by Ian S. Palmer
Week 15 NFL action will conclude on Monday, December 21 when the Detroit Lions head down to Louisiana to take on the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Lions were beaten for the second straight time last Sunday when they came out on the wrong end of a 21-14 decision to the St. Louis Rams. They enter this game with a record of 4-9 on the season and sit in the basement of the NFC North Division. Meanwhile, the Saints are at the bottom of the NFC South with a mark of 5-8. They managed to halt their four-game losing skid last Sunday with a 24-17 triumph against Tampa Bay. This is a huge contest for the home side since the Saints faint wildcard playoff chances are still alive.
Lions vs Saints – 5Dimes NFL BETTING LINE:
- 5Dimes currently lists the Saints at -3 at -110 with the Lions +3 at -110 and the over/under at 50.5 points at -110 each
Calvin Johnson was kept under wraps last weekend with just 16 yards on one reception, but Golden Tate had better luck as he scored a pair of touchdowns and caught for 60 yards to lead the offense. Running back Theo Riddick chipped in with 44 receiving yards on seven receptions, but it wasn’t enough though. Quarterback Matthew Stafford struggled and was sacked four times as he held onto the ball too long on some occasions. Stafford ended up with a pair f touchdown passes and 245 yards in the air and was picked off once. He might have better luck against the New Orleans’ secondary since it concedes 278.8 yards against in the air per week on average, which ranks 30th in the NFL. New Orleans has also allowed a league-worst 36 passing touchdowns against.
Detroit will need to defend against the Saints’ passing attack as quarterback Drew Brees is in fine form at the moment with five touchdown tosses in the past two games. If Detroit can’t get to Brees though they won’t have much of a chance at pulling off a win in the Big Easy. The Lions’ passing defense has been a relative bright spot so far this year by allowing 232.6 yards against per game for the ninth-best ranking in the league. The secondary has been decent with free safety Glover Quin chipping in with three interceptions and cornerback Darius Slay adding a pair. Detroit is a weak road team though with one win in six games and a 2-4 mark against the spread.
Drew Brees had a strong outing against Tampa Bay last weekend as he threw a pair of touchdown passes and 312 yards. Marques Colston caught both touchdown passes while Willie Snead caught seven passes for 122 yards and Benjamin Watson gained 70 yards on seven receptions. On the ground, Tim Hightower carried the ball 28 times for 85 yards and scored a touchdown. New Orleans has to put some points on the board against the Lions though if the defense continues to struggle. New Orleans has the second-worst defense in the league as it allows 414.8 total yards against on average per game. They have some skilful defensive players though in Cameron Jordan as he’s recorded a team-best eight sacks this campaign and cornerback Delvin Breaux has chipped in with a pair of interceptions. New Orleans has gone 3-1-1 against the spread in their past five home contests and should take this must-win game.
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