The Lions head into Denver after their first win of the season to take on a Broncos team that is struggling with its identity. Despite possessing the worst record in the league, Detroit cherishes its gritty, never-quit attitude while Denver simply floats along with a talented roster that has underperformed all year.
Many expected Denver to quit on the season after trading future Hall of Famer Von Miller but to its credit, it hasn’t completely fallen apart. Denver is still vying for a playoff spot at 6-6 while Detroit is looking to create its first win streak in a long while.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at our Lions vs Broncos predictions and best bets.
Please note that all NFL Week 14 odds and lines are current as of 2 p.m. ET on Friday, December 10.
Lions vs Broncos Prediction
The more talented team in this matchup is obviously the Broncos. Their talented receiving corps of Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Noah Fant, and Albert Okwuegbunam are all fully healthy while their running back room is as talented as almost any in the league with Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon.
This offense should not be as mediocre as it is even with an average QB like Teddy Bridgewater under center.
Their offensive line is toward the bottom of the league in adjusted sack rate (25th) with the right side especially a disaster in terms of pass blocking. Both their rush and pass offense ranks toward the middle of the league, and that is a result of the mix of offensive linemen and the weak arm of Bridgewater.
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Now, it is unfair to discuss the Broncos’ offensive woes without mentioning the calamity that is Detroit’s. Despite adding WR Josh Reynolds and seeing Amon-Ra St. Brown step up in recent weeks, the WR corps remains arguably the worst in the league.
TE T.J. Hockenson has been solid but unspectacular while the offensive line is more average than expected thanks to injuries to Frank Ragnow and recently activated Taylor Decker.
They do have a solid RB duo of D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams, but Swift remains questionable for Sunday due to a shoulder injury. Luckily for Detroit, its backup RBs Godwin Igweibuike and Jermar Jefferson have stepped up when need be.
The defense for both teams is lackluster at best. This matchup will be decided by who makes fewer mistakes, and that is very likely to be the Broncos.
Prediction: Broncos 23, Lions 20
Lions vs Broncos Best Bets
Best Bet: Lions +10 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
It is very possible that the Broncos run all over Detroit with the recently unleashed Williams and Gordon is possibly returning, but the Lions’ defense is playing better of late with a load of young talent across the front seven. They are still weak as a whole but not as bad as the first half of this season.
Detroit’s offense, meanwhile, is still bad, but adding Reynolds gives their passing game some life with the semblance of a WR1 to command some attention and open up the middle of the field for Hockenson, St. Brown, and the RBs.
It is not impossible for the Lions to come away with a win, but the safer bet is taking the points on our NFL gameday odds.
Best Bet: Over 42 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
The Broncos are 10-2 thus far on the Under, but this game screams dumb football. Anything can happen when two bad teams face off and a mistake-prone QB like Jared Goff is on one end.
Detroit also plays at the 10th-highest pace in the NFL due to having to play catch-up so often while Denver is 28th and stands 25th in rush defense by DVOA.
Both teams here are exploitable by the other’s strength. The Over can hit for our NFL bet of the day, but by a razor’s edge.