Spread: Patriots by 6.5
Money Line: Patriots -285.71; Lions +220.00
The New England Patriots have been known to stumble from time to time early in the season. They certainly stumbled hard last week against the Jaguars. But, to be fair, the Jags defense and Blake Bortles had a lot to do with that.
As crazy as it sounds, don’t be shocked if they stumble again this week.
The Detroit Lions have one of the better passing attacks in the NFL. They have struggled to get it online this season but appeared to be headed in the right direction in the second half last week. With the how the Patriots have struggled against the pass this season, it is not hard to imagine Matthew Stafford having a break-out game this week.
What could keep him from having it is the one thing the Patriots are not good at—running the ball. The best way to attack a passer like Stafford is to keep him off the field. If they had a good run game, they could take advantage of Detroit’s league-worst run defense.
But they don’t. Rex Burkhead does his best work in a part-time role. James White is better as a receiver, and Sony Michel has only played in one game (and wasn’t impressive).
As long as the Patriots have Tom Brady, they’ll be competitive. But they appear to be lacking the firepower he needs right now. It will be a good, competitive game that will see the Lions score the upset an come out on top in the end. If they don’t win outright, they’ll win against the spread.
Expect these guys to score some points, too (take the over).