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Detroit Lions Betting – Lions Are One Year Away From Being A Threat In The NFC

Posted by Stan Simmons on 7/20/2011 7:00:39 PM
detroit lions betting

Sports betting players need to pay close attention to Detroit this year, as the Lions aren’t going to make the playoffs, but you’re witnessing a rebuilding process that is about to bloom. However, this year’s edition of the Lions are still too green and there isn’t much faith in their quarterback staying healthy.

  • Head Coach: Jim Schwartz
  • Offensive Coordinator: Scott Linehan
  • Defensive Coordinator: Gunther Cunningham
  • Owner: William Clay Ford
  • Stadium: Ford Field
  • Capacity: 64,500
  • Super Bowl Wins: 0

Offense

The Lions’ offense was 17th in the NFL in 2010, including 12th through the air, which may be slightly surprising when you see that quarterback Matt Stafford played in just three games because of injury. The team was left to Shaun Hill, who did an admirable job, but it also helped to have Calvin Johnson, one of the best receivers in the league and one that demands constant attention. Nate Burleson did well on the other side, while tight end Brandon Pettigrew made a big jump and at 26 years old, is entering his prime. The offensive line allowed just 27 sacks last year, so even though Detroit seemed to go through quarterbacks like old socks, the big guys up front actually held their own. The Lions also tried to boost their NFL betting odds through the draft on this side of the ball by picking up receiver Titus Young and running Mikel Leshoure, and the latter is one of the keys to Detroit’s success last year.

Detroit was 23rd on the ground, as Jahvid Best has some problems with his toe despite playing in all 16 games in his rookie year, while Kevin Smith played in just seven games and Maurice Morris just wasn’t very good. Smith wasn’t offered a new contract and will likely go his own way, leaving the position to Best and Leshoure to battle it out. Also, can Stafford stay healthy? He’s played 13 games in two seasons since the Lions took him with the first overall pick. It’s time for Stafford to show what he can do, because the Lions play well when he is on the field.

Grade: C+

Defense

Drafting a game-changer like Ndamokung Suh made a huge difference for the Detroit defense, and even though the Lions were only 21st in the league on that side of the ball, the future is bright. Suh made the Pro Bowl (along with Calvin Johnson) and was the Defensive Rookie of the Year, and he’ll be expected to mentor rookie Nick Fairley, who was a massive part of Auburn’s national-title winning team. The Lions have the potential to have one of the best defensive lines in the league, although there are still some things to work out, obviously. Safety Louis Delmas marshals an adequate secondary, but don’t be surprised if the Lions make a push for free agent cornerback Nmandi Asomugha, who is leaving Oakland. But this year, it all starts with Suh and Fairley on the line, and if they can continue to get into the backfield (Detroit’s 44 sacks was tied for sixth in the league), good things are going to happen.

However, the Lions have a few things to take care of before their NFL betting odds can improve. While Suh was a one-man wrecking crew, he was sometimes guilty of overpursuing and the opposition took advantage of that. He’ll have to pass on some lessons to Fairley, who is just as aggressive as Suh. The Lions also have to replace linebacker Julian Peterson, who was released, along with the underachieving Bobby Carpenter and Landon Johnson, which means DeAndre Levy is the lone returnee of Detroit’s starting linebackers from last year.

Grade: C

Special Teams

Stefan Logan was a return machine for the Lions, who were fourth in kickoff returns and sixth in punt returns, but he’s an exclusive-rights free agent. It’s likely that he’ll be back in Detroit, and the Lions truly need him because every point counts for the Lions. On the other side, Detroit finished seventh in covering kickoffs, but 27th in the league in covering punts, and they’ll have to improve their punt-cover team to help the defense out.

Nick Harris tried to do his best, coming in 10th in average punting, but he was 27th in net punting, so the Lions really have to work on covering that aspect of the game. Jason Hanson played just eight games because of a knee injury, but he should be back at 41 years old, meaning Dave Rayner will likely be gone, but he hit 81.3% of his field-goal attempts, so he should find a job somewhere else.

Grade: B-

Prediction

NFL betting futures have the Lions at +2550 to win their first Super Bowl, even though they haven’t won the NFC North since 1993 and they’ve never won the conference. The Lions have to get past Green Bay and Chicago to even have a chance at the wild card, although they should be a little fortunate as Minnesota is in the midst of a rebuild.

The Lions have some young pieces in place and if Stafford can stay healthy, Detroit can put up some points. However, the defense may not be able to keep pace….just yet. The Lions have to get a couple of linebackers, let their young guns progress up front and in 2013, Detroit will be up for a playoff spot, but you don’t have to worry about their online betting odds this year.

  • 2011 Schedule
  • Week 1 – at Tampa Bay (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 2 – vs. Kansas City (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 3 – at Minnesota (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 4 – at Dallas (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 5 – vs. Chicago (Monday, 8:30 PM ET)
  • Week 6 – vs. San Francisco (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 7 – vs. Atlanta (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 8 – at Denver (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 10 – at Chicago (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 11 – vs. Carolina (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 12 – vs. Green Bay (Thursday, 12:30 PM ET)
  • Week 13 – at New Orleans (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 14 – vs. Minnesota (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 15 – at Oakland (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 16 – vs. San Diego (Saturday, 4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 17 – at Green Bay (1:00 PM ET)

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