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2011 Detroit Lions Predictions & Odds To Win The Super Bowl

2011 Detroit Lions Predictions
Odds to win the Super Bowl: 30-1
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Lions Looking to Take Next Step, But Pressure’s On Former No. 1 Pick Stafford

Believe it or not NFL gridiron gamblers, I believe it’s a great time to be a Detroit Lions (6-10 SU, 12-4 ATS, 10-5-1 O/U) football fan!

That’s right, pro football bettors – the rebuilding Lions are starting to look like they could become a formidable opponent at some point in the very near future.

However, the young team does have one glaring question mark that could keep them from reaching their full potential – the health and growth of former No. 1 overall draft pick, quarterback Matt Stafford.

To be blunt about it, if Stafford can’t stay on the field – or play at a high level when he does – the Lions will likely be looking at another disappointing campaign in 2011 and one that possibly leaves them looking to change their future quarterback situation.

The good news for NFL gamblers is the fact that Detroit recorded the best ATS record in the league last season and could once again cash in at a high rate this coming season.

This NFL betting breakdown and mini-preview on the Lions’ upcoming 2011 season will inform and entertain NFL pigskin betting buffs everywhere.

Detroit closed out the 2010 regular season with four straight SU wins and a bankroll-boosting five consecutive ATS paydays to finish with a league-high 12 ATS wins a year ago and I believe their underrated passing attack (12th) and plethora of athletically-gifted skill position players could help them challenge for the best ATS record in the league in consecutive seasons.

Detroit finished 17th in total offense a year ago and a surprising 15th in scoring (22.6 ppg) but ranked a disappointing 23rd in rushing, despite getting a pretty impressive rookie campaign out of running back Jahvid Best last season.

The Lions drafted a speedy wideout and former Boise State star Titus Young in the second round in and also have one of the game’s best wide receivers in sure-handed veteran Calvin Johnson (77 rec, 1,120 yds). Yet, Detroit will only go as far as the strong-armed Stafford takes them.

The No.1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft is undoubtedly athletically gifted. Unfortunately for the Lions and their effort to transform into a winning organization, Stafford has failed to stay healthy for an entire campaign after playing in 10 games as a wide-eyed rookie – and just three games last season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

If Stafford can stay healthy (and that’s a big if) and improve on some of the holes in his game (he’s played in just 13 NFL games people), Detroit could avoid their first losing season since going 9-7 way back in 2000. If not, the Lions are likely looking at their 11th straight losing season.

Defensively, the Lions are going to be a monster up front with 2010 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Ndamukong Suh and the talented Corey Williams getting even more defensive line help in the form of first round draft pick Nick Fairley.

Unfortunately, the team’s linebacking unit can best be described as ‘mediocre’. Both outside linebacker positions are up for grabs with middle linebacker DeAndre Levy being the only ‘sure’ starter at this point.

Detroit Lions fans and their betting backers also need to keep an eye even more problematic area of concern for the defense and that would be their lackluster defensive secondary.

The Lions finished 16th in passing yards allowed last season which sounds pretty good, but that figure may have been a bit off because of other teams’ ability to effectively run the ball against Detroit’s 24th-ranked run defense.

Cornerbacks, Alphonso Smith and Aaron Berry, still have a lot of on-the-job-training to undergo and 2010 starter Chris Houston, likely the team’s best defensive back, has yet to sign a new deal with Detroit. Whether the Lions bring in some veteran help or not, this unit needs to get better if the team wants to improve on their mediocre six wins from a year ago.

Now, as far as NFL gridiron gamblers are concerned, I believe the Lions will once again be one of the best ATS teams in the league next season, mostly because of their ability to consistently put points on the board.

The Lions posted a near-perfect 7-1 ATS mark at home last season, while also recording an impressive 5-3 ATS mark on the road. Detroit’s inability to stop their opponents from scoring regularly caused the team to be a consistent Over selection, as their 10-5 O/U mark indicates.

After looking at Detroit’s 2011 schedule, I think it’s quite possible the Lions are looking at another six wins in 2011 or possibly seven wins at best in 2011.

What NFL betting enthusiasts really need to know is whether or not the Lions can duplicate their ATS success from a year ago.

While a lot of Detroit’s success will depend on whether or not Matt Stafford can stay healthy, I believe the rebuilding Lions are looking at another nine or 10 ATS wins in 2011 at the very least.

With their explosive offense and generous defense – I am also going to urge NFL betting enthusiasts to play the Lions to top their set O/U Total often this season. I’m going with 9-11 Over outcomes for Detroit in 2011.

So, there you have it NFL betting buffs, the Detroit Lions look like they’re going to record seven SU and a minimum of nine ATS wins in 2011 not including at least one ‘upset special’. -By Eric Williams

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