2015 Detroit Lions Predictions
The Detroit Lions are a team I expect to contend with the Packers, especially with the Packers injury concerns. The Lions were only one game back of the Packers last season, but most handicappers expect them to regress.
2014 Record: 11-5
Lions Odds to Win the NFC North Division: +500
Lions Odds to Win the NFC Conference: +1600
Lions Odds to Win the 2016 Super Bowl: +3800
I on the other hand definitely expect the Lions to be just as good as last season.
It’s true – the run game won’t be as dominant. However, I expect the secondary to build off a solid year last season, plus the offense should be fine. You also have to like the price on the Lions to win the NFC North.
Ndamukong Suh is gone, plus so is Reggie Bush, Nick Fairley, Garrett Reynolds and George Johnson.
Detroit brought in some veteran replacements, including Haloti Ngata, Manny Ramirez, Tyrunn Walker and Lance Moore. I’m excited to see how Ameer Abdullah performs as a rookie. He could make the loss of Bush very minimal.
Losing Suh will definitely make the run defense worse, but the Lions were #1 against the run last season, so regressing a bit isn’t going to hurt. The secondary is in tact and the Lions were already good against the run last year.
Joique Bell is back, but I expect him not to be completely unleashed. He had 860 rushing yards on 223 attempts last year and we can expect a similar line. Abdullah is going to get some carries and may steal more as the season progresses.
Matthew Stafford had a bit of a rough season in 2014. He threw for 4257 yards and 22 TD’s, but he was also intercepted 12 times and sacked 45 times. Stafford has to be glad he’ll have Golden Tate and Calvin Johnson back at WR.
Both receivers are expected to surpass 1000+ receiving yards again in 2015, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lions try to run the football more often. They need to mix things up a bit more in order to protect Stafford in the pocket.
Lions Betting Outlook
Detroit’s normally a strong starter in recent years, which will be imperative this season. They open up with games against the Chargers, Broncos, Seahawks and Cardinals in the first five weeks, so starting bad could kill the Lions entire season.
The Lions finished just outside of the top 10 in passing yards last season and Johnson missed a few games. If he and Tate can both stay healthy, the Lions should creep into the top 10 in passing.
Scoring was a bit of a problem last season, as the Lions ranked 22nd in points scored (24.7 PPG). They need to improve that number if they want to be able to steal the NFC North crown from the Packers.
Lions 2015 Predictions
I’ve already bet on the Lions win total awhile back, but right now you can get the Lions at over 8 wins (-121). This total is extremely low and there’s no way the Lions won’t be able to exceed that win total – at the very least they’ll push.
The Lions were great at home (7-1) and in division games (5-1) last season. They’ll need to replicate that success and get through the first five weeks with a few wins, but if they can manage that, the Lions will be contenders in the NFC North.
I still think the Packers have a good chance at winning the division, but I wouldn’t blame you for betting on the Lions to win the division at 5/1 odds. However, if they make the playoffs, they’re not going to end up going deep.
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