In: NFL Free Picks18 Dec 2011
Detroit is going to Oakland to take on a Raiders team that has been struggling lately, but both teams are still in playoff hunt. Both need this game. The Raiders are just one game back of the Broncos for the division lead in the AFC West. The Lions are currently in a spot for the Wild Card but need a win to keep that position.
Perception is a huge part of sports betting, line making, public wagering, and much more. The perception is that this Lion are a great team with a frightening defensive line. I think its mostly hype.
I know Ndamukong Suh is a special kind of player, but this defense isn’t dominating with or without him. In their last 11 games, they have only held opponents to 21 points or less twice! Meaning 9 of those 11 games teams have scored at least 22 points against them, and actually these past 11 games Lions have allowed 25.6 PPG!
They are only 6-5 over that span, and the most disappointing thing has been their run defense. They allow 136 yards a game, 5th worst in the NFL! That’s what I mean by perception, most casual NFL teams would say Lions are probably better than average against the run because of the names on that defensive line, but in fact they are one of the worst!
I know Carson Palmer has been less than stellar since coming over in a mid season trade, but he is only going to get better. He had to learn the offense, learn his receivers, and shake off the rust. Oakland is going to be able to score today.
The real deciding factor to me is going to be the Lions inability to run the ball. They have been devastated at running back this season. They lost their young star Javid Best, they signed Kevin Smith who is beginning to show his age. They need a run game otherwise the pass rush is going to be focused on getting to Stafford.
At home with a much better run game, you have to like the Raiders in this spot.
Take Oakland Raiders +1