The Detroit Lions (5-1) were brought back down to Earth last week when they turned in their first loss of the season on Sunday against the 49ers, but it’s time to move on and look ahead to their NFL week 7 picks showdown against the Atlanta Falcons (3-3) at 1:00pm ET on FOX at Ford Field. The Lions played their worst game of the season last week, but we must not forget to give Jim Harbaugh’s club some credit for holding down Detroit’s potent offense. This week, the Lions take on a Falcons’ team that in a lot of football picks experts’ opinions, are very similar to them. Both teams need to run the football effectively in order to win games and because of that, I expect a heavy dose of Michael Turner this week. The Lions’ running back situation is looking a little grim after discovering that Jerome Harrison was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
The key for the Lions’ defense is to make the Falcons offense one-dimensional, because if they allow Matt Ryan to lead a balanced attack against them, Detroit is going to have a very long day. Matt Ryan is a lot better than Alex Smith, but Smith has made plays when his team has needed him to and will receive better protection in the pocket than Ryan, since the Falcons’ offensive line isn’t very good. Defensively, the Falcons are capable of stopping the Lions’ rushing attack in this 2011 NFL week 7 picks battle, as they are ranked 8th in the NFL against the run. The Lions may be without Jahvid Best, so they will have to work extremely hard to control the clock. Best had a concussion last game and it is unlikely that he will play on Sunday. If he doesn’t, we can expect his absence to have a direct effect on Detroit’s week 7 NFL odds, which currently have the Lions listed as 3.5-point favorites.
Detroit’s strong start has overshadowed the fact that they have struggled to run the ball effectively, averaging just 90.8 yards per game. Detroit rushed for just 66 yards in the 25-19 loss to San Francisco, which forced Matthew Stafford to throw 50 passes and I although Jahvid Best was not posting a very high average, it will be even harder for the Lions to run without him. I’m taking the Falcons to cover as 3.5-point underdogs at Bodog Sportsbook and if the Lions are not careful, Atlanta could realistically win this game straight up. The Falcons are more in need of this win than the Lions are because with the Bucs and the Saints playing so well, Atlanta cannot afford to fall too far behind in the NFC South.
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Week 7 NFL Odds at Bodog Sportsbook
Atlanta Falcons +3.5 (-115), Over 47.5 (-110), Money Lines +150
Detroit Lions -3.5 (-105), Under 47.5 (-110), Money Lines -170