Coaching, specifically Bill Belichick, is the main factor for my handicap of the Detroit Lions (1-3) visit to Gillette Stadium Sunday to play the New England Patriots (1-3) in Week 5.
Everyone saw what "The Hoodie" did to Lions QB Jared Goff to win his sixth Super Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams in 2018. New England's 13-3 win vs. L.A. was Belichick's defensive Mona Lisa. It was the fewest points the Patriots allowed in a Super Bowl victory.
Goff's two other regular-season meetings with the Patriots didn't go much better. He's completing just 52.6% of his passes in two games vs. New England with 2 TDs, 3 INTs and a 57.5 QB Rating.
Furthermore, Detroit's offense is ravaged by injuries. The Lions were missing four offensive starters including WRs Amon-Ra St. Brown and D.J. Chark and RB D'Andre Swift last week.
St. Brown's and Swift's game statuses for Week 5 are questionable. But, at best, Goff has banged-up weapons. At worst, Goff will be missing his two most talented teammates on offense.
Also, regardless of who's under center, the Patriots will have success vs. this terrible Lions' defense. The Patriots have an underrated backfield featuring RBs Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris.
New England's offense ranks third in rushing expected points added per play (EPA/play) and first in rushing success rate.
Detroit's defense is last in rushing EPA/play and 28th in rushing success rate. The Lions are dead-last in both defensive third-down conversion rate and red zone conversion rate.
Lastly, the public is betting Detroit while the sharps are backing New England. According to VSIN, roughly 80% of the cash at DraftKings Sportsbook is on the Patriots while nearly two-thirds of the action is on the Lions.
Let's follow the money and BET the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -3 (-105) at DraftKings Sportsbook.