Now, the Lions head to Georgia to face the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16. Despite the upset last week, Detroit has opened as six-point underdogs for this game.
With Dan Campbell is hoping to pull off another upset, let’s check in on his team’s chances to cover the spread in Atlanta.
Lions vs. Falcons Game Information
Before taking a deeper look, here’s what you need to know:
- Date: Sunday, Dec. 26th
- Time: 1:00 P.M. EST on FOX
- Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA
- Participants: Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons
Making a Case for the Detroit Lions (+5.5, -110)
Following a miserable 0-10-1 start, the Lions have suddenly won two of three. Both of the teams they beat, the Minnesota Vikings and Cardinals, are ahead of the Falcons in the standings.
The Falcons allow more points per game than any other team the Lions have played thus far, and only the Chicago Bears score fewer points per game than Atlanta among those teams. The Falcons are 26th in points per game (18.4) and 31st in points allowed (27.4).
Offensively, Detroit’s three best offensive outputs were games in which Jared Goff threw for more than 200 yards and three touchdowns.
The Falcons defense allows 246.6 yards per game through the air, which is the ninth-most, and has allowed 27 touchdowns through the air, the third-most in the NFL.
The Lions’ biggest weakness on defense is the running game, where they allow 133.0 yards per game, the fifth-most in the NFL. Luckily for Detroit, Atlanta’s running game only gains 89.0 yards a game, the sixth-fewest.
Atlanta has failed to win a game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium this year. Their lone “home” win was in London when they took down the New York Jets in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Case Against the Lions
Sandwiched between Detroit’s two recent wins is an ugly 28-point loss in Denver. The Lions’ point differential is -70 in seven road games for the season, even though one of them was a tie.
The Lions give up 8.0 yards per pass attempt, the second-highest mark in the league. The Falcons have had more dropbacks than rush attempts in every game but one this season.
Atlanta has also found success on the ground recently, recording more than 100 yards rushing in three straight games before its Week 15 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. One of those 100-yard games was against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who allow the third-fewest yards per game rushing.
Can the Lions Cover the Spread?
I think the Detroit Lions have an excellent chance to cover this weekend. The Falcons’ most significant margin of victory this season is just eight points, and the Lions are coming off of their best performance of the season.
Part of this prediction hinges on Jared Goff playing this week. The quarterback was placed in the COVID-19 protocols earlier this week, and the Lions’ chances in this game will significantly increase with Goff playing. I’m personally waiting until Friday’s injury reports before placing any bet on this game.
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