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NFL Betting Preview Lions at Colts

December 14, 2008

NFL Football Betting Preview - Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

Detroit has obviously yet to win this season but prior to that game against Tennessee, it was playing pretty well at least as far as a winless team can play.

It started against Minnesota in a two-point loss and ended with a blown 17-0 lead against Tampa Bay.

In between those games were losses by seven, eight, four and nine points and it was feasible any one of those games could have been won. Last week the Lions once again played tough only to fall short against the Vikings again.

The Colts are playing their best football of the season as they have won six straight games but they have been far from dominating.

The victory last week over the Bengals was the first in this string that came by more than six points and while the blowout could carry over into this week, it is unlikely.

The Colts close the season with division games against Jacksonville and Tennessee and while winning the division is out of the question, those games are big in order to remain in the playoff picture.

Detroit will be without quarterback Daunte Culpepper and that is actually some good news as he has not looked good at all.

He did have his best game last week but take away the 70-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson and he was once again below average.

Lions offensive coordinator Jim Colletto said he was pleased with the progress of Dan Orlovsky, who has been sidelined the last five weeks with a broken right thumb. The Lions will rely on the running game and the Colts go with a banged up Bob Sanders.

Indianapolis has not been able to run up the score much this season compared to in the past and there are other factors leading to believe it won't happen again here.

One thing to note here is that Lions head coach Rod Marinelli and Colts head coach Tony Dungy coached together in Tampa Bay and remain good friends.

Dungy is certainly not going to be giving anything away but as far as running up the score, that is not going to happen. The backdoor, if needed, will remain wide open.

The losing streak for the Lions puts them into a solid contrarian situation. Play on road underdogs after seven or more consecutive losses in the second half of the season.

This situation is 36-11 ATS (76.6 percent) since 1983 and is a perfect 3-0 this year. Two of those covers are with the Lions who stayed within the number at Carolina and at Chicago.

The Lions are 8-1 ATS as double-digit underdogs over the last three years including a 5-1 ATS mark this season that includes a perfect 4-0 ATS record on the road.

Pick: Detroit Lions +17 (-105) available at

- Matt Fargo

Visit the NFL football betting forum to post your picks or view predictions for Week 15.

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