The reaction to the Detroit Lions’ 5-0 start last season was profoundly stupid and over-the-top, and it has prevented the majority of the public from stepping back and realizing the following:
The Lions still stink!
A year later, the Lions are still getting treated like Kings despite their on-field product being among the worst in the league. Over the last 16 games, Detroit is just 6-10, which is right in line with teams like the Titans, Dolphins, Chiefs and Raiders.
And yet, the Lions have been lined as if they are the Packers, Texans, 49ers or Patriots.
Since Oct. 17, 2011, the Lions have an NFL-worst 3-12-1 against-the-spread record, and this year, they’re the lone team with an 0-4 ATS mark. They’ve been listed as a favorite 11 times during the skid—including in three of four games this year—and have lost five of them outright.
That includes Sunday’s 20-13 home loss to the Vikings as 4-point favorites.
Detroit is 1-3 this year and should be 0-4. Its offense has been a mess (teams are taking away the deep ball), the defense is atrocious (where are all those talented draft picks?) and the special teams is among the worst units we’ve ever seen (the Vikings had two return TD’s).
In short: You’ll want to fade them going forward, especially if they continue to be listed as road favorites against teams that are just as good if not better.
Public Perception of the Lions is declining, but we still think there’s value in playing against them in the foreseeable future. Here are projected lines for Detroit’s final 12 games:
Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles -6
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears -6
Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions -6
Detroit Lions -3.5 at Jacksonville Jaguars
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings -2.5
Green Bay Packers -3.5 at Detroit Lions
Houston Texans -3 at Detroit Lions
Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions -9.5
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers -9
Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals -2.5
Atlanta Falcons -1.5 at Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions -2.5