Week 4 NFL Lock

I like the Lions catching points in Dallas this week. When you look at both teams efficiency metrics it makes sense that the Cowboys are favored. They are at home and, albeit a small sample size, have statistically been better both offensively and defensively this season than the Lions. Although I would say that because of the small sample size the Lions stats have looked a little bit deflated. What I mean by that is, in their first game they were completely outplayed in a prime time spot and this performance set the tone for the public’s mind on how they see the Lions. They followed this game with another loss and although they were able to cover and had a chance to win but what the public remembers most is that the Lions fell behind 30-13. At that point the Lions looked terrible through two games and the public wrote them off. They followed that week up with a win against the Patriots in a game where they had their first 100 yard rusher in the past 5 seasons. I said in preseason that the running game would be a huge part of the Lions offense and that is coming to fruition. Following this game however, was the media narrative that the Patriots don’t look good and look slow. The Lions did not get any credit for this performance and it is being looked at as a result of the Patriots futility instead. That is why the Lions find themselves underdogs for the third week in a row. So far they are 2-0 against the spread as an underdog and I think that winning trend will continue here.

 

The Cowboys have the designation of “America’s Team” and they are always a very public team. They get a lot off attention in the media and not just the players. Their owner Jerry Jones probably gets the most attention and also puts the highest expectations on them as well. The Cowboys have not looked like anything special so far. Through three games they have struggled to move the ball well. In their one win against the Giants they started the game with a 64 yard TD pass to Tavon Austin to put them ahead early. That proved to be the difference in a game they won by 7 points and only converted only 2 more 3rd downs throughout the rest of the game. They were able to stop the run defensively and they got after Eli Manning for 6 sacks. Although both of those may have more to do with the Giants offensive line than they do the Cowboys defense. They face a much tougher test with the Detroit Lions this week.

 

The Lions running game is starting to come around and they showed last week how dangerous that backfield can be with Kerryon Johnson, LeGarrette Blount and Theo Ridick. If they can continue their success on the ground that will only do more to get their receivers open. Kenny Golladay has been great this year and is the perfect compliment to Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. The Lions have had some struggles in their running defense and have surrendered two 60+ yard TD runs so far. This will be the only way the Cowboys have a chance at winning. The Lions secondary has looked great so far. I can’t see the Cowboys winning this game if they have to depend on Dak Prescott to move the ball through the air. If the Lions defense stops the run early and keeps Dallas off the field this one could get ugly quick. The Lions offense is very talented and can score a lot of points. I understand why the spread is the way it is but I think it is incorrect. I think the Lions are the better team and I think they get the outright win here.

 

The Pick:

Detroit Lions +3

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