Week 2 NFL Picks: Lions look to improve to 2-0 against Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs at Detroit Lions
Sunday, 9/18/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Detroit -9.5
Current Betting Line:  Detroit -9
Opening Total:  44
Current Total:  45
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Lions Chiefs NFL Preview
Detroit WR Calvin Johnson scored two touchdowns in the team's season-opening win at Tampa Bay.

Two teams heading in opposite directions will meet at Ford Field on Sunday when the Detroit Lions host the Kansas City Chiefs.  The Lions (1-0) entered the 2011 season with a lot of fanfare and lived up to the hype with an impressive 27-20 victory at Tampa Bay last Sunday.  They have won their last five games dating back to last year and look to make it six in a row in their home opener.

Detroit (-9, O/U 45) saw quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns against the Bucs, showing some of the promise that made him the top overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft.  Two of Stafford’s touchdowns went to another former first-round pick in wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who was selected second overall in 2007.  Ironically, the Lions won a season opener for the first time since Johnson’s rookie year.

The Chiefs (0-1) have won four of the last five meetings with Detroit, but they will be hard-pressed to win this one on the road considering how poorly they played in a 41-7 home loss to Buffalo last Sunday in their season opener.  They will also be without Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry, who tore his ACL in the first quarter against the Bills and will miss the rest of the season.

Kansas City was a mess defensively, allowing Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw four touchdown passes and running back Fred Jackson to run for 112 yards.  The Chiefs were nearly as bad offensively, generating just one score on a 6-yard touchdown pass from QB Matt Cassel to RB Jamaal Charles late in the second quarter.

Neither Cassel nor Charles played up to expectations vs. Buffalo, and both could have a tough time again at Detroit on Sunday.  Cassel is averaging just only 101.3 passing yards in his last three games after throwing for 119 against the Bills.  Meanwhile, Charles carried the ball just 10 times for 56 yards and could not establish himself on the ground because his team was playing catch up after giving up the first 20 points of the game.

KC is 0-3 straight-up and against the spread in its last three games dating back to last season, with opponents scoring 30 points or more in each of them.  However, the Chiefs have covered the spread in the last five meetings with the Lions, and the OVER cashed in all of them.  Detroit is 7-1 ATS in its last eight at home, and the OVER is 8-2 in the team’s past 10 there.

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