MNF NFL Picks: Teddy Covers' Last Minute Tips To Beat The Odds

Ted Sevransky

Monday, December 21, 2015 8:04 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 21, 2015 8:04 PM UTC

For this MNF game we head to New Orleans when the Saints will host the Detroit Lions, NFL odds have come with reasonable numbers for this game, let's focus our attention on making our pick.

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NFL Pick: Lions +2.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints
Sportsbooks that cater to US bettors took an absolute beating on Sunday. Just about every major NFL decision went in favor of the bettors, not the house, and the books took an absolute beating. Public favorites cashed in game after game.  

The Patriots covered -14.5 against the Titans.  The Seahawks covered -14.5 against the Browns on the NFL odds. The Packers covered -4 against the Raiders. Most Steelers bettors cashed when Pittsburgh rallied to win by a TD, even though the line closed at -7.5 in many locations. The Chargers beat up on Miami. And Arizona hammered Philly on Sunday Night, leaving sportsbook directors in a world of hurt on Monday morning. Here in Vegas, books reportedly lost in the range of $4 million on Sunday; the single worst NFL Sunday of the season.

I’ve been betting as a full time professional since 1998, and I’ve seen plenty of brutal NFL Sunday’s for the books in year’s past. And one thing I can say for sure is that ‘public’ favorites on Monday Night Football the day after the books took a real beating don’t tend to cash very often, for whatever reason. And with the Saints enjoying significant public support tonight, I can only play contrarian here and give a long, hard look at the Lions as road underdogs tonight.

It’s certainly not hard to make a case for betting against the Saints as home favorites. New Orleans hasn’t just been bad in this role – they’ve been downright lousy. In fact, the only Saints win and cover as home chalk all year came back in the Week 4 Sunday Night game when they beat a Tony Romo-less Dallas squad on a TD in overtime.

Yes, the Saints beat the Bucs in Tampa last week, snapping a four game losing streak. But a quick look at the Bucs post-game quotes tells us rather clearly that New Orleans’ win was more about Tampa Bay’s ineptitude than any other factor. Lovie Smith, following the loss: “Normally you play your best ball when this much is on the line, but it's amazing we lost by (only) seven points. The things we did, you just can't win a football game. We didn't put a good product on the field today. Every area we didn't play well. It's as simple as that."

There’s no comparison between these two defenses. The Saints have the worst defense in the NFL, allowing 6.5 yards per play. They’re equally bad against the run (allowing 5.0 yards per carry, dead last in the NFL) and against the pass (opposing QB rating of 114.2, also dead last in the NFL).  And Drew Brees isn’t lighting up scoreboards these days either – the Saints have been held to 24 or less three times in their last four games, bad news here considering this total is above 50.

The Lions looked awful in St Louis last week, but Detroit continues to show up on the defensive side of the ball; a full yard per play better than New Orleans.  And the Lions have shown up for almost all of their big TV games this year, including a tight loss at Seattle, their Thanksgiving Day blowout over the Eagles, and even their Thursday Night Hail Mary loss to Green Bay. There will be no surprise for this bettor if the Lions win this game in outright fashion, and if they lose, I’m expecting them to be highly competitive in defeat. Take Detroit as the NFL pick.

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