Why Are The Detroit Lions Within A One-Score Point Spread Of Green Bay?

Posted on September 18, 2020 - Last Updated on September 25, 2020

The Detroit Lions are going to a place where they’ve won just three times in their last 29 tries.

They are also playing a rejuvenated Aaron Rodgers, whose Green Bay Packers racked up an NFL-high 43 points in Week 1 against the usually stout Minnesota defense.

Plus, they are the Detroit Lions.

So why is the line still under one score?

Looking around the league, the lines might be siding a bit with 0-1 teams compared to 1-0 teams. The thinking could be that 0-1 teams have more urgency to come in and put their young season back on track.

For instance, are Miami and the New York Jets really also within a touchdown of Buffalo and San Francisco, respectively?

Here’s the Week 2 Lions betting preview:

Line moving in favor of Packers

The line has moved from 5.5 at opening to as high as 6.5 on Thursday evening at PointsBet Sports Betting.

Part of that is because of the continued absence of wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hamstring) and offensive tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai (foot) at practice.

After missing Sunday’s loss to Chicago last week, both players have missed practice so far all week through Thursday.

FanDuel Sportsbook released information on Friday morning about the matchup. According to the book, betting is overwhelmingly going toward Green Bay, despite no online gambling available in Wisconsin.

Lions no longer Lambeau losers

The Lions lost 24-straight games at Lambeau Field until an 18-16 win in 2015, surviving what would have been a game-winning field goal by Mason Crosby that fell short.

That attempt was set up by an onside kick recovery that went off the hands of the great Calvin Johnson.

To break a long streak, sometimes weird things have to happen.

Are Collins, Swift forever Lionized?

Linebacker Jamie Collins Sr., a key free-agent pickup, and running back D’Andre Swift, the team’s second-round pick, had forgettable debuts last week.

(Although long-suffering Lions fans would say they were just about perfect for this franchise.)

A referee ejected Collins after the former Patriot made contact with him. Swift dropped an easy game-winning touchdown pass in the closing seconds.

Are they forever cursed, or can they bounce back for solid first seasons with their new teams?

Three things to know about Lions at Packers

  • Old man moving chains: Just like last week against Chicago, Lions running back Adrian Peterson will meet a longtime division nemesis in Green Bay. The 35-year-old still had it last week in his Detroit debut. After Week 1, Peterson’s 6.6 yards per carry average was second-best in the league. The five carries of 10-plus yards were the most in the league. The only other time a player 35 or older had five rushes of 10-plus yards in a game was Emmitt Smith with Arizona in 2004.
  • Another over? While Lambeau is known for grind-it-out cold games, it’s supposed to be nice Sunday in Wisconsin. These offenses should pile up points. The over is 20-7 in the last 27 Green Bay games in September. The over/under was 49.5 at most sportsbooks on Thursday night.
  • Expect the unexpected? This series has had some wild games as of late. After the Lions snapped the Lambeau streak in 2015, the Packers netted a Hail Mary win in Detroit that year. The Lions beat Green Bay in 2018 as Crosby missed four field goals an extra point. Then, last season, visiting Detroit lost after two dubious hands to the face calls late on Trey Flowers.
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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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