The Atlanta Falcons visit the Detroit Lions on Sunday (9/24/23). In this article, find a prediction for the matchup and the latest betting odds. In addition, find our best bet for the Falcons Vs. Lions game which is Falcons +3.5.
Atlanta Falcons Vs. Detroit Lions Prediction & Best Bet
The Falcons are 2-0 for the first time since 2017, and the vibes are high in Atlanta heading into this game. Detroit’s not feeling as great after an overtime home loss to the Seahawks last week. The Lions are also dealing with significant injuries, including star wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, who is questionable for this game with turf toe.
Even if the Lions were fully healthy, this would be a difficult game for them. The Falcons have perhaps the best rushing offense in the NFL right now with rookie Bijan Robinson leading the way. Robinson joins Christian McCaffrey as the only two running backs with 250+ all purpose yards through two games this season.
Detroit’s run defense has been a problem spot – it’s why they spent a first-round pick on linebacker Jack Campbell. However, the Lions rank 31st in run stop win rate through two games, a familiar spot after they ranked 26th last year per ESPN. Robinson and running mate Tyler Allgeier are going to shred this hapless Detroit run defense.
Atlanta’s run game will help keep the ball away from the Lions’ high-flying offense. Jared Goff ranks third in the NFL in passer rating so far, but his stats would take a hit if wide receivers St. Brown and Josh Reynolds are unable to play in this game. Still, Atlanta’s defense is much improved this year and ranks 9th in dropback success rate allowed.
I adore this Atlanta Falcons team. They were my sleeper team over the offseason, and I’ve backed them with success in both weeks so far. I’ll go back to the well here and ride with the much healthier Atlanta team that has a massive edge with its rushing offense against Detroit’s run defense.
Atlanta Falcons Vs. Detroit Lions Prediction & Best Bet: Falcons +3.5 and ML
Atlanta Falcons Vs. Detroit Lions Betting Odds
Sep. 24, 12:00 PM Spread Moneyline Total 100% of staff picked ATL to cover the spread Odds updated September 24th, 2023, at 2:51 pm
ATL @ DET
Sep. 24, 12:00 PM
100% of staff picked ATL to cover the spread
Odds updated September 24th, 2023, at 2:51 pm
The Lions opened as 5-point favorites in this game, but it was bet down to 3.5, where it currently sits as I’m writing this. Depending on some of the injury statuses of Lions’ players, we could see this spread shorten further. The total is 46.5 points, and it will likely shift as a result of some of the injury news, as well.
Atlanta Falcons Vs. Detroit Lions Key Injuries
The injury bug has bit the Lions hard as several players have landed on the injury report. Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown’s status is likely the biggest one to watch as his absence would be massive for Detroit’s offense. Starting offensive linemen Taylor Decker and Halapoulivaati Vaitai are questionable, as is safety Kerby Joseph, which is especially important with Chauncey Gardner-Johnson on the IR.
Atlanta has been more fortunate to start this season, but linebacker Troy Andersen’s status is worth monitoring.
Atlanta Falcons Vs. Detroit Lions Key Matchups
The Falcons and Lions have very different offensive styles, but they’re both highly successful. Let’s take a look at the key matchups that will determine which offense can produce more on Sunday.
Atlanta’s Run Game Vs. Detroit’s Run Defense
The Falcons’ rushing attack is incredibly overpowered. Atlanta already had the third-best rushing offense by DVOA last year with an elite offensive line and talented backfield. Then, they drafted Bijan Robinson, one of the most “can’t miss” running back prospects in recent memory.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t shout out Tyler Allgeier here, as well. Allgeier ranked sixth in PFF rushing grades last year while forcing 51 missed tackles, the tenth-most in the NFL, on his way to a 1,000-yard rookie season. There was no reason for him to be replaced, but now he’s the best backup running back in the NFL.
The Lions are outclassed here. Detroit ranked bottom six in rushing EPA and success rate allowed last year, and that’s continued into this season The Lions rank second-worst in run stop win rate per ESPN and are dead last in tackling according to PFF. Injuries to multiple contributing defensive linemen doesn’t help. Detroit is in trouble.
Jared Goff’s Downfield Passing Vs. Atlanta’s Secondary
Jared Goff is often seen as purely a dink and dunk quarterback, but he’s been excellent passing downfield this year. Goff ranks top 3 in PFF grades on deep (20+ yards) and intermediate (10-19 yards) throws. He also leads the NFL with a 146.3 passer rating on throws 10+ yards downfield.
Amon-Ra St. Brown’s injury status will be important to monitor as he’s listed as questionable with turf toe. St. Brown has been used in a different role to start this season with a much higher average depth of target, and he’s been a huge factor in Goff’s increased efficiency passing the ball downfield.
Even if St. Brown is limited or out, Goff has the ability to challenge Atlanta’s new-look defense more than the quarterbacks they’ve faced so far. Safety Jessie Bates III has been excellent to start this season, and he has the highest PFF coverage grade among all players at his position.
The Lions are cooking and Jared Goff is the most underrated QB in football
— Dylan Powell (@PowellAnalytics) September 17, 2023