Saints vs Lions Preview & Free Pick [October 4th 2020]

New Orleans (1-2) at Detroit (1-2)
When: Sunday, October 4th, 2020
Where: Ford Field,
Detroit, Michigan
Time: 1:00 ET | TV: FOX
Opening Odds: New Orleans-4/56

A pair of 1-2 teams take to the field on Sunday and neither can afford a loss. The New Orleans Saints will take on the Detroit Lions in a Week 4 matchup at Ford Field. The high-flying Lions will test a Saints defense that surrendered 34 points to Las Vegas and 37 to Green Bay in dropping their last two games. They allowed the Packers, who were missing top receiver Davante Adams, to score on three passing touchdowns while recording only one sack and failing to force a turnover.

Detroit won its first game last weekend, upsetting Arizona on the road, 26-23 as 7-point underdogs. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay made his season debut after missing the first two games with a hamstring injury and hauled in six passes for 57 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals.

The Saints come in as 4-point favorites with an opening total of 56. Detroit, as of Friday morning, were getting 4.5 points and the total has dipped down to 54. The over is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these teams and the Saints are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games against the Lions. The last meeting was a 52-38 New Orleans win in 2017. The over is 7-1 in Detroit’s last eight home games and 5-1 in their last six home games as underdogs. However, the Lions are 0-8 ATS in their last eight games after allowing more than 250 passing yards in the previous game. New Orleans is 4-0 ATS in their last four games against teams with a losing record and the over is 5-1 in their last six games overall.

Drew Brees looked much better last week versus Green Bay, finishing with 288 passing yards and three touchdowns. He hooked up with running back Alvin Kamara 13 times for 137 yards and two scores and now leads the Saints in both rushing and receiving yards. Look for fewer receptions for Kamara this week with the much-needed return of star wideout Michael Thomas. He returned to practice on Wednesday and could very well play this weekend. New Orleans needs to improve on the defensive side of the ball. They’ve allowed an average of 31.3 points per game and 252 passing yards per contest – 20th in the league. The Saints have some other injury concerns besides Thomas. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins (illness), tight end Jared Cook (groin) and guard Andrus Peat (ankle) missed Wednesday’s practice. New Orleans will host the Los Angeles Chargers next Monday night.

The Lions are coming off their first win in 11 months thanks to the foot of kicker Matt Prater, who nailed all four of his field goal attempts, including the winning kick as time expired. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 270 yards and two scores and the Lions defense picked off Kyler Murray three times. Stafford was 22-of-31 with no interceptions and had more confidence with Golladay back in the lineup. Detroit should be able to cash in once inside the 20, as the Saints are 30th in the league in opponents’ touchdown scoring percentage in the red zone (83.3). On the injury front, cornerback Desmond Trufant was limited in practice Wednesday after missing the past two games. Detroit will have a bye next week before playing at Jacksonville in Week 6.

The offense is starting to click again for Brees and the Saints and now it appears they’ll have Thomas back on the field. I can’t see New Orleans losing three games in a row, nor can I see the Lions winning back-to-back games as an underdog. I’ll lay the four points here in what could be a shootout.

Pick: Saints -4
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