Philadelphia Eagles (2-5) at Detroit Lions (0-7)
Neither of these teams has an impressive record, but both teams have been better than their record. The Lions are the league’s last remaining winless team, but they have faced an above average schedule and are not getting blown out most weeks. On average, their losses have come by an average of 10.3 points per game, but even that makes it seem like they’ve been blown out more than they have been, as five of their seven losses have been kept within 10 points, while one of their two losses by more than 10 points came in a game in which the Lions led the Packers at halftime in Green Bay.
The Eagles, meanwhile, have faced arguably the league’s three best offensive teams, the Chiefs, Cowboys, and Buccaneers, who rank 2nd, 1st, and 4th in schedule adjusted offensive efficiency. Overall, the Eagles have held their own defensively this season, ranking 8th in schedule adjusted defensive efficiency, even after a disappointing performance against the Raiders last week. The Eagles have not been as good on offense, ranking 20th in schedule adjusted offensive efficiency, but they have gotten back a pair of key offensive lineman, left tackle Jordan Mailata and right tackle Lane Johnson, so they should have better offensive performances going forward.
Unfortunately, with both teams being a little underrated, we aren’t getting any line value with either side, as my calculated line is right at Philadelphia -3.5, where this line is in reality. I am taking the Eagles for pick ‘em purposes for one reason and that’s because the Lions could be flat after coming up short in Jared Goff’s revenge game against the Rams last week, but I’m not sure how much of a hangover effect there will be from that in this matchup, especially with the Lions having still not won a game and desperate to get into the win column (winless teams cover at a 58.0% rate all-time in week 6 or later).
Update: This line has dropped down to 3, which is significant because 1 in 6 games are decided by a field goal. I still wouldn’t bet the Eagles, but I am upping the confidence on this a little bit.
Philadelphia Eagles 24 Detroit Lions 20
Pick against the spread: Philadelphia -3