New York Jets (0-0) at Detroit Lions (0-0)
The Lions have gone 9-7 in back-to-back seasons, but they have struggled against playoff opponents, going just 1-11 against teams that went on to make the postseason. The flip side of that is that they’ve been close to automatic against non-playoff teams, going 17-4. The Jets are likely to be a non-playoff team, even in the weaker AFC. They have a little hype around them because rookie quarterback Sam Darnold looked good in the pre-season, but he should have some growing pains as a rookie. Besides, Josh McCown did not play badly when healthy last season, so Darnold is no guarantee to even be an upgrade over him and they still have major issues around the quarterback, so I wouldn’t expect this team to make a big leap in wins.
The Lions are favored by 6.5 points here, which I think is too short of a line. Not only have the Lions beaten up on opponents like this in recent years, they also play in the much tougher NFC and are more than 3.5 points better than the Jets on paper, which is what this line suggests. I think the Lions have a good chance to win by at least a touchdown in this one, so, as long as this line is less than 7, the Lions are worth a bet this week.
Detroit Lions 27 New York Jets 17
Pick against the spread: Detroit -6.5