Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons Predictions, Odds, Picks

Dec. 26, 2021
Joe Hedrick
VI Betting Expert

The Detroit Lions (2-11-1) will be on the road this week to take on the Atlanta Falcons (6-8). Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia and can be viewed on FOX.

Score Prediction

Falcons 24, Lions 20

Best Bets

Lions +7 (-115) at DraftKings

Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons Predictions

While Detroit has been eliminated from the playoffs, head coach Dan Campbell still has his team leaving it all out on the field every week. The Detroit Lions are coming off a 30-12 victory of over the Arizona Cardinals, in what may have been the biggest upset of the season. The Lions may be without starting QBJared Goff who tested positive for COVID after Sunday’s game. Goff will need one negative PCR test in order to return.

The Atlanta Falcons have diminished their chances of making the playoffs after losing to the 49ers, 31-13 this past Sunday. If you are a stats nerd like myself, the Falcons have just a 12% chance to make the playoffs. Atlanta has been horrible on at home this season with a 1-5 record, the only win coming against the Jets in week five.

With how poorly Atlanta has been at home this year and the reality of more than likely not making the playoffs setting in, I think Detroit keeps this one close enough to at least cover. If Goff gets the go- ahead to play, I could see the Lions potentially pulling off a victory. Nonetheless, with his status being unknown now is not the time to get greedy, stick with the Lions and the points in this one.

Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Odds

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Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Resources

  • Matchup: NFC North vs. NFC South
  • Date: Sunday, December 26, 2021
  • Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia
  • TV-Time: FOX - 1:00 p.m. ET

Detroit Lions Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 2-11-1
  • ATS: 9-5
  • O/U: 5-9
  • ATS - Away: 4-3

Despite a 2-11-1 record the Lions have rewarded bettors with a 9-5 ATS record. Detroit is 4-3 ATS when playing on the road but 4-1 ATS in their last five road games. The total has gone under for the Lions is five of their last six road games, but has managed to go over in seven of the past 10 road games played against Atlanta.

With just two wins on the season, it is no surprise that Detroit offense ranks near the bottom of the NFL. Entering week 16 the Lions are averaging 313.2 total YPG (25th), 201.6 passing YPG (25th), 111.6 rushing YPG (17th), and 17.4 PPG (28th). If QB Jared Goff is not ready to go it will be Tim Boyle or David Blough that gets the start. Blough has not played yet this season and Boyle was 15/23, 77 yards passing, and two interceptions in his only start on the season against the Browns. Regardless of starts on Sunday, the Lions should rely on the run game.

No surprise, but the Lions also rank near the bottom of the NFL when it comes to defense. Coming into this matchup they are allowing teams 380.5 total YPG (29th), 247.5 passing YPG (25th), 133 rushing YPG (25th), and 26.1 PPG (26th). It’s important to note that Detroit has played 12 games this season against opponents with current records of .500 and above. In fact, the Bears are the only team with a below .500 record that they have faced the entire season.

Atlanta Falcons Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-8
  • ATS: 6-8
  • O/U: 6-8
  • ATS - Home: 1-5

The Falcons enter this matchup with a 6-8 ATS record on the year. Atlanta has been terrible when playing at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this year with 1-5 SU and ATS record. However, Atlanta has managed to cover in five of the last six games against Detroit. The total has gone under in four of the last six games for the Falcons leaving them with a 6-8 O/U record on the year.

Atlanta ranks among the Lions in terms of statistics. On the season they are averaging 313.4 total YPG (24th), 224.4 passing YPG (18th), 89 rushing YPG (27th), and 18.4 PPG (26th). The Falcons currently have no members of the team on the COVID list, but will still be without WR Calvin Ridley who has not played since October due to a personal matter. Expect Atlanta to rely heavily on the pass game this week against a Lions team that ranks 25th in passing yards allowed.

The Falcons defense also ranks near the bottom of the league. Coming into this game they are allowing 366.9 total YPG (26th), 246.6 passing YPG (24th), 120.3 rushing YPG (22nd), and 27.4 PPG (31st). Atlanta will need to clean up their run defense after allowing 162 rushing yards last week to San Francisco.

Lions have covered the spread in five of their last six games. (AP)

Inside the Stats - Detroit Lions

  • Record: 2-11-1
  • Division Standing: 4th - NFC North
  • Points Scored: 243
  • Points Allowed: 366
  • PS/G: 17.4 (28th)
  • PA/G: 26.1 (26th)

Inside the Stats - Atlanta Falcons

  • Record: 6-8
  • Division Standing: 3rd - NFC South
  • Points Scored: 258
  • Points Allowed: 384
  • PS/G: 18.4 (26th)
  • PA/G: 27.4 (31st)

Key Players to Watch

  • DET: Jared Goff - QB (311/464, 3,007 yards, 17 TD, 8 INT)
  • DET: Amon-Ra St. Brown - WR (65 catches, 601 yards, 2 TD)
  • ATL: Matt Ryan - QB (324/480, 3,340 yards, 18 TD, 11 INT)
  • ATL: Russell Gage - WR (50 catches, 555 yards, 3 TD)

Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Conclusion

Although Atlanta’s playoff chances have greatly decreased, they still have a chance. While they will need a few teams to lose they first and foremost need to worry about winning the rest of their games, starting with the Lions. I do think they get the W on Sunday, but do not have confidence in them giving up 6 points.

The Lions are a reflection of head coach Dan Campbell, determined and gritty. Sure, they have lost too many football games, but for a 2-11-1 team they may have more confidence than any other below .500 team at the moment. I like the momentum created in last week's victory to carry over into this week. While I’m not sure they will win, especially with Goff’s status up in the air, I do think they keep this one close. Taking the Lions and the points.

Detroit Lions vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Trends

  • Lions have covered the spread in five of their last six games.
  • Falcons have gone UNDER the point total in five of their last six games.
  • Falcons have lost 10 straight home games when facing the NFC.

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