NFL Sunday Night Football: Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints

Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints
Sunday, 12/4/11, 8:20 PM EST, TV:  NBC
Opening Point Spread:  New Orleans -8.5
Current Betting Line:  New Orleans -8.5
Opening Total:  53.5
Current Total:  53.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

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New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees leads a high-powered offensive attack

Detroit has alternated wins and losses over the last five games and looks to rebound off a 27-15 loss to the Green Bay Packers as four-point home underdogs on Thanksgiving Day.  The Lions will play without star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who has been suspended two games due to his misconduct on the field.  “Obviously, it hurts to lose any player for two games much less a player like Ndamukong Suh,” stated Lions coach Jim Schwartz.  “But there’s accountability for our actions.”  Detroit is 6-1 ATS in December the last two-plus seasons.

The Lions have gone 2-4 since their 5-0 start and are trying to gain a Wild Card spot at this point with the Green Bay Packers sitting atop the NFC North division as the only undefeated NFL team.  Quarterback Matthew Stafford will need to preserve the football Sunday night, throwing nine interceptions in the last three games, but also looking to get the ball into the hands of star wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

New Orleans finished the month of November with a 3-0 record and registered an impressive 49-24 win over the New York Giants as seven-point home favorites on Monday Night Football.  The Saints are a balanced offense and have three running backs that have gained over 400 yards on the ground this year.  “I think we have found balance,” stated Saints head coach Sean Payton.  “We can just try to improve and win each week.”  Offensively, the team is leading the league in gaining 449.6 yards per game, sitting just behind the Packers in scoring 32.9 points a contest.  New Orleans is 6-1 ATS inside dome stadiums this year.

The Saints are led by quarterback Drew Brees, throwing for 3,689 yards on the season, which is the highest total in NFL history through the first 11 games of the season.  New Orleans has found a major weapon in tight end Jimmy Graham, catching 67 passes for 957 yards and eight touchdowns.  The franchise leads the all-time series, 10-9-1, grabbing 45-7 and 45-27 wins in 2008 and 2009 respectively.  It should be a great matchup between the Saints explosive passing game in facing a Lions secondary that ranks sixth in the league in giving up 202.2 yards per game and has 15 interceptions.

Bettors will likely back the Saints due to their 4-0 ATS mark as a home favorite of 3.5 to 10 points, while the Lions are 0-3 ATS the last two-plus years when the total is 49.5 or higher.

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