Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:30 PM EST. Odds subject to change.
Detroit -7 -108 over Las Vegas
8:15 PM EST. October 30th 2023 of this NFL season marks the first time the Lions hosted a Monday Night Football game since their first regular season game in 2018, the start of the Matt Patricia era. Rightfully so, the Lions have as much hype as any team this NFL season, aiming for their first division title since 1993 and already sitting comfortably atop the NFC North with a 5-2 record. Players like Aidan Hutchinson, the second-year stud edge rusher from Michigan, have been emphasizing how important this game is all week. The Lions will recognize players from the past and boast retro helmets from the 1960s with their gray alternate uniforms, all in celebration of a "Pride of the Lions" theme as they look to put the league on notice on a national stage.
Normally this sort of pomp and circumstance would have us looking to the other side, especially if the team with all the hype and media attention is a significant favorite like we see in tonight's contest. This situation is a bit different, though. Detroit is coming off their most embarrassing loss since October last year, where they got walloped 29-0 at Foxboro. Dan Campbell admitted his team got their asses kicked in Week 7, giving all the credit to a Ravens' squad that just came more prepared and more motivated in what was ultimately a 38-6 beatdown at M&T Bank Stadium. We expect Campbell and the Lions, who only lost three home games over the last 365 days, to come out with guns-a-blazing Monday.
We also might think differently about this game if they were facing a more formidable opponent. The Raiders fell to the Bears last week, of all teams, but part of that is because they had to start Brian Hoyer at QB in place of a Jimmy Garoppolo, who's been suffering through a back injury. The veteran thrower is back for Monday Night Football, but that still doesn't give us optimism that the Raiders can hang with Detroit at Ford Field.
For one, Garoppolo and star receiver Devante Adams haven't exactly meshed. Except for one anomaly against Pittsburgh back in Week 3, when Adams got 20 balls thrown his way, he's seen more targets when Hoyer and Aidan O'Connell were under center. He's averaging just 6.5 targets a game with Jimmy G at the helm otherwise. On top of that, Garoppolo has been more mistake-prone as a Raider, throwing 8 interceptions in just five starts this season. It's the first time we've seen Jimmy G not in a Patriots or 49ers uniform, which are arguably two of the best-ran organizations in pro-football, and clearly that's making a bigger difference than many would have thought. Can't say we're surprised.
In any case, the Raiders are also averaging a measly 16 ppg, good for third-worst in the NFL, and their run-game is dead last (3 yards per carry). Their defense has had some good moments, but it's clear they're not talented or coached-well enough to compete with high-level offenses. Edge rusher Maxx Crosby is the lone-star on a defense that bends and breaks often, owning some of the worst third down and red-zone conversion stats in the league (30th in both).
After the Lions' humbling loss last week, the Raiders will be running straight into a buzzsaw tonight. A veteran quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo can steady the ship when he has to, and the Raiders have plenty of motivation, too - in need of more wins since the Chiefs are clearly running away with the AFC West already - but Vegas' offense and defense will need to play out of its mind to keep pace with the hometown Lions. We already have teaser and parlay positions on the Lions to win straight up, so this isn't an official play, but there's only one side we could recommend against the spread tonight. Recommendation: Detroit -7
Detroit -7 -110 (Risking 0 units - To Win: 0.00)