalf of the Eagles’ defense allowing the Bucs to set a franchise record for rushing with a total of 283 yards while their 521 combined yards was second most in a regular season contest for the beleaguered franchise.
As Philadelphia prepares to face the Lions on this short week we see a team that is far removed from the preseason hype in which many pundits predicted them to win the NFC East. The team ranks 14th in passing yards averaging 255.8 while their defense checks in at 16th in points allowed surrendering 22.9 per game. The Eagles’ offense is averaging exactly what their defense is allowing which illustrates perfectly why they stand at 4-6 on the season, yet still only one game removed from the top spot held by the New York Giants in the thoroughly mediocre NFC East.
Detroit Lions (3-7 SU, 3-7 ATS)
Three weeks ago Lions’ fans were rooting for failure as the team’s 1-7 record had them on the fast track to earn the No.1 pick in the draft. However, the Lions sent a tremor that reverberated throughout the league when they flew down to Lambeau and shocked the Packers 18-16 as 11-point underdogs in NFL odds. Many believed it to be an aberration, a one-hit-wonder kind of victory where Detroit would revel in that success and then revert back to form. However, that was not to be as the Lions handed the upstart Raiders an 18-13 defeat and cashed a second consecutive ATS winner for all those who backed them in their NFL picks on Sunday.
Detroit broke out on top last week with a trio of field goals in the opening two quarters but by the time the third quarter had ended they were looking at a 13-9 deficit. However, quarterback Matthew Stafford put the Lions ahead for good with a five-yard draw play into the endzone and a late safety sealed the deal notching an 18-13 victory.
The Lions kept true to form with their low scoring offense as their 18 points was nearly identical to their season average but it was on the other side of the ball that they rose up and looked nothing like their 29th ranked defensive unit in terms of points allowed, now allowing 27.4 points per contest, that won them this game as well as the victory over Green Bay.
The Eagles are officially a mess on both sides of the ball. Mark Sanchez is not experiencing a career renaissance now that he is back under center in a starting role. The defense was positively clueless in their defense against the Bucs with a rookie quarterback tossing five TD passes and a running back that ran as though there were only cones preventing him from going north to south.
On the flipside I was going to chalk up the Detroit win over Green Bay as the definitive example of “On any given Sunday” until they did it again last week against Derek Carr and the Raiders. The offense does not do anything particularly well and Calvin Johnson is no longer the Megatron of old yet they are winning on the shoulders of the defense. A big part of that defense is cornerback Darius “Big Play” Slay who is tasked with shadowing the opponent’s top receivers and has been getting better by the week.
In a choice of quarterbacks I will take Stafford over Sanchez seven days a week and twice on Sunday. Defensively the Lions are getting it done despite lapses earlier this season. Detroit is hot while Philly is not. Let’s ride the hot team with the home field advantage.
NFL Pick: Play the Lions +1 ½ at JustBet