Lions Still Unsure About Stafford; Titans are Big Favorites

Lions Still Unsure About Stafford; Titans are Big Favorites
By Bryce Derouin

With quarterback Matthew Stafford’s status still in question, the Detroit Lions are set to face their biggest sports betting spread this season.

The Lions are currently 11-point underdogs for Sunday’s matchup with the Tennessee Titans, marking the first time Detroit has been a double-digit underdog this season. The Lions opened as 8.5-point underdogs against Tennessee, but that number has risen throughout the week.

Since the start of the 2010 season, Detroit has been a double-digit underdog nine times. The Lions are 1-9 straight up in those games, with the lone win coming on Nov. 15, 2015, when Detroit recorded an 18-16 win over the Green Bay Packers as 10.5-point underdogs. Detroit covered four of those nine games when up against a double-digit spread.

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After suffering a rib cartilage injury in last week’s loss to the Packers, Stafford has yet to practice this week and did not take part in team activities on Friday. He will travel with the team, but he has not officially been ruled out.

If Stafford isn’t able to play, Chase Daniel would get the start at quarterback for Detroit.

Daniel has been decent

Daniel has made two appearances for the Lions this season. And to his credit, the offense didn’t go completely off the rails when he was under center.

In the 34-20 Week 9 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Daniel completed 8 of 13 passes for 94 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

During the 31-24 loss to the Packers, Daniel kept the Lions in it by orchestrating a short drive down to the Green Bay 4 that resulted in a field goal to cut the team’s deficit to seven. Daniel had a 4-yard rushing touchdown called back on a holding penalty before an incompletion forced the Lions to settle for the field goal.

Daniel has made just five starts in his 11-year career. His previous start came for the Chicago Bears against the Oakland Raiders. Chicago lost, 24-21, but Daniel was good enough to give his team a chance to win. He converted on 22 of 30 pass attempts for 231 yards and two touchdowns, but did throw two interceptions.

Tennessee has the advantage on the ground

Regardless of who starts at quarterback for the Lions, Detroit will have a trying time containing Tennessee’s rushing attack.

Tennessee running back Derrick Henry leads the NFL with 1,532 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. In five of his last six games, he’s gone over the 100-yard mark and is coming off a season-high 215 yards rushing against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Henry averaged 8.3 yards per carry versus the Jaguars and added two scores. When he runs for more than 100 yards, the Titans are 6-2 this season.

Detroit’s run defense is on the other end of the spectrum. The Lions sport the fourth-worst run defense, allowing 132.8 yards per game. In games where the defense has allowed more than 100 rushing yards to its opponent, the Lions are just 2-7.

Tennessee’s history as a big favorite

Just four times in the last decade have the Titans been favored by 10 points or more.

Tennessee has only managed to cover in one of those games, with its lone win against the spread coming nearly a year ago. The Titans covered -10 with a 35-14 win over the Houston Texans on Dec. 29, 2019.



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