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There’s an old-school football handicapping angle where you flip the home and away spreads and examine the game through that lens. The market is saying the Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7) are the better team when they visit the Detroit Lions (4-7) in Week 13.
Betting Details (DraftKings)
- Moneyline: Jaguars (-110), LIONS (-110)
- Against the spread (ATS): Jaguars +1 (-115), LIONS -1 (-105)
- Total (O/U) — 51.5 — O: -110, U: -110
Using the angle mentioned above, if this game were played in Jacksonville, the Jaguars would be 5-point favorites even though they have the same record as the Lions.
This is an overreaction to Jacksonville’s miraculous 28-27 win over the Baltimore Ravens as a 3.5-point underdog last week. People have been losing money on the Jaguars all season but, finally, they came through.
Jacksonville’s underlining stats support the Jaguars being priced as a coin-flip in Week 13. And judging by the betting splits at most gambling websites, the Jaguars are the sharp side.
The trends favor the Lions in this spot
Over the past two seasons, the Jaguars are 0-5 straight up (SU) as favorites with a -9.4 margin of victory and a -13.5 ATS margin. Jacksonville is 1-8 ATS in the last nine road games with a -3.2 ATS margin.
On the other hand, this is a very profitable spot for Detroit. Since the beginning of last season, the Lions are 10-4 against the spread (ATS) and 4-1 ATS when playing on a rest advantage with a +7.5 ATS margin.
Those ATS trends speak for themselves but Detroit has covered five of its past six games following an ATS win as well.
My takeaway from this is Lions’ second-year Dan Campbell is able to build on Detroit’s tough performances. He is a former NFL tight end and a Rah Rah head coach.
Campbell can use Detroit’s momentum to his benefit
The Lions are 3-1 straight up (SU) and 4-0 ATS in their last four games. Their last ATS loss was to the Miami Dolphins as 3.5-point underdogs at home, 31-27, in Week 8.
But, Detroit held a 14-point lead in the first half and lost ATS by just a half-point. Since then, the Lions’ offense is eighth in expected points added per play.
On top of that …
The Lions have schematic edges over the Jaguars
Per Pro Football Focus, Detroit’s offensive line has an edge in the trenches for both run-blocking and pass protection. Lions WR Amon St. Brown is the only wideout for either team with a “good” WR/CB matchup.
Furthermore, Jacksonville is tied with the Denver Broncos for the most missed tackles per game in the NFL, and Detroit is tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for third in yards after the catch per completion.
Lions QB Jared Goff has played better than people realize. He is fifth in schedule-based efficiency, according to Football Outsiders, and 11th in QBR.
Finally, this is a quintessential sandwich spot for the Jaguars. They just beat the Ravens coming out of a bye week and Jacksonville visits the AFC South-leading Tennesee Titans next week.
BET: Lions -110 ML at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to -130 before laying up to -2 with Detroit
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