NFL Week 12 Betting – AFC-Leading Pats Host Lions in Foxborough
John BensonNo comments
The matchup between the Detroit Lions (7-3, 3-2 away) and the New England Patriots (8-2, 5-0 home) pits the best defense in the league against the top team in the AFC.
For the Lions, who have been one of the surprises of the NFL this season, it’s all about finishing the season strong and making a splash in the playoffs. Last week, Detroit lost 14-6 against the Arizona Cardinals and produced only 262 yards of offense. While the Cardinals are a very good team – and have yet to lose at home – the poor offensive performance in the latter-part of the season is all too familiar for the Lions’ fan-base. After starting last season 5-3, the Lions went 2-6 down the stretch and missed the playoffs.
Much like last year, the recent problems for the Lions’ offense stem from quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has a sub-par 80.6 QBR for the last half dozen games. The fact that the run-game has all but dried up this year is not helping matters; the Lions are second-last in the league on the ground, averaging just over 80 yards a contest.
Still, Detroit head coach Jim Caldwell remains positive.
He said, “They’ve shown in spurts they have grit, they’re tough, they come back, they fight you. Even in [the Arizona] ball game, the effort was unreal. When you get that kind of effort, you just have to work on execution and some things. We’ll get better. I do think this team has the fortitude to be real resilient under disappointment.”
Disappointing earlier in the season, the Patriots have come on as of late with convincing victories against AFC contenders Denver and Indianapolis.
It was the latter game where New England head coach Bill Belichick unleashed running back Jonas Gray. The relative-unknown ran for 201 yards and four scores in the Pats’ rout of the Colts.
Running the ball with success is just fine with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. He said, “We always try to stay balanced. You never go in saying we’re going to run it this much or throw it this much. You try to get the runs on your terms, and if they’re going to load up and stop it, you’ve got to throw it, but if they’re not going to respect the running game, you’ve got to keep giving it to him.”
Detroit’s defensive line should keep the Patriot’s run game in check, which means the Lions’ moneyline (+227) is a consideration; but, with Detroit boasting the best total defense in the league (290.3 yards per game), the smart play is taking the under (48).