New England Patriots at Detroit Lions
|Date & Time||Thursday August 1, 2019, 10:47 PM (EDT)|
New England Patriots -1.5 -- O/U: 36
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The New England Patriots and the Detroit Lions meet in week 1 NFL preseason action from Ford Field on Friday night.
The New England Patriots begin the season out to defend their 6th Super Bowl title in franchise history. The Patriots finished the regular season at 11-5, winning their 10th straight AFC East division title, punching their ticket to the playoffs where they then defeated the Chargers and the Chiefs before taking down the Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII. Tom Brady returns as the incumbent starter for New England under center after throwing for 4,355 yards, 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on 65.8% passing last season. Sony Michel and James White are back in the backfield for the Patriots after combining for 1,356 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground last season. The Patriots will be without Rob Gronkowski for the first time since 2009 after Gronk announced his retirement from the league, but New England bolstered their receiving corps adding free agent Demaryius Thomas and first round draft pick N’Keal Harry in addition to returnee Julian Edelman. Defensively, the Patriots remain intact for the most part, maintaining a defense that finished 7th in scoring defense last season, but New England helped strengthen that defensive front by acquiring DE Michael Bennett from the Philadelphia Eagles for a draft pick. Last year, New England averages 393.4 yards of total offense and 27.2 points per game while allowing 359.1 yards of total offense and 20.3 points per game.
The Detroit Lions will look to rebound this season after finishing the 2018 season in the basement of the NFC North, finishing with a 6-10 record in Matt Patricia’s first season as an NFL head coach. Matthew Stafford is back to lead Detroit at the QB position after throwing for 3,777 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on 66.1% passing, his 2nd most accurate season of his career. Kerryon Johnson is hoping to have more success in his sophomore season after rushing for 641 yards and three touchdowns last season. Kenny Golladay and free agent acquisition Danny Amendola will be tasked along with Jermaine Kearse to lead Detroit’s receiving group, but the Lions made a huge splash in the draft by selecting Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson 8th overall, as many are projecting to be this generation’s Rob Gronkowski. The defense remains mostly from last season, with Trey Flowers and Romeo Okwara leading the Lions up from, Devon Kennard in the linebacking group and Quandre Diggs and Darius Slay in the secondary to help anchor a defense that was in the top 10 in most team stats last season. As a team, Detroit averaged 327.2 yards of total offense and 20.2 points per game while allowing 335 yards of total offense, 224.9 passing yards and 110.1 rushing yards per game while giving up 22.5 points per game last season.
New England is 19-8 ATS in their last 27 road games and 40-17 ATS in their last 57 games overall while the under is 5-1 in their last 6 games on turf. Detroit is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games and 5-11 ATS in their last 16 Thursday games while the under is 5-0 in their last 5 home games.
I’m tempted to take Detroit and the points at home, but for me, preseason football is about which side has the deeper lineup as the starters won’t get many reps if any at all. And side by side, the Patriots are the deeper team and have a lot of rookies who will want to step it up to crack the starting group for the defending champions. I just think that New England is the better team from top to bottom, so I’ll lay the points with the Patriots on the road here.