Detroit has the second-toughest schedule in the league per its opponents' 2017 win-loss record. Here’s a look at the dates, including some pertinent betting situations.
The NFL didn’t do first-year head coach Matt Patricia any favors in the scheduling department. The Lions, now led by the long-time New England assistant, must navigate through a difficult schedule as they seek a playoff berth.
Below you will find the Lions’ straight-up and against-the-spread records from last year’s NFL regular season, including average margin of victory, 2017 average odds, 2017 win totals and 2018 pre-scheduled figures, and projected strength of schedule using opponents’ combined record from 2017.
2017 SU Record: 9-7 (2.1 avg. margin)
2017 ATS Record: 8-7-1 (1.2 avg. margin)
2017 Average Line: -0.9
2017 Win Total: 7.5 (+120)
2018 Win Total 5Dimes (pre-schedule): 8 (+110)
2018 Strength of Schedule: T-2, opponents were 137-119 (.535)
Three Games to Back ATS
Bears, Week 12
Behind QB Matthew Stafford, Detroit is 13-1 SU and 9-5 ATS as home chalk hosting NFC North rivals. The betting record improves to 8-2 ATS when asked to cover a line less than a touchdown. This will likely be the betting conditions versus a better, but still lagging Bears squad. Detroit wins by 9.4 points per tilt here; the offense has exploded for 34 or more in half of the games.
@Cowboys, Week 4
The Lions are a surprising 11-5 SU and ATS versus NFC East teams with Stafford under center. They have won six of 10 catching points, covering the spread (0.8) by 3.9 points per game. Moreover, as most bettors know, the Cowboys stink as home favorites under head coach Jason Garrett.
@Bills, Week 5
Buffalo (174.0) is one of 15 teams to average less than 180 passing yards per game the prior season and square off against Stafford. Good luck staying close. The ninth-year gunslinger is 10-4 SU and ATS in this spot, leading Detroit to 28.3 points per game.
Three Games to Fade ATS
@Cowboys, Week 4; @Vikings, Week 9
Stafford and the Lions are 18-44 SU and 20-40-2 ATS versus opponents with a winning record. Obviously, one can’t accurately predict when this situation will arise in 2018, but a look a previous margins gets you really close. If a team owned a positive points differential the prior season, the records stand at 22-43 SU and 25-39-1 ATS. On the road, they dip to 10-24 SU and 11-22-1 ATS. The Lions muster just 20.4 points per game in the latter scenario; Stafford averages 1.5 touchdowns and 1.0 interceptions. Dates at Minnesota (5.8 margin in 2017) and Dallas (1.4) will prove tough on the Lions’ attack.
@49ers, Week 2
The Lions are 2-8 SU and ATS traveling to the Mountain and Pacific time zones behind Stafford. They are coming up 2.8 points shy of a +2.5 average line. The offense averages 19.3 points per game.
Trap Game Potential
@Cardinals, Week 14
In addition to the time-zone angle noted above, Detroit is coming off three home games against a trio of the league’s toughest defenses: Panthers, Bears, and Rams. Expect a banged-up and tired Lions squad for this travel date. Bad timing.