You’re an idiot, says the little voice in my head.
The Detroit Lions are a dumpster fire. Over this off-season, they did the following:
- Downgraded at QB from Matthew Stafford to Jared Goff.
- Gutted the receiving corp with the loss of Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones.
- Made minimal improvements to a secondary that finished dead last in PFF coverage grades in 2020.
The last issue is probably getting worse due to injury. CB Jeffrey Okudah, the 3rd pick overall in the 2020 draft, went down with an Achilles injury in week 1. CB/S Ifeatu Melifonwu, a 3rd round pick in the 2021 draft from Syracuse, went down with a thigh injury in week 2.
Passing rules the NFL. Detroit projects to struggle with the pass game on offense and defense, which suggests going against the Lions.
But there’s still a voice in my head that’s calling me an idiot…
Baltimore won a dramatic 36-35 game over Kansas City when they converted a 4th and 1 near midfield to ice the game. In watching this game, two things stood out:
- two awful Lamar Jackson interceptions early in the game
- the dominance of Baltimore’s rush game, as Jackson might be the best running back in the league
However, in looking back over the game, I was surprised to see that Baltimore’s offense had a 64% success rate on pass plays (46% NFL average).
My numbers like Baltimore 9.1 points on the road, which suggests value on Baltimore -7.5. There’s only one problem.
You’re an idiot, again says the little voice in my head.
Pinnacle and FanDuel, two sharp sports books, are taking a stand with Detroit, as they have Baltimore as a 7.5 point favorite.
Pinnacle has been a leading sharp sports book for decades. On a recent Circles Off podcast, a professional sports bettor talked about how he had to replenish his Pinnacle account while other accounts had plenty of funds.
FanDuel often takes a stand on NFL sides. Director of Trading John Sheeran has a meeting with his team on Wednesday and decides on which games to differ from market consensus. At least one professional sports bettor I’ve talked with considers FanDuel a sharp sports book.
One reason that these sports books like Detroit is that the Lions had favorable underlying metrics against Green Bay. Detroit had more yards than Green Bay (344 to 323) and had a 48.6% success rate on pass plays. The score could have been closer had Detroit converted two 4th and short situations in Green Bay territory.
If Pinnacle and FanDuel had Baltimore -9, then a Baltimore -7.5 at a different sports book makes total sense. However, that is not the case. I took Baltimore -7.5, but I feel more queasy than a Michigan fan before an Ohio State game.
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