The Detroit Lions have gone 8-4 against the spread in 2021, and that competitiveness finally paid off against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 13. Now, Detroit hits the road to take on the Denver Broncos, who are still competing for a playoff spot.
The NFL betting lines from BetMGM have the Broncos as 7.5-point favorites in this Week 14 matchup. Read on to find out how the Lions at Broncos matchup might play out.
Broncos -7.5 (-110)
The Vikings only blitzed Lions’ quarterback Jared Goff on 14% of his dropbacks. Vic Fangio and the Broncos blitz more than the Vikings (29.3% vs. 25.5%), but they have eight fewer sacks this year and get less pressure on quarterbacks (26.7% pressures per dropback vs. 27.6%).
Goff was just 2-5 for 36 yards against the blitz and took a sack. The Broncos rank 12th in the NFL in sack rate, but they’re 3rd in the NFL in sack rate at home. If the Broncos can generate pressure on Goff, it will be more difficult for Detroit to move the ball. The question is whether they’re willing to blitz more than Minnesota did last week and how effective those blitz packages will be.
I believe that the Broncos will generate pressure, but I don’t believe it will be enough to cover the spread because of the offensive stats that I’ll discuss below.
Will Either Team Score 3 Times in a Row? (No +175)
Here’s an outside-the-box alternative bet that might present some value to savvy bettors. I don’t think there will be much offensive production in this game, and here’s why: Detroit has the 29th-ranked scoring offense, and Denver has the 23rd-ranked scoring offense. Teddy Bridgewater and the Broncos’ passing attack averages just 225.9 passing yards per game.
The Broncos may try to attack the Detroit defense on the ground. Yet, the Lions have improved against the run over the past three games. The Lions’ run defense allows 131.1 yards per game on the ground this year, but they have allowed just 117 rushing yards per game over the last three contests.
Based on these statistics, I don’t think that it’s likely that either team can march down the field three drives in a row.
Money Line and Both Teams To Score 20+ Points (Broncos and No -140)
There are a few reasons I like this alternative bet. Before their 29 point outburst in Week 13, the Lions had scored fewer than 20 points in 10 straight games. Meanwhile, since Week 3, the Broncos have only scored more than 20 points in three games.
Both teams average under 20 points per game for the season. In this matchup, I could see the Broncos scoring over 20, but I don’t like the Lions’ chances to put up over 20 against Denver’s defense, which ranks 10th in both passing (220.3 yards per game) and rushing (105.2 yards per game). Therefore, I like the Broncos to secure the win while keeping Detroit under 20 points in this matchup.
Reviewing the Most Intriguing Wagers for Lions at Broncos
I expect the Lions at Broncos matchup to be a low-scoring affair, but one in which the Broncos ultimately prevail because of their strong defense and ability to pressure opposing quarterbacks at home.