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Lions Are Locked In A Fight For The NFC North Division

Posted by Stan Simmons on 2/4/2014 4:48:51 AM

The Detroit Lions had a decisive lead over the Chicago Bears in the NFC North, but that lead is now a minimal one. Detroit must hold off the defending champions if it wants to regain control.

Baltimore Ravens @ Detroit Lions – Monday, December 16

Betting line: Lions -7

Why Baltimore Will Win

This is a game in which Baltimore isn’t favored, but the Ravens could very easily walk away with a win here. The Ravens, quite simply, are survivors in the NFL. They know how to win the games they absolutely have to win. This is not just true of last season’s Super Bowl champions. It’s true of previous seasons. The Ravens made the AFC Championship Game in the 2011 season. They made the divisional playoff round in the 2010 season. They also made the divisional round in the 2009 season as well. They made the AFC Championship Game in the 2008 season, too. This is just a relentlessly consistent team, a steady organization that creates a culture in which success is not only expected, but delivered, year after year. The Ravens don’t always grab the brass ring, but they’re always in the mix.

This year’s Baltimore team was 4-6 and headed home for the holidays, but just when a lot of people were ready to count out the Ravens, the defending champions reeled off three wins in a row. This team is such a tough out in December, when the games matter more and the veteran composure of the roster is tested. The Ravens regularly pull through, a marked contrast to the Lions and their penchant for rather spectacular failures and flameouts over the years. Is Detroit a more talented team that is playing at home? Yes. Is Detroit more likely than Baltimore to put its resources to good use and withstand in-game pressure? No.

Why Detroit Will Win

The Lions are undeniably a two-faced kind of team. One week, Detroit dazzles with its playmaking skill. The next week, this ballclub loses focus – often on both sides of the ball, not just one – and allows a winnable game to slip through its fingers. In this case, the Lions – following a loss to Philadelphia in which they once owned a 14-point lead – are due for a strong performance. If Detroit is going to continue its up-and-down pattern, a superb outing should define their week 15 game. Playing at home and on synthetic turf in calm conditions should really help this offense, which struggled in the thick snow of Philadelphia.

This game offers a straightforward online football betting dynamic for one basic reason: Playing on Monday Night Football should give the Lions extra incentive to show their best side to the nation. It’s not very often that the Lions play a Monday game. Beyond the NFC North race, this game will affect the league-wide reputations of many Detroit players. This is precisely the thing that could galvanize the team against Baltimore.

Who Will Win

For all the ways in which the Lions have been known to stumble over the years, they will probably show enough energy to get the job done. They won’t blow out the Ravens, but they will win. Baltimore will cover the spread.

NFL Betting Pick: Ravens +7

Get the latest inside skinny on the week 15 lines for the NFL at the outlet you depend on.


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