After losing to the Bears, the 9-4 Lions host the 7-6 Denver Broncos at Ford Field in a game moved to Saturday night by the NFL and broadcast on NFL Network. Both teams are in the playoff hunt. Detroit’s offense ranks No. 3 in the NFL in yards gained and seventh in points scored. Denver’s defense allows 5.1 yards per carry, the most in the NFL. Detroit may lean on its running game Saturday night.
NFL: Detroit Lions vs Denver Broncos - Odds, Prediction & Picks
Detroit Lions vs Denver Broncos Analysis
The Lions ran into a buzzsaw in Chicago against a motivated Bears team out for redemption. Lions quarterback Jared Goff threw for a season low 161 yards and two interceptions. Remember when the Lions defense was No. 1 in the NFL against the run? Not anymore. The defense is now eighth in the NFL. Still, the Lions are in the drivers seat for the NFC North with a two game lead over the Vikings with four to play. Another loss though…. and things could start feeling uncomfortable.
Injury Report: This game was flexed to the Saturday night window so it’s a bit of a short week. The biggest name on the Lions injury report is OL Frank Ragnow who is dealing with multiple injuries. DT Benito Jones is also on the injury report with a neck injury. LT Taylor Decker is also questionable. Decker struggled against the Bears.
The Broncos brought over long-time Saints coach Sean Payton and then promptly started 1-5, making it look like a horrible move. But since then the Broncos have been one of the hottest teams in the NFL. They are one of six, yes, six, AFC teams that are 7-6 and in the playoff race. The key to the turnaround has been a defense that allowed 33.3 points the first six games, but only 15.6 over the last seven.
Injury Report: Broncos starting LB Nik Bonitto and safety P.J. Locke were each listed as out of practice on Tuesday. LB Jonathan Cooper was listed as limited and back-up running back Samaje Perine and OL Quinn Meinerz practiced fully.
Detroit Lions vs Denver Broncos Key Points and Trends
Detroit is 8-5 against the spread, while the Broncos are 5-7-1, but Denver is 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games.
Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson is 3-0 as a starter against the Lions.
Detroit is looking for a sweep of the AFC West. They have beaten the Chiefs, Chargers, Raiders and now have a shot against the Broncos.
Detroit Lions vs Denver Broncos Match Prediction
At kickoff, the Lions will have played games this season on Thursday night, Saturday night, Monday night and Sunday afternoon.
Primetime has been good for the Lions this year, maybe that will wake them up. After a hot start to the season, the Lions have hit the proverbial rough patch, losing two of three and their big lead in the division is down to two games.
There’s pressure on both sides here. The Broncos need a win to keep pace in the AFC. Denver’s formula the last two months has been simple, force turnovers (they’re tied for the NFL lead with 24) be rather conservative on offense and let Wilson make a play or two at the end if needed.
Denver is reminding a lot of people how the Lions surged at the end of last year. WR Cortland Sutton has a career high 10 TD. The good news is Denver still struggles to stop the run, which could mean a big game for Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery.
Detroit Lions vs Denver Broncos Best Bet
Remember this is pupil vs. mentor on the sidelines. Lions coach Dan Campbell got his start in the NFL with the Saints under Payton. Payton isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s been successful. He has the Broncos playing well and with confidence. The Lions are struggling on defense. A lot of money has come in on the Broncos this week. I will take them and the points.
Broncos +4 (-110) | DraftKings
Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.