NFL Picks: Patriots vs. Lions in Preseason Week 3

Jeff Grant

Monday, August 19, 2013 3:31 PM GMT

New England Patriots signal-caller Tom Brady looks to be in midseason form during the exhibition schedule, as he prepares to take on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field Thursday.


Let’s take a closer look at the NFL betting odds for this preseason matchup in Week 3, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. 

Off to a solid start 

New England has won and covered the spread in its first two preseason games, including a 25-21 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as three-point home favorites last Friday, while going OVER the betting total in each of those contests. 

NFL handicappers should note that the Patriots are 0-5 ATS the last five years when playing the third game before the regular season.

Disappointing effort 

Detroit has split its first two games, as it looks to bounce back from a disappointing 24-6 defeat to the Cleveland Browns as 1.5-point road underdogs last Thursday, while going UNDER the betting total of 42.5.

The Lions were out-gained by a 313-217 margin in that contest, with many blaming the poor effort on the fact that star wide receiver Calvin Johnson didn’t play due to a knee contusion.

Brady is ready to go 

There’s no doubt that the Patriots received a major scare when quarterback Tom Brady left last Wednesday’s practice with a knee injury, but he’s completed 18 of his 20 passes in two games thus far. 

Brady has looked comfortable with former St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola, who has taken over for the departed Wes Welker—landing in the Mile High City with the Denver Broncos.

Experimenting on defense 

The Lions don’t really match up well with the Patriots on the defensive end, which may cause the unit to continue the experiment of moving around tackles Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh. 

Detroit will need to create some type of pressure up front on Brady, as New England’s offense is known for getting the ball out fast.

[gameodds]16/227804/?r3=43-999997-349/us&r-1=43-999997-349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers take a look at the OVER  for their NFL picks in this affair, as Brady has thrown 20-plus passes in his last three preseason games in Week 3, while the Lions will want to get their first-team offense off the ground. 

NFL Pick:  Over 43.5