NFL Picks For Week 1 - Lions Poised To Pounce On Colts

Detroit Lions Player With Arms Wide Open

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, September 10, 2016 8:07 PM GMT

Andrew Luck is back under center and the Indianapolis Colts will welcome the Detroit Lions to Lucas Oil Stadium for their home opener. Let's examine the NFL odds for this Week 1 matchup and fatten our bankroll.

No More Megatron
The Detroit Lions will have to adapt to an offense without the services of one of the most talented wideouts in the league. I speak of course about Calvin Johnson, or Megatron as he became known over his storied career. His sudden retirement caught most by surprise but if you think back to the Lions underwhelming 7-9 record from 2015 you will also note that though Johnson was still a force to be reckoned with, he was half a click below his Megatron awesomeness from days gone by.

With that said, the Lions went out and signed former Cincinnati Bengal Marvin Jones to complement Golden Tate on the other side of the field. Jones may not be Megatron but if you believe what the Detroit beat writers are saying about the instant chemistry between Jones and Matthew Stafford this summer then the drop off may not be nearly as significant as many think.

 

Luck back But Davis Out
Andrew Luck is back and that's nothing but great news for Colts fans. As we all know, Luck's 2015 campaign was derailed when he took a vicious hit from Denver's Danny Trevathan back in November and never returned. The Colts trudged wearily through the rest of the season with an aging but more than capable Matt Hasselbeck under center in Luck's stead. The Colts would go 4-3 straight up and against the spread the rest of the way resulting in an 8-8 record on the season. Indianapolis found themselves on the outside looking in when the playoffs began.

But just when it looked like things were turning around, the Colts defense suffered a huge blow during their preseason slate when Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis tore ligaments in his ankle, sidelining him until sometime in October. Indianapolis will also be missing defensive tackle Henry Anderson and their best offensive lineman in Jack Mewhort. The Colts will be challenged mightily on defense without Davis in the secondary and Anderson in the trenches. Indianapolis is not stout on the pass rush to begin with and outside of Davis, are susceptible to getting torched through the air.

 

Betting Analysis
The NFL odds in this one opened up as high as Colts-6 in some shops but the line has subsequently tumbled and as of this Thursday morning writing it sits at 3 ½ pretty much across the board. The public normally tends to lap up high profile quarterbacks and teams looking to rebound after a disappointing season, ala the Indianapolis Colts. That's why I believe the line drop is due to an influx of sharp money rather than a wave of public action which normally doesn't strike fear into the hearts of bookmakers. The flow of dough is definitely headed towards Detroit and with good reason.

The Lions shifted gears in the middle of 2015 with Bob Cooter taking over the head coaching duties. Matthew Stafford and the rest of the boys certainly responded favorably and went 6-2 straight up and against the number once under his stewardship. Things seem to be going swimmingly in Motown and the Lions have the defensive behemoths to shred that paper thin offensive line of Indianapolis, particularly when they'll be without the services of their only primetime lineman Jack Mewhort.

I would not only advise you to include the Lions in your NFL picks this weekend but might suggest a small wager on the money line as well. But for record keeping purposes we will limit our betting on this game to the visiting Lions plus the points.

NFL Pick: Detroit Lions +3 ½ (-105)
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