NFL Sunday Night Football Betting Picks: Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions

Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions
Sunday, September 27, 2015, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: NBC
Ford Field – Detroit, Michigan
Opening Line: Denver -3 (-125)
Current Line: Denver -3 (-105)
Opening Total: 44 1/2
Current Total: 44 1/2
Opening Money Line: Broncos -160 / Lions +140
Current Money Line: Broncos -155 / Lions +135

The 2-0 Denver Broncos travel to the 0-2 Detroit Lions Sunday night.
The 2-0 Denver Broncos travel to the 0-2 Detroit Lions Sunday night.

The Denver Broncos are 2-0 this season but have looked a little shaky so far. They travel to Detroit to take on the 0-2 Lions Sunday night. Denver leads the series 6-5 against Detroit. The Lions have won the last two meetings by a combined score of 89-17. Detroit won in Denver 45-10 in 2011.

Denver is coached by Gary Kubiak. The Broncos opened the season with a 19-13 win at home over the Baltimore Ravens. Each team scored a defensive touchdown and there were no offensive touchdowns. Last week, Denver traveled to the rival Kansas City Chiefs for a Thursday night game. Kansas City jumped out to a 14-0 lead including a 55 yard pick six. The Broncos would tie it up by halftime. The teams exchanged field goals in the third quarter. The Chiefs took a 24-17 lead with 2:27 left in the fourth. Peyton Manning led the Broncos down the field and they scored the game tying touchdown on a 19 yard pass from Manning  to Emmanuel Sanders. The game appeared headed into overtime, but KC running back Jamaal Charles fumbled. The Broncos recovered the fumble and ran it back 21 yards for the game winning touchdown. The Broncos held on for the improbable 31-24 win. The Broncos were 3 point underdogs and the total was 42. Denver is 2-0 ATS and the total is 1-1.

Detroit is coached by Jim Caldwell. The Lions lost at the San Diego Chargers 33-28 and at the Minnesota Vikings 26-16 last week. Minnesota never trailed and led 17-3 and 26-10 at various points in the game. Detroit had only 323 total yards and also had 3 turnovers. The Lions were 2.5 point underdogs against the Vikings and the total was 44. Detroit is 0-2 ATS and the total is 1-1 this season.

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Denver is outscoring teams 25-19 this season. The Broncos are #7 in points allowed. Denver averages 259 yards per game on offense, including 194 passing and 65 rushing yards. The Broncos are #27 or worse in all three categories. On defense, Denver is allowing 256 total yards including 146 passing and 110 rushing yards. Denver leads the league in total and pass defense. The Broncos are 14/35 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 3/21. Denver has forced 7 sacks but allowed 7 sacks as well. Denver is +5 in turnovers. The Broncos have two defensive touchdowns and have allowed 2 as well.

Manning has completed 58.8% of his passes for 431 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He has been sacked 7 times. Manning has struggled at times due to age and Kubiak’s new offensive system. Because of numerous neck surgeries, Manning simply doesn’t have the arm strength he used to.

Running back Ronnie Hillman has 21 carries for 75 yards. C.J. Anderson has 24 carries for 56 yards, along with 5 catches for 21 yards. He is probable with an ankle injury. Receiver DeMaryius Thomas has 15 catches for 176 yards. Sanders has 16 catches for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns. Nine defensive players are listed on the injury report.

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Detroit is being outscored 30-22 this season. The Lions are #20 in scoring and #28 in points allowed. Detroit is averaging 313 yards per game on offense including 259 passing and 54 rushing yards. The Lions are #25 in total offense and #31 in rushing. On defense, Detroit is allowing 417 yards per game including 270 passing and 147 rushing. The Lions are #24 or worse in all three categories. Detroit is 11/25 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 14/26. The Lions have forced 3 sacks and allowed 2 this season. Detroit is -1 in turnovers.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford is probable with injured ribs. Stafford has completed 61.4% of his passes for 532 yards with 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, along with 19 rushing yards. Dan Orlovsky is the back-up in case Stafford can’t go.

Running back Ameer Abdullah has 13 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown, along with 5 catches for 53 yards. Joique Bell will also get some carries. Receiver Calvin Johnson has 12 catches for 122 yards and a touchdown. Golden Tate has 10 catches for 104 yards. Tight end Eric Ebron has 9 catches for 96 yards and 2 touchdowns. Theo Riddick has 7 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown.  Eight defensive players are listed on the injury report.

Denver is 5-1 ATS after rushing for less than 90 yards, 20-8 against teams with losing records, 1-3-1 in week three, 1-5 after a cover, and 1-7 on fieldturf.

Detroit is 4-1 ATS against teams with winning road records, 4-10-1 in week three, 2-5 after passing for more than 250 yards, 2-6 against teams with winning records, 1-4 after rushing for less than 90 yards, and 1-5 overall.

Neither of these teams have looked great on offense through two games, which is a little surprising. Denver has the #1 defense in the league but Detroit has struggled so far on defense. Still the Lions are desperate for a win and very dangerous. I like the Lions to win at home in a low scoring game.

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