NFL Picks: Don't Fall in the Trap, Bet Lions +1 Against Rams

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 6:23 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015 6:23 PM UTC

The Lions & Rams collide on Sunday, marking one of several early tilts on Sunday for NFL bettors to spot. Find out which way the NFL lines lean and what NFL picks we’re lining up.

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NFL Pick: Lions +1
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


Lions Are Road Underdogs
The Detroit Lions are coming off a heart breaking 27-23 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Thursday Night primetime football, all while failing to cover as the closing 2.5-point underdogs at home. On the heels of the loss, the Lions slipped to a 4-8 SU mark on the season, which includes a 4-8 ATS with a 5.8-point margin of defeat on average and a negative 2.4-point differential against the spread.

It wasn’t so much the fact that the Lions lost but the manner in which they lost that made the outcome so difficult to accept. The Lions were up in the game for the better part of 60 minutes, only for Aaron Rodgers to throw a Hail Mary touchdown pass on an untimed down, due to a penalty in the last second of the game, and lift the Packers to the victory that looked, well, improbable, only mere seconds earlier.

There’s nothing to play for in the broad spectrum of the season. A horrific 1-7 SU start through the first eight weeks, which resulted in wholesale changes to management and cost Joe Lombardi his job, sunk Detroit’s 2015 campaign well and truly weeks ago. Yet, the Lions somehow rallied over the last month, showing grit and determination as they attempted to close out the season with at least a modicum of respect. After this latest setback, however, how the Lions recover in time for the date with the Rams is anybody’s guess.


St. Louis Rams Enter as Home Faves?  
The St. Louis Rams sport an eerily similar 4-8 SU mark on the season ahead of week 14 and their date with the Lions. Yet, the Rams’ form in recent weeks is a serious cause for concern, thrusting the current NFL betting lines into question.

The St. Louis Rams are in a whole slew of trouble behind a five-game losing streak, punctuated by one of their worst losses of the season last Sunday –a 27-3 rout by the Arizona Cardinals at Edwards Jones Dome. In fact, that gruesomely awful performance resulted in a firing spree in St. Louis with offensive coach Frank Cignetti jettisoned out the door.

One of the main concerns in St. Louis is the lack of a viable quarterback. Nick Foles unfortunately hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations the Rams had of him when they eagerly traded Sam Bradford to the Eagles for his services. He’s a shadow of his former offensive self under Chip Kelly.

It appears the Rams won’t be turning to Nick Foles in this game, which might be good or bad news depending on perspective. It’s really uncanny how quickly things can change in the NFL. When the season got underway and Foles lifted the Rams to the victory over the Seahawks, everybody in St. Louis was, all of a sudden, excited about the year’s campaign, going so far as to entertain visions of winning the division and swanning into into the playoffs. Now, Foles is sooo last month, reaching his sell-by-date rather prematurely. Enter: backup Case Keenum.

Case Keenum has cleared concussion protocols and looks to be getting the start for the Sunday tilt with the Lions. Whatever remains of the season looks to be now on his shoulders to sort out. That and new offensive coordinator Rob Boras. Yikes.


NFL Betting Line Moves That Matter
Things have gone tits up in St. Louis. Yet, odds makers install the Rams as the 1-point home favorites on the board? Heck, Advanced Lines from Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook even had the Rams installed  as the 2.5-point home chalk last week – that nod was given despite the contrasting fortunes of these two teams then – the Lions were riding a three-game winning streak into Thursday and the Rams were riding a four-game losing streak into Sunday.

On the heels of Sunday’s round of week 13 action, NFL odds opened with the game trading on a PK, in part allowing public consensus betting to determine the way which these lines move. And they have with the Rams returning into favor at most sports betting shops in midweek markets.

Neither Advanced Lines nor current lines make a whole lot of sense, which begs the question: is it all as it seems or is there something behind it all?

Upon closer inspection, SBR consensus betting reveals the Lions are garnering the bulk of the tickets on this game as well as the money. As it is, there’s 67.70% of the bets on the Lions, which equates to 65.58% of actual money. But the NFL betting lines continue to move against the Lions as they are now up from a PK line to 1-point road underdogs at various sports betting exchanges. This reverse line movement is rather intriguing and could be a good indication of sharp money coming down on the Lions in early NFL betting. What it boils down to for us and our NFL picks is an excellent opportunity to buy low on the Lions. So take the Lions plus the point for your NFL picks.

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