Despite Poor Record, Detroit Lions Are One Of NFL’s Best ATS Teams

There’s an old saying that goes “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Is it possible that the Lions, who are 2-13-1 straight-up this season, are more of a page-turner than their worn cover suggests? With one game left in their season, the Lions have one of the NFL’s best records against the spread (10-6). Only Dallas and Green Bay have better ATS records.

For Michigan sports bettors, the Lions have been a boon for winnings if bet properly. On the flip side, the Jacksonville Jaguars the only team currently with a worse straight-up record (2-14) than the Lions — are also the worst ATS team in the league at 4-12.

On Sunday, the Lions host the rival Green Bay Packers. Well, one can only say the Lions and Packers are rivals in the way that a nut is a rival to a squirrel. Sure, the nut might roll away occasionally, but most of the time it’s just chewed up in the cheeks of the critter.

Also Read: Michigan to allow tax deductions for gambling losses

NFL ATS Records

Here are the top teams in the NFL this season ATS. In this table “margin” refers to the average margin of victory (or defeat if the number is negative), and “ATS +/-” is the average number of points the team covers the spread by.

Dallas Cowboys 12-4 9.2 5.1
Green Bay Packers 12-4 5.4 1.3
Tennessee Titans 10-6 3.9 3.6
Arizona Cardinals 10-6 5.7 2.4
Indianapolis Colts 10-6 6.3 5.3
New England Patriots 10-6 10.5 7.5
Detroit Lions 10-6 -9.3 -0.8
Buffalo Bills 8-6 11.1 3.4
Cincinnati Bengals 9-7 5.6 4.5
Philadelphia Eagles 8-7-1 5.3 +4.3
Miami Dolphins 8-7-1 -2.6 -1.3

Notes on NFL ATS Trends

  • The Lions are the only team in the NFL with a losing record that has a winning mark ATS.
  • Detroit is covering the spread by less than a point on average, which may indicate the oddsmakers have a good read on the team and that the Lions have been lucky to nudge the line enough to cover.
  • Of the top 11 teams in the league ATS, the Lions are the only one not in a playoff position or in contention for the playoffs entering the final week.
  • Last season the Lions were 7-9 ATS, despite going 2-13-1 SU.

Detroit Lions Vs. Green Bay Packers Betting Odds And Preview

BetMGM Packers -2.5 (-115)
Lions +2.5 (-105)
Packers -140
Lions +115
Over 43.5 (-110)
Under 43.5 (-110)
Caesars Packers -2.5 (-110)
Lions +2.5 (-110)
Packers -135
Lions +115
Over 42.5 (-110)
Under 42.5 (-110)
DraftKings Packers -2.5 (-110)
Lions +2.5 (-110)
Packers -135
Lions +115
Over 42.5 (-110)
Under 42.5 (-110)
FanDuel Packers -2.5 (-115)
Lions +2.5 (-105)
Packers -146
Lions +124
Over 43 (-110)
Under 43 (-110)

The Lions are only 2- to 2.5 point underdogs at home because the Packers have nothing to play for. Green Bay has already secured the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in the NFL playoffs. While Aaron Rodgers has indicated that he will play in Sunday’s game in the Motor City, I wouldn’t expect the slick-haired Jeopardy host wannabe to take that many snaps.

The over/under is intriguing as this game means zilch to either team in the standings. You may see defenses on both sides relax to avoid injury and stress, which could lead to more than the 42-43 points oddsmakers are placing in the totals line.

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes has written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.