The New Orleans Saints could be down two starting receivers on Sunday as they try to break out of a bit of an offensive funk when hosting the NFC North-leading Detroit Lions, who are more than field-goal favorites on the NFL odds and on extra rest. 2023 NFL Expert Analysis Lions vs Saints | MyBookie Sportsbook NFL Regular Season: September 7, 2023 – January 7, 2024 | Week 13 NFL
How to Bet Lions at Saints NFL Odds & TV Info
When: Sunday, 1 PM ET
Where: Caesars Superdome
Stream Option: https://tv.youtube.com/learn/nflsundayticket/
Opening NFL Lines: Lions -4 (total 46.5)
New Orleans leads Detroit all-time 14-12-1 including one playoff matchup more than a decade ago. The Saints have won the past two with the most recent game in October 2020 and New Orleans winning 35-29 at Ford Field in Motown. Drew Brees was still around for the Saints then and threw for 246 yards and two scores. Alvin Kamara had 83 yards rushing and a TD. Matthew Stafford was Detroit’s primary QB then and Adrian Peterson(!) the leading rusher. It’s a homecoming of sorts for Lions head coach Dan Campbell, who previously served as the assistant head coach and tight ends coach for the Saints from 2016 to 2020.
Why Bet on Detroit Lions?
The Lions probably are itching to take the field after laying a big egg on Thanksgiving and losing 29-22 at home to Green Bay to have a three-game winning streak snapped. Detroit still controls the NFC North. Detroit is one of eight teams with eight at least eight wins through Week 12, tied with 2020, 2019 and 2003 for the most such teams with at least eight wins through the first 12 weeks of a season since 2002.
Jared Goff completed 29-of-44 passes for 332 yards, two touchdowns and three lost fumbles in the loss. Coming off a three-interception fiasco in the previous game, Goff gave it away three more times. That’s worrisome. One of his turnovers vs. the Packers was a 27-yard fumble-six late in the first quarter that made it 20-6 for Green Bay, setting the tone for the game. Goff’s touchdowns were a seven-yard first quarter strike to Sam LaPorta and comeback mode 12-yarder to Josh Reynolds with under a minute remaining.
Goff’s six turnovers in the past two games have matched his total in his previous 18 games combined. Goff was pressured 17 times by the Packers’ defense, his most in a game against the Lions. He went 3-of-12 passing and committed three turnovers when pressured.
“The easy thing is to get in panic mode, and I know what it looks like and it wasn’t good enough out there, but I’m not panicked,” Coach Dan Campbell said. “We’ve got the right guys here. We know how to play, we’ve got to clean some things up and we’ll have six to go when we get back. And the fight’s on.
Kicker Riley Patterson missed his only extra-point attempt, a game after attempting zero field goals (but three point-after tries) against Chicago. David Montgomery rushed 15 times for 71 yards and a touchdown in the Lions’ Week 12 loss to the Packers, but he’s a little banged up again. Montgomery has missed three games this season on account of thigh (Week 3) and rib injuries (Weeks 7 and 8), but it’s unclear if his current foot issue is something that may threaten his availability for Sunday. In three appearances since returning to action Week 10, Montgomery has totaled 41 touches for 285 yards from scrimmage and three rushing scores, while rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs has accrued 46 touches for 280 total yards and three rushing touchdowns himself during that stretch.
In losses to Seattle, Baltimore and Green Bay this season the Lions generated just one sack combined and that came late in regulation against Seattle. Detroit had just six quarterback hits in those three losses. On the year, Detroit’s 23 sacks rank just 26th in the NFL. They are also 23rd in opponent passer rating (93.0) and 20th in overall pass defense. Detroit’s lack of a consistent pass rush has been an issue all season – 18 of their 23 sacks have come in three games vs. Atlanta, Las Vegas and the first Green Bay matchup Week 4.
Detroit still has a 2.5-game lead in the NFC North over Minnesota with six games to play and two of those contests against the Vikings Weeks 16 & 18.
|Lions vs Saints NFL Week 13 Game Odds
|New Orleans Saints
Why Bet on New Orleans Saints?
Saints coach Dennis Allen and Lions head coach Dan Campbell have known each other for a long time dating back to their time as players together at Texas A&M. The two were also on the same staff in New Orleans when Campbell was there from 2016-2020.
Despite a 5-6 record, the Saints are tied for first in the awful NFC South. But they lost a second straight game Sunday, 24-15 in Atlanta. Quarterback Derek Carr completed 24 of 38 passes for 304 yards. He was sacked only once. The Saints rushed for 148 yards, led by Alvin Kamara’s 69 yards on 15 carries. But the Saints did not score a touchdown. Their points came on five field goals. The Saints were 0-5 in red zone conversions. What cost the Saints the game?
“Our inability down there in the red area,” Allen said. “Two penalties, two turnovers – one went for a pick-six. And then, obviously, defensively our inability to stop the run. That’s really what the game boiled down to. That’s what the game was all about.”
Overall, New Orleans is 17 of 40 in the red zone this season, including five touchdown-less trips in as many attempts in Sunday’s 24-15 road loss to Atlanta. The Saints’ red zone percentage, 42.5, is fourth-worst in the NFL. New Orleans is on a six-game stretch during which the offense has averaged 395.5 yards per game, but has gone 10 of 24 (42%) in the red zone during that same period.
“It’s a team game and there’s a lot of factors involved in it,” Allen said. “There’s different factors, whether it be protection or routes or concepts or execution. That’s an area that we’ve not been as good as we need to be, and that’s an area that we’re going to spend a little bit more time working on.
New Orleans saw starting wideouts Rashid Shaheed and Chris Olave leave early and both are in doubt. Shaheed reportedly avoided a major quad injury, but the issue, suffered in Week 12, is likely to sideline him for at least a week. Olava is in the concussion protocol. With Michael Thomas on injured reserve, the Saints could be dangerously thin at receiver, which could lead to a busy day for Alvin Kamara and perhaps an expanded package for Taysom Hill. Rookie A.T. Perry, who has led Saints receivers in snaps each of the last two weeks, could also be in line for a bigger role.
The run defense has to be better after allowing the Falcons to rush 41 times for 228 yards (5.6 avg.). Saints defensive end Carl Granderson was asked about the defensive mindset facing a Detroit offense that’s rushed for at least 200 yards three times this season. The Lions rush for 136.9 yards per game, sixth-most in the league, while the Saints allow 124 rushing yards per game, 10th most in the NFL, and have given up 169.7 per game over the last three games.
“We are going to come into this game ready, prepared and continue to focus throughout the week on details and fundamentals,” Granderson said. “They (Detroit) like to run the ball, so whatever works for them they’re going to come out and try to execute their game plan. So, we have to come out ready to start.”
Star defensive end Cameron Jordan (ankle) exited Sunday’s game late and sat out Wednesday’s practice due to his injury. He only has missed one game in his 13-year career (in 2022, with an orbital bone fracture). Otherwise, he has been available for every other game, 203 in all entering Sunday.
NFL Regular Season Expert Prediction
Lions 24, Saints 17
2023-24 NFL Conference Championship Odds
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Odds to Win 2024 NFC Championship
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