Detroit Lions (3-2) at New Orleans Saints (2-2)
The Lions are 3-2 so far this season and last season they finished 9-7 and made the post-season, but they are not that good of a team. Last season, they didn’t defeat a single playoff team and they won just one game by more than a touchdown. So far this season, their 3 wins have come against the Cardinals, the Giants, and the Case Keenum led Vikings, none of whom are playoff caliber teams. If anything, they are worse this season than last season, as they are without left tackle Taylor Decker, starting defensive end Kerry Hyder, and now starting defensive tackle Haloti Ngata for the season with injury.
The Saints, meanwhile, could easily make the post-season. They’re 2-2, but their 2 losses came against the Vikings, who are one of the better teams in the league when Sam Bradford is healthy, and the Patriots, also a top level team. In their last 2 games before the bye, they outscored the Panthers and Dolphins 54-13 in a pair of wins away from home. Their defense is improved this season, led by talented rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore, and their offense remains strong and gets a boost this week with wide receiver Willie Snead and left tackle Terron Armstead likely set to return. Unfortunately, we’re not getting any line value with the Saints, as this line shifted from 3 in favor of the hometown Saints on the early line last week to 4.5 this week, after the Lions’ home loss to the Panthers. I have this line calculated right at -5.5, so I can’t be confident at all in the Saints.
New Orleans Saints 30 Detroit Lions 24
Pick against the spread: New Orleans -4.5