The New Orleans Saints were a trendy Super Bowl pick heading into the season.
But Drew Brees and the Saints come to Ford Field really needing a win to get back on track Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
The Saints come into the 1 p.m. kickoff with the same 1-2 record as Detroit.
Though the Lions share the NFC North with a pair of 3-0 teams, the Saints are just one game behind Tampa Bay, which New Orleans owns a head-to-head tiebreaker advantage against.
This could be a more difficult sports betting line to set than usual: It’s a supposed powerhouse that looks shaky against a perennial bottom dweller that has shown promise.
Add in injury uncertainty to maybe the league’s best wide receiver, and it’s not a surprise that Saints at Lions was one of the last lines added to the board on Monday morning.
Slow going today for #Lions vs. #Saints Week 4 betting data. NO could be down WR Michael Thomas again, had G Peat, TE Cook go down last night. Game not posted at @PointsBetUSA + @BetMGM. No ML at @BetRivers + @DKSportsbook (DET +3.5 at both). At @FDSportsbook Lions +4, ML +172
— Play Michigan (@Play_Michigan) September 28, 2020
Oddsmakers settled in on mid-range spread for Saints
Many years, a New Orleans visit to Detroit might produce a big road favorite, perhaps more than a touchdown.
Because of the reasons above, the line has settled right in between a touchdown and a field goal.
Half of the 16 Week 4 NFL games feature road favorites. Detroit is the third-biggest home dog of the weekend, trailing Washington (+13 vs. Baltimore) and Miami (+6.5 vs. Seattle).
Here are the latest betting lines after the line opened at 3.5 or 4 points on Monday in favor of the Saints with the total at 54 or 54.5 points, depending on the book.
|Saints at Lions Week 4 odds||BetMGM||BetRivers||DraftKings||FanDuel||PointsBet|
(-110 juice unless noted)
|NO -3 +100|
DET +3 -114
|NO -3 -104|
DET +3 -118
|NO -3 -105|
DET +3 -115
|NO -3 -105
DET +3 -115
(-110 juice unless noted)
|O 51.5 -107|
U 51.5 -107
|O 51.5 -105|
U 51.5 -115
(Last updated: 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4)
WR Thomas out for Saints, WR Golladay in for Lions
The importance of top-flight wide receivers has been demonstrated by the Lions and Saints this season.
New Orleans is 1-0 this season with Michael Thomas in the lineup, and Detroit is 1-0 with Kenny Golladay healthy.
The teams are 0-4 otherwise.
Thomas, who set the NFL record for receptions in a season last year, has missed the last two games with a high ankle sprain. Since he was not placed on injured reserve, there was a belief he could return this week to the lineup.
That belief was squandered on Friday when Thomas was ruled out for the game. In addition, defensive end Marcus Davenport, tight end Jared Cook, guard Andrus Peat, and cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Marshon Lattimore are also out.
6 #Saints listed as OUT for Sunday's game
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) October 2, 2020
Golladay missed the first two Lions games with a hamstring injury. He returned triumphantly on Sunday with a 15-yard touchdown reception at Arizona that was highlight-reel-worthy.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) September 27, 2020
Golladay was back at practice Wednesday, while defensive starters Desmond Trufant (CB) and Da’Shawn Hand (DL) were limited. Trufant and Hand are active on Sunday, along with LB Christian Jones, who was on the injury report on Friday.
Safety C.J. Moore, a key special teams contributor, is out for Detroit.
Are good times ahead for the Detroit Lions?
The yearly checklist of Detroit Lions fandom is off to a roaring start.
But folding up the tent after two losses and immediately transitioning to cider mill season is not a part of a typical SOL (Same Old Lions) pattern.
There has to be a rebirth of hope, only to be crushed at least a second time by the Honolulu blue and silver.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press pointed out how the upcoming soft schedule just might give Detroit fans the hope it needs to ruin another holiday season.
So, the Lions' next eight opponents have a combined record of 6-18.
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 29, 2020
There’s hope the Lions just might be able to ruin Thanksgiving once again.
Three things to know for Saints at Lions
- Overs aplenty: Despite the Saints’ struggles, they are racking up the points. New Orleans has hit the over in all three games this season, with Detroit hitting it twice. As of noon on Tuesday, the FanDuel Sportsbook over/under of 54 points was tied for fifth-highest on the weekend slate.
- Peterson high watermark? We hate to doubt AD or AP or whatever you want to call him. But it’s hard to believe that Detroit running back Adrian Peterson will keep this up. First off, his 22 rushes on Sunday were 81.4% of the Lions’ total attempts. His 3.4 yards per carry was OK but not great. With Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift at the ready, you would think the carries and production would level off for the 35-year-old. Besides, he was a preseason cut by the Washington Football Team.
- Wild ride: It’s been … thrilling … but after losing to the Chicago Bears at home but winning in Arizona, the Lions are about where they should be after three weeks. The updated Lions win total over/under is set at 6.5 at FanDuel, down from 7 in the preseason. BetMGM, DraftKings and William Hill all had 6.5 before the season. The Lions are at +1,300 to win the NFC North, longer odds than the 0-3 Minnesota Vikings, who are at +1,000 despite being three games behind two teams.