Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions NFL First Touchdown: Expert Picks & Predictions (12/16/23)

Get Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions First Touchdown picks & odds for the (12/16/23) matchup.

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Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions First Touchdown Picks

The goal of the First Touchdown prop is to identify which player will score the first touchdown of the game. Who will score the first touchdown in the Broncos vs. Lions matchup?

Jahmyr Gibbs First Touchdown (+600 FD)

It was the worst-case scenario for the Lions offense in their last game out as they had multiple negative factors going against them. One of them being out of their control as the game was on the road in Chicago, a contest that featured heavy winds. Those winds stripped away the Lions pass attack as Goff throws a relatively weak ball, negating their downfield pass attack.

That gave the Bears the ability to sell out in order to limit the Lions rush attack, holding their offense in check for the majority of the contest. The Bears were also an already impressive run stopping unit, ranking 10th in Def Rush DVOA, third in Def Rush Success Rate, and seventh in Def Rush EPA.

The Lions now get to go back to the comfort of their own home, getting Jared Goff’s throwing ability back as well. While that sounds counterintuitive to taking Gibbs as the first touchdown scorer, the Lions pass attack actually breathes life into their rush attack as Goff stretches out the second level of the defense.

It’s also not as if the ground game is already an impressive unit in their own right as the Lions rank fourth in Rush DVOA, eighth in Rush Success Rate, fifth in Rush EPA, and second in Adjusted Line Yards. That is a massive difference against a Broncos front seven who clocks in at 31st in Def Rush DVOA, 27th in Def Rush Success Rate, 24th in Def Rush EPA, and 31st in Def Adjusted Line Yards.

Courtland Sutton First Touchdown (+950 FD)

Courtland Sutton is addicted to scoring touchdowns and has nearly half of the teams’ total touchdowns for the season at the receiver position. He is Russell Wilson’s clear number one option in the red zone, being able to both create separation and go up and get it with his huge frame.

He should find himself in a very favorable position to score once again against one of the worst secondaries in football. After a hot start to the season that was masked by their front four’s dominance on the line, the Lions coverage metrics have drastically fallen off a cliff. They now rank 29th in Def Pass Success Rate, 26th in Def Pass EPA, and 19th in Def Pass DVOA.

Aaron Glenn’s system has proven to be ineffective against capable passers, creating a wide gap for opposing pass catchers to exploit when the safeties drop back and the linebackers anchor in coverage. Factor in the injury to Alim McNeill and the Lions ability to generate pressure should take a back seat as well. With minimal pressure, expect Wilson to find his favorite target as they move the ball down the field.

Sam LaPorta First Touchdown (+1100 FD)

Speaking of favorite targets, stud tight end Sam LaPorta has become a force to be reckoned with in the pass catching department. He has quickly blossomed as a reliable target for Jared Goff to throw to, serving as a versatile tight end who can run routes out wide, block and release into the flats, and run down the field in deep routes.

His versatility will be on full display once again now that they are back home and in a dome as Goff reverts back to a capable passer. LaPorta has played a big role in the Lions above average passing metrics, clocking in at eighth in Pass Success Rate, 13th in Pass DVOA, and 15th in Pass EPA.

While the Broncos metrics may be skewed after a historically bad start to the season, they still rank league average at best and are starting to dip towards the wrong direction. As of writing the Broncos secondary ranks 20th in Def Pass DVOA, 21st in Def Pass Success Rate, 20th in Def Pass EPA, and 26th in Def Adjusted Sack Rate.

Expecting star corner Patrick Surtain to be shadowing Amon-Ra St Brown, that gives a boost to the quality of looks LaPorta might receive as their next best option. Factor in the Broncos tendency to blitz at a high rate while generating little to no pressure and LaPorta should find himself with plenty of room to work with as he hits the open field.

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Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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