- Patriots roll into Motown for Sunday Night Football battle with Lions
- Brady, Stafford both looking to bounce back after losses
- Check out three prop bets worth noting for Sunday Night
Man, things started out so good last week.
And then the wheels came off. Who knew the Giants would abandon the run game? And the Cowboys would be comfortably ahead all game to feed Zeke and milk that clock?
Dak to Tavon Austin for a 64 yard TD! pic.twitter.com/xOi8YNPWRr
— Dem Boyz Nation (@DemBoyzNation) September 17, 2018
Week 3 is all about bouncing back – for the Patriots, the Lions, and for this Sunday Night props board.
We’re off and running. You can also find the odds, spread, and more in our Patriots vs Lions Betting Preview.
Prop #1: Stafford Will Have More Completions than Brady
Through two weeks, Stafford has already thrown 25 more passes than Brady, and has 61 completions to Brady’s 48.
Two factors working together have led to this: the Lions’ run game has not materialized, averaging just 68.5 yards per game (30th), and Detroit has trailed for all but 15:58 of game action this year, so abandoning the run was necessary to try to get back into the contest.
Wild to think that 22 of Stafford completions were caught within 5 yards and of those 22, 9 were at/behind the line of scrimmage. Only 3 of his completions were 15+ yards. Yes I know Stafford missed on a lot of throws he wouldn't normally but come on JBC slants and check downs?
— Brad Bellrose (@PotatoBrab) September 17, 2018
That trend continues here. Detroit’s defense is a bloated 30th in defensive DVOA, and they’re going to try to contend with a Belichick-led team that just got owned a week ago. Bad pairing.
Tom Brady and Josh McD losing their minds after that last drive pic.twitter.com/JN5NViOHUN
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) September 16, 2018
Meanwhile, this isn’t your parents’ Patriots offense. They have a 74-55 pass-run ration this season, as they try to keep defenses honest with a dual threat on each play. The Lions, meanwhile, have thrown 103 passes and run just 33 times.
Expect Stafford to play catch up at least all second half.
Prop #2: Patriots/Lions Will Not Score a TD Over 49.5 yards
|Touchdown longer than 49.5 yards||Odds|
I went back and forth on this one, because both teams have yet to produce a major greater than this figure through two games.
However, the Patriots surrendered a 61-yard score last week, while the Lions have given up a 60+ yard TD run each week.
New England has been hamstrung because they’ve contended with a pair of strong defenses to start, so getting the ball out in short order was the recipe to protecting Brady.
But they also haven’t sought out – or have the weapons to – take a home run shot.
Of course, this bet crashes if Josh Gordon is deemed healthy enough to play – he’s the first true burner Brady has had since Randy Moss.
Bill Belichick praised Matthew Stafford ahead of the Patriots/Lions game.
"One of the very best in the league," he said of Stafford's downfield passing ability. pic.twitter.com/8VFVMm0Tiy
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) September 20, 2018
No confidence in Detroit’s offense to score deep is more an homage to the sideline matchup. Bill Belichick talks a kind game, but he will take great pleasure in confusing Matt Patricia’s offense, it’s a hallmark of Patriots football.
Prop #3: Golladay Will Have More Receptions than Gronkowski
Turnabout is fair play: if Patricia knows his former team, then he knows that taking Gronk out of the picture (while without Edelman) really stalls the Patriots’ offense.
The Jaguars executed that blueprint to perfection, limiting Gronkowski to two catches for 15 yards.
I like the value in Golladay, who’s been targeted 21 times in two games to Gronk’s 12, and has three more receptions (12-9).
Kenny Golladay with the 360 spin for the score!
— PFF (@PFF) September 16, 2018
The Lions could be without Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay, who was still in concussion protocol and missing practices late into the week, but, as the Jags showed, it’s a concerted team blanket-job to limit the Patriots’ most dangerous weapon.
It’s on the other side of this ball that should win you the bet, as Marvin Jones’ (ankle) availability for Sunday is in doubt, leaving more targets coming the second-year receiver’s way.