So far with four games selected in Week 15, I enter the Monday night contest with a solid 3-0-1 record. It’s always nice to pad the wallet just before the holiday season, but let’s not settle just yet as a tantalizing offensive showdown awaits football bettors as the Detroit Lions travel south to take on the New Orleans Saints in the always raucous Superdome. While both teams really don’t have a whole lot to play for, both squads have shown some life of late. New Orleans is coming off an impressive victory vs. Tampa Bay in Week 14 – one where the defense showed some actual resistance. Meanwhile, the Lions enter hard-luck losers in their past two games, but have shown some genuine competitiveness recently. Before that, they had won three straight and with some key personnel back for them, they’ll be looking to close the year out on a high note. It’s a battle of two talented squads, both of which expected more from 2015. It should make for an intriguing showdown under the Monday Night Lights, so read on below for the final winner of Week 15 with the official selection!
Lions vs. Saints Betting Odds:
Detroit Lions +2.5 (+100)
@ New Orleans Saints -2.5 (-120)
Over 51.5 (-110)
Under 51.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Lions vs. Saints Pick:
First and foremost, expect some big-time fireworks from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Monday night. Both teams are blessed with many offensive weapons, and both defenses have major holes that can be exploited. There’s a high total posted for a reason, so if you like offense, be sure to tune in Monday night.
Though I’m not a fan of trend betting and often take them with a grain of salt, the Saints have historically been very good in spots like this. In their past 17 primetime home games, they’ve won 16 of them, and are already 2-0 in them this season. Since 2006, they’re 12-4 on Monday Night Football and Drew Brees often takes it to another level on Monday evenings. The Saints’ quarterback averages 345.9 passing yards per game at home on Monday nights – a scary proposition for the league’s 28th-best defense – the Detroit Lions. Expect yet another vintage outing from Drew Brees. The Lions have an atrocious secondary, and the Saints have managed to put up passing yards on the best of defenses this season. Detroit is vulnerable especially at the safety position, and look for Brandin Cooks and Marques Colston, among others, to take full advantage of this on Monday evening.
With the Lions, their offense as well has been pretty good this season. Whenever you’ve got talent like Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, it’s hard to be poor in the passing game. They’ve shown glimpses of dominance in 2015, but have struggled their past 1.5 games. They were poor in the second half against the Packers back in Week 13, and somehow the Rams completely stifled their attack last week. Although the Saints have been very bad defensively this year, that’s changed noticeably in recent weeks under the guidance of their new defensive coordinator, Dennis Allen. Since he took over from Rob Ryan, the Saints’ stop unit held Houston to 24 points, scored a defensive TD, and last week kept the Texans to just 17 points. This isn’t a great unit, but it has turned into a competent one. They’re currently playing at a higher level and should use the crowd to their advantage on Monday night. It should also be noted that Detroit really has no run game to speak of, and that’s hurt Stafford and Johnson at key times this season. Without a valid run threat, expect New Orleans to lay off stuffing the box and drop back in passing coverage to try and limit Johnson and Tate. If they can do this to a decent extent, you’ve got to like the Saints chances for the cover.
Ultimately this should take on the intensity of an exhibition match-up. Both teams have little to play for and very little motivation. I’ll side with the home team and their historical dominance on Monday night. The Saints’ defense also has renewed hope, optimism, and focus under Dennis Allen, and expect them to do just enough to allow their offense to take control in the second half. At less than a field goal, side with the hometown Saints to continue their Monday night magic.
PICK = Saints -2.5 (-120)