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NFL Preview Saints at Lions

December 20, 2008

NFL Football Betting - New Orleans Saints at Detroit Lions (Sunday 1:00 PM ET)

By Matt Fargo

Calvin Johnson of the Detroit LionsDetroit has obviously yet to win this season, but prior to that game against Tennessee, they were 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. They just fell short against the Vikings two weeks ago and played the Colts tough again last Sunday.

New Orleans lost a heartbreaker in Chicago last Thursday and with the other weekend happenings, the Saints were officially eliminated from the playoffs.

The final weeks of the NFL season are about motivation and what motivation can the Saints possibly have right now?

Sure quarterback Drew Brees will be looking to break some records, but the defense remains one of the worst in the league. The Saints are 20th in total defense and 25th in scoring defense.

While there is no motivation on the New Orleans sidelines, there is still plenty of it. The Lions were knocked out of the playoff picture in October but they are still playing for something that is pretty big and that is respect.

Not one player on that roster wants to be known for playing on the only NFL team in history that went 0-16.

We saw it last season with the Dolphins, who were 0-13 and catching points at home and came away with a win. How else can you explain why the Lions have been so competitive of late?

This is a great opportunity for Detroit to get the offense moving and secure that win since it closes the season at Green Bay next week where it has lost 10 straight times.

This is likely it. Play on underdogs after seven or more consecutive losses in the second half of the season.

This situation is 65-30 ATS (68.4 percent) since 1983.

It is 6-4 ATS this season with four of those ATS wins being from the Lions. With New Orleans packing it in for the year, the outright win could finally come in Week 16.

Pick: Detroit Lions +7 (-104) available at

Check out the NFL football betting forum to post your picks or view predictions for Week 16.

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