The New Orleans Saints host the Detroit Lions on ESPN’s Monday Night Football in Week 15. The home team has won each of the last four meetings in this series, including a 24-23 home win by the Lions last year.
New Orleans (5-8, 3-3 home) is coming off a 24-17 road win at Tampa Bay last week. The Saints came through with their best defensive performance of the season, limiting the Bucs to just 291 yards of total offense. Drew Brees threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
Detroit (4-9, 1-5 away) played a stinker last week in a 14-21 road loss to the St. Louis Rams. Matthew Stafford threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns with one interception, but the defense couldn’t stop Todd Gurley, who rushed for 140 yards and two scores for the Rams.
Kickoff inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is set for 8:30 EST Monday night with ESPN providing the television coverage. Oddsmakers in Las Vegas have pegged New Orleans as a 3-point favorite over Detroit with a total set of 50.5 points.
While I would take the Saints if I was forced to take a side, I don’t trust either of these teams against the spread. I do, however, feel there is great value with the OVER in this game. Both teams have been eliminated from playoff contention, and when two teams don’t have anything to play for, there’s a good chance it’s going to be a high-scoring, playground-type game. I foresee that being the case in this one.
Both teams are used to playing inside a dome, and this will be ideal conditions for each to maximize their offense. After all, the last four Saints’ home games have all exceeded this 50.5-point total. Indeed, they combined for 52 points with the Falcons (31-21), 101 points with the Giants (52-49), 62 points with the Titans (28-34) and 79 points with the Panthers in their last four home games, respectively. They have combined for an average of 73.5 points and 866 total yards per game with their opponents in their last four home games. That’s 23 more points than this 50.5-point total.
The Saints have combined for an average of 73.5 points and 866 total yards per game with their opponents in their last four home games.
It has been well documented that the Saints are on a record-setting pace for attrition defensively this season. They give up a league-most 30.5 points and 416.1 yards per game this season while surrendering 6.7 yards per play as well. And it’s not like the Lions have been a whole lot better as they give up 25.8 points and 5.8 yards per play this season, both among the worst marks in the league.
The Lions have been better offensively here of late as they are averaging 27.3 points per game in their last three contests. The Saints still have a high-powered offense that puts up 24.8 points per game while ranking 4th in the NFL in total offense at 395.0 yards per game. Plus, Drew Brees and company have really enjoyed facing the Lions.
The last four meetings in this series have seen 47, 73, 48 and 72 combined points with the 73 and 72-point performances coming in New Orleans. That’s an average of 60.0 combined points per game. The Saints have owned the Lions in the last five meetings, averaging 37.2 points and 503.8 yards per game. They will certainly do their part in getting this OVER, and I fully expect one of the best offensive outputs of the season from the Lions against this putrid New Orleans defense.
The OVER is 5-1 in Lions last six games on fieldturf. The OVER is 8-2 in Lions last 10 road games vs. a team with a losing record. New Orleans is 18-6 to the OVER in its last 24 home games versus poor rushing teams that average 90 or fewer rushing yards per game. Neither team can run the football, which is going to make this a pass-heavy game, and that favors the over with more clock stoppages. The Saints are 32nd in the league in giving up 8.5 yards per pass attempt, while the Lions are 23rd at 7.7 per attempt.