The Atlanta Falcons head to Ford Field to face the Detroit Lions on Sunday afternoon. The Lions edged the defending Super Bowl champs in Week 1 but were upset at home last week and will try to bounce back against a Falcons side that is 2-0.
Falcons vs Lions odds
Falcons vs Lions predictions
The Detroit Lions were lucky that Chiefs receivers had eight drops in Week 1 and they weren't as fortunate last week when they got torched for 393 yards and 37 points against the Seahawks. They had just one sack in that contest despite Seattle missing both starting tackles, and while they might want to blame some of that on missed holding calls, an ineffective pass rush has plagued Detroit for years.
Detroit's defense was second last in the NFL in EPA/play last year and while it upgraded its secondary in the offseason, it didn't do much to address its inability to stop the run. That weakness will be on full display against an Atlanta Falcons attack that ranks second in the NFL in rush EPA and has a devastating 1-2 combo in Offensive Rookie of the Year betting favorite Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier.
The Lions were much better on the other side of the ball last season, finishing sixth in the league in EPA/play on offense. That success has continued into 2023 with the Lions ranking third in the league in yards per game (393.0) and fourth in yards per play (5.9).
The Lions have made massive strides under offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and their balanced attack does a good job of moving the chains behind a strong line.
Jared Goff might not bring the wow factor at quarterback but he's efficient and accurate, while the running game should be strong even if David Montgomery is unable to suit up due to a thigh injury. After all, Jahmyr Gibbs was drafted with the 12th pick in the draft to be a gamebreaker while third-string RB Craig Reynolds has always done a solid job when called upon.
On the surface, Atlanta's defense has been terrific this year but if you look behind the numbers, things aren't as promising. While the Falcons allowed just 133.5 passing yards per game, they rank a modest 18th in defensive dropback EPA. Facing Bryce Young in his NFL debut followed by Jordan Love last week can create some inflated data, especially with the terrible WR corps that the Panthers and Packers possess.
In addition, Atlanta was gashed for more than 150 yards on the ground in Week 1 so stopping the run could be a major problem. Like Detroit, Atlanta was awful on defense last year and was 29th in EPA while ranking 31st in success rate. Also like Detroit, Atlanta added a few players in free agency but hasn't really done enough to completely turn around its stop unit.
We're seeing a relatively modest total in this game and while there has to be some concern that Atlanta's slow-tempo, run-based offense will chew up the clock, I still like the Over in this spot.
My best bet: Over 46 (-110 at bet365)
Picks made at time of writing may not reflect live odds.
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Falcons vs Lions same-game parlay
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Falcons vs Lions spread and Over/Under analysis
The look-ahead line last week had the Lions installed as 6-point home faves but after their loss at home to the Seahawks and Atlanta's victory against the Packers, this line officially opened at -4.5.
That line was bet down to as low as -3 before money came back on the Lions to shift the number to -3.5. Meanwhile, the total opened at 45.5 and moved up to 47 before ticking down to 46.5 by Wednesday.
The Falcons held off the Packers last week but they failed to cover the spread as 3-point home favorites. This is their first road game of the year and the Lions have gone an impressive 13-5 ATS at home since the start of the 2021 season.
Falcons vs Lions betting trend to know
The Over is 8-3 in the last 11 games at Ford Field and two of those Unders still saw more than 50 points scored. Find more NFL betting trends for Falcons vs Lions.
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Falcons vs Lions game info
|Location:||Ford Field, Detroit, MI|
|Date:||Sunday, September 24, 2023|
|Kickoff:||1:00 p.m. ET|
|Opening odds:||Lions - 5.5, 45.5|
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