The Detroit Lions will hit the road in Week 16 to take on the Atlanta Falcons in a battle between teams on a downward spiral.
The Lions (2-11-1) are one of the worst teams in the NFL but are coming off of their best game of the season in which they blew out one of the best teams in the league in the Arizona Cardinals. Detroit will look to carry the momentum into Week 16.
The Falcons (6-8) got off to a better-than-expected start to the season but have cooled off a great deal recently. They are coming off a brutal loss to the San Francisco 49ers, but they will look to right the ship against a lowly Detroit Lions squad.
Please note that all NFL gameday odds are current as of 11 a.m. EST on Thursday, December 23.
Lions vs. Falcons Prediction
All in all, I’m not expecting this game to be a blowout, but I don’t believe it will be particularly close either. Neither of these teams is objectively good, making it difficult to gauge who is in a better spot coming into the week.
Last week, Atlanta dealt with a banged-up backfield and only afforded 13 touches to Cordarrelle Patterson, a far cry from his typical touch count, and only six rushes for Mike Davis.
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It was a strange week for the Falcons, but I expect a heavy dosage of the run game against the Lions, who rank 4th-worst in rush DVOA.
On paper, this looks like a clear-cut victory for the Falcons, but as the Lions proved against the Cardinals in Week 15, anything can happen in the waning weeks of the regular season.
The Lions will come out of Atlanta with an upset over the Falcons.
Prediction: Lions 21, Falcons 19
Lions vs. Falcons Best Bets
Best Bet: Lions +5.5 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 2 Units
First and foremost, I want to acknowledge that it is never ‘fun’ to bet on teams as unsettling to watch as the Detroit Lions. However, this spot favors the Lions a tad, and I actually believe they can win this game outright on the road.
Jared Goff’s improved play shouldn’t stop this week against the third-worst pass defense in the league.
Back the Lions ATS as our NFL pick of the day, and sprinkle the Moneyline at +205 a tad would be my recommendation. This has some potential to be a huge letdown spot for the Lions, but all in all, I simply believe 5.5 points is too many.
Best Bet: Under 43 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
Two of the Lions’ past five games have gone under 43 total points, while three of the Falcons’ past five have. The total is very low in this game, but despite a pair of lackluster defenses, it must be acknowledged that both of these teams lack a world-beating offense to exploit it.
Matt Ryan looks well past his prime, and the Falcons’ backfield has not produced to the same effect recently as they once had. On the other side, Jared Goff is an absolute wild card of a quarterback.
Back the Under here, but keep it small. I view this as a very sharp Vegas line, evidenced by my final score prediction being just 3 points off the oddsmakers.