Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions kicks off Saturday (12/16/23) at 8:15 p.m. EST in Detroit as a home game for the Lions. Get Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions predictions and best bets below. Our best bet is on the Lions -4 as they look to get back on track with a win.
Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions Prediction & Best Bet
It was the worst-case scenario for Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions offense in their last game as they hit the road and played the Bears in very windy conditions. Goff’s weakly thrown balls were on full display as the weather negated his throwing ability while the Bears front seven shut down the ground game for the most part. Luckily for Detroit, Goff and Co. now find themselves indoors for the rest of the season as they look to clinch the division.
That all starts with a prime-time home game against the Denver Broncos, another unit that has come back down to reality after a fluky winning streak. They did bounce back against the Chargers, yet that is hardly anything to hang their hat on as Justin Herbert got hurt and the defense is practically lifeless. Russell Wilson will find himself under a lot more pressure against the Lions as they rank top-10 in Pressure Rate, a worrisome sign for the Broncos as he has mightily struggled against the blitz.
It’s worth noting that the Lions persistence to send pressure is also a double-edged sword as they leave their already thin secondary out to dry. Coverage has been a massive issue for Detroit the past five weeks, dropping down to near dead last in Def Pass Success Rate and EPA. On the bright side for the Lions defense, the Broncos will be in unfavorable distances on later downs as the ground game should be held in check early on. The Lions front seven still boasts impressive marks with their rush defense, ranking top-10 in Def Rush DVOA and EPA.
On the other side of the ball, it’s a massive bounce back spot as Jared Goff gets to be in the comfort of a dome where he gets to throw at a far more efficient and aggressive rate. Success should come early and often as the Broncos defense rank near dead last in Success Rate and EPA on early downs, putting the Lions in a favorable position to routinely move the sticks into scoring position. Factor in the Broncos tendency to blitz at a high rate with minimal pressure and Goff should find himself with plenty of open field to work with while he hits his receivers in stride.
Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions Prediction & Best Bet: Lions -4
Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions Betting Odds
After a deflating loss to the Bears, oddsmakers peg this as a Lions bounce back spot by opening Detroit as a -2 favorite. Bettors were quick to back the Lions, taking them up to as high as -5.5 in some shops. That number has since come back down, sitting at the universal number of -4 as of writing with a few ticking back up to -4.5.
As for the total, oddsmakers believed points would be scored at a moderate pace as they opened the number at 47.5. Bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either side of the number, keeping the total the same since the opener. The over may be worth a look if the Broncos show success early on, turning this into a potential shootout.
Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions Key Injuries
While the Broncos are fairly healthy, the Lions face injury concerns on their offensive line as both Frank Ragnow and Taylor Decker are listed as questionable on their injury report.
Denver Broncos vs. Detroit Lions Key Matchups
Can the Lions running back duo hit the ground running against the Broncos front seven?
Lions Ground Game vs. Broncos Front Seven
It was a relatively quiet game for the Lions rushing duo in their last game as they both finished with a modest 60 plus yards against the Bears front seven. Certainly respectable marks, yet neither game changing performances when they needed them most as Goff struggled.
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Both David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs now find themselves in a very favorable matchup against a far weaker front seven. Defending the run has been a struggle all year long for the Broncos, ranking well below average in Def Rush DVOA, EPA, Success Rate, and Adjusted Line Yards. Against a thinned out second level, expect sizable gains at a time whenever they call the run.