Sunday, October 25, 2020
Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick
Pick: Point Spread: 1.5/-110 Detroit Lions Rating: 9* Mike's NFL Wreck-A-Mend Strongest Play On The Board (WIN)
Even though newly-promoted from DC to now HC Raheem Morris got a shot in the arm last week when his Falcons put up 40 points in a lopsided win over Minnesota, they've gone 1-5 SU facing the 19th easiest schedule in the NFL. Yes, QB Matt Ryan has 1,843 passing yards, RB Todd Gurley (422 rushing yards) & WR Julio Jones 350 receiving yards. However, the major problem is their train-wreck DEFENSE that's ranked 31st overall (only better than Seattle) whose giving up close to 31 PPG! They now face a legitimate 2-3 SU Detroit team (faced the 10th toughest schedule as teams they've faced have a 16-6 SU record) that's been in every game except a game @ Green Bay (42-21) where they blew a 14-3 lead. They just had their bye 2 weeks ago & came back with a convincing 34-16 road win over the Jaguars. What I like about this game is Lions' QB Matthew Stafford gets to exploit a young Falcons' secondary. Remember, Atlanta comes in with an 0-3 SU record @ home where they've averaged a mere 22 PPG. My bottom line says we'll gladly side with a team with rising playmakers like RB D'Andre Swift (6 YPR), WR Kenny Golladay (16 YPC) & Danny Amendola (17 YPC). Their 2nd-year run-scheming OC Darrell Bevell is in sync with Stafford (went 3-4-1 SU before getting hurt last year) & an offense averaging close to 27 PPG. They have the credentials showing up on the road against a winning team like Arizona (won outright 26-23). DC Cory Undlin will use a 3-4 scheme to put added pressure on Ryan. There's also a situational edge to Detroit since the Dirty Birds have a meaningful rematch on the road with divisional rival Carolina Thursday night. The X-Factor has to be D'Andre Swift whose 116 rushing yards & 2 TD's was the 1st Lions' rookie to do both since Barry Sanders did it in 1989 during the Wayne Fontes era. Crunching the numbers reveal the Falcons (as first half of the season favorites the past 6 years) have gone a no-show 4-20 ATS (0-5 SU & ATS the last 5). Adding to our cause is HC Raheem Morris being a ticket-ripping 2-10-1 versus the number in games out of his division. The dagger for us has to be Atlanta going a miserable 17-32-1 ATS when home & coming off a SU & ATS double-digit win. Besides on the ML for a sprinkle, let's go to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Georgia to play the DETROIT LIONS (buying to + 4 1/2) as my 9* NFL Wreck-A-Mend Strongest Play On The Board!
I pointed out that this is one of the those rare weeks where the lines looked very sharp with many cappers winding up in the middle of the road. But I saw an opening & went for it with a rare strongest play release only. The Lions-Falcons game was statistically even except for 1 small turnover by the Dirty Birds. It looked like Atlanta was going to run the clock down to win the game by a FG. However, RB Todd Gurley's momentum took him into the end zone before he realized the Detroit "D" were letting him score to get a chance @ winning the game with a minute four to play. I'm glad we had a capable QB like Matt Stafford (340 yards passing, no INT's) running the show for that last eight-play, 75-yard drive culminating with a 11-yard TD pass to 2-year TE out of Iowa - T.J. Hockenson as time expired for a 23-22 outright win. It was nice to see a kicker like Matt Prater make the majority of long-range FG's (3 of 4) from 50,51 & 49 yards. However, none was bigger than that 33-yard extra-point to seal the win @ triple-zero. I'll be back next week with a possible 10-star play so check the teaser out @ VegasTopDogs dot com. Thanks to all loyal subscribers & those faithful who cashed in on my new analytics. See you this weekend!
Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 7 Record: 1-0 100%
Mike Handzelek's 2020-21 NFL Overall Seasonal Record: 15-5 75%
Mike Handzelek's 2020-21 NFL & CFB Overall Combined Record: 25-11 69%