For better or worse, the Detroit Lions will look like a different football team on offense this week as they clash against the playoff prospects. Cleveland browns.
Backup quarterback Tim Boyle was activated this week from the injured reserve, and with Detroit starting quarterback Jared Goff officially listed as questionable after suffering an oblique injury last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Boyle looks like he is having his first career start on Sunday afternoon.
There are tons of questions Lions fans can’t wait to get answered with Boyle at the helm, but let’s face it, there’s a question on everyone’s mind: How the hell do I bet on this game?
Anyone who says they have a definitive answer to this conundrum is, to put it bluntly, plenty, but let’s use the little information we have to make the most educated guesses.
When Dan Campbell took over the play call duty from offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn last week against the Steelers, it was, as you might expect, a very heavy attack from the offense. Lions. Detroit ran for a high 229 rushing yards on 39 attempts, including 33 thanks to D’Andre Swift in a career best performance. But there’s a lot of context to consider as you chew through these numbers. For starters, the weather conditions weren’t ideal to pass to begin with, Goff’s aforementioned injury further limited his throwing ability, and the Lions were in this game from start to finish miserable. it’s this last element that catches my attention the most when I think about what this Lions attack will look like with a different quarterback and against a different football team.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the line for this game changed from Detroit +9 to Detroit +12 after some news broke. The Browns get Nick Chubb back for the first time in a matter of weeks, which gives their offense and, of course, the news of Detroit’s quarterback shift a huge boost.
On the one hand, I don’t see how Detroit is keeping this close game the same as last week’s game against the Steelers, so I see the Lions forced to throw the ball more than a week ago, even with Boyle under the center. So here’s a bet from the same game that I think is worth throwing some of your hard-earned money away to see it multiply:
Tim Boyle on 174.5 passing yards
Detroit Lions +21.5
Teasing the gap to three touchdowns and a hook seems like a sure differential for a Browns team that has only exceeded that margin of victory once this season – two weeks ago in a bizarre 41-16 win. from Cincinnati Bengals. Detroit had a few stinks before his week off, but one thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet is the health of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who comes into this game with a long list of injuries.
As for Boyle’s passing yards, you’re looking to get close to him at about 44 yards per quarter to hit that, which seems like it can happen in a number of ways, most likely being a barrage of late shots. party to try to bring the Lions back in a game in which they will likely be left behind. Cleveland’s much-vaunted pass rush with Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney certainly poses a threat, but the Browns’ pass defense has not been good on the backend – ranking 26th in DVOA pass defense according to Football Outsiders – and with Detroit starting tackles for the second week in a row, Boyle may have more time to test this Browns secondary.
Is this bet food for fools? A guaranteed lock? Got a better bet? Sound off in the comments and let’s make some money!