Not only are the Detroit Lions playing like one of the best teams in the league, but they remain covering machines. With Dan Campbell’s squad on the road for the second straight week, I’ll break down whether or not their four-game ATS covering streak is likely to continue or if the Ravens can return home from England and take care of business as home favorites.
Baltimore has traveled a lot over the past few weeks, playing in two straight divisional road games and then packing up and playing this past weekend in England. With a 2-1 record in that stretch, the Ravens return home fresh off a 24-16 win over the Titans, in which they were able to put up a positive EPA for all three facets of the game.
In their losing effort to the Steelers the week prior, Baltimore had a (-17.69) EPA for pass plays, but this week, they were able to respond by posting a (5.88) EPA. For the most part, though, the Ravens remain a run-heavy offense with an average of 33.8 rushing attempts per game, which is the most in the league.
On 39 rushing attempts last weekend, Baltimore finished with 139 yards on a strong Titans run defense. They’ll be playing an even better run defense this weekend, with the Lions holding opponents to a league-best 64.7 rushing yards per game. By holding teams to just 3.3 yards per carry, Detroit’s defense has allowed the third-lowest explosive run rate, per FantasyPros.
Not only is this the best run defense the Ravens will have faced this season, but Detroit is also the best offense they will have faced. Coming off their 20-6 win over the Buccaneers last weekend, the Lions are now averaging 28 points and 383.7 yards per play, which both rank within the top five of their respective categories.
Jared Goff has the third-best passer rating in the NFL amongst active quarterbacks and has his offense picking up to big play after big play with an average of 7.7 yards per pass. While Goff will be missing David Montgomery in the backfield due to injury, Jahmyr Gibbs is expected to return to the lineup this weekend.
Detroit and their 5-1 ATS record this season are listed as (+3) point road underdogs, and I’ll be backing them for my play. There’s no denying the Ravens' defense has talent, but so far this season, they’ve faced two backup quarterbacks, an injured Joe Burrow, CJ Stroud in his first NFL game, and a struggling Ryan Tannehill. None of those games could’ve prepared them to play a Lions offense with the most 20+ yard passing plays in the league with 29.
Getting Jahmyr Gibbs back this week opens up even more possibilities for the Detriot offense, as the Ravens defense has allowed the 8th most receiving yards to running backs this season. Having another weapon out of the backfield and an offensive line that ranks number one in the league this week on PFF should help Goff navigate the Ravens' man coverage-heavy defense.
The fact that stopping the run is the Lions' defensive strength makes this an even better matchup for them. Ranking 7th in rush EPA, Detroit should be able to slow the Ravens' run game, and with how inconsistent their passing game can be, I like the Lions to keep it close or even win this game.
Detroit Lions (+3) (-115)