2018 Detroit Lions Season Win Totals Predictions and Expert Picks
2017 Record: 9-7
2018 Detroit Lions Las Vegas Season Win Total: 7.5*
2018 Detroit Lions Season Win Total Picks NFL Football: 'Under'
When will people finally realize that proximity to past greatness is not an indicator of future success? Hell, when will people realize that proximity to greatness isn't even a guarantee of future competence? Because when I look at new Lions coach Matt Patricia I see the next in a long line of Bill Belichick's former assistants that were inept head coaches once they left his side.
Patricia was a New England assistant coach for 14 years before getting his new gig in Detroit. His highest-profile job was as the team's defensive coordinator from 2012-2017. On the surface those seem like solid qualifications for a head coaching opportunity. That is until you notice that Patricia's defenses were some of the worst of the New England dynasty. Three of Patricia's six defenses finished No. 25 or worse in yards allowed. Sure, all six were in the Top 10 in scoring defense. But do you really think that bend-but-don't-break style is going to translate to Detroit?
There was plenty to poke fun at with former coach Jim Caldwell. But at the end of the day he was the most successful Lions head coach since Wayne Fontes in the late 80s and early 90s. In 18 seasons between 1996 and Caldwell's hiring in 2014, the Lions had just three winning seasons and three postseason berths. In four years at the helm, Caldwell posted three winning seasons, beat his Las Vegas season win total three times, and earned two postseason games.
Patricia says that the Lions will run a multiple-front defense. But for all intents and purposes they are shifting from a base 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme. The Patriots had holes on their defense. But they still had more talent than what Patricia has to work with in Detroit. The Lions have some athletes along the line. And corner Darius Slay is one of the best in football. But Detroit was No. 27 in total defense last year, and I never thought it was because of the coaching.
The Lions do still have a trump card in Matt Stafford, though. Stafford is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and, with an excellent set of receivers, capable of a 4,400-yard, 30-touchdown season. Stafford, as always, has to cut down on turnovers. But it is looking increasingly likely that he will have to revert to his gun-slinging, shootout-winning ways if the Lions want to stay above water.
Detroit has some statistical indicators that suggest a regression this season. They benefitted from a plus-10 turnover differential last year, and their offensive yards per point was No. 4 in the league. The Lions seem intent on forcing the issue with their running game. That should help bring that OYPP number back to a reasonable range.
I have no faith in Patricia. Caldwell wasn't an elite coach. But he was a steadying, stable influence in an organization that has been as erratic as they come over the past 25 years. Detroit is good enough to compete because of Stafford and the pass attack. But we've seen that movie before, and it usually ends with the Lions going 6-10.
Detroit has two points this season in which they play three road games in four weeks. And if the Lions don't go 3-1 in their AFC East crossover games there is no way that this team is getting to .500. I don't see this team falling off the map. But I also don't think they will find eight wins on this schedule as they adjust to a new coaching staff. Play 'under'.
Robert Ferringo has been the top football handicapper in the country the past seven years, earning nearly $28,000 in total football profit. He has also posted seven of nine winning seasons (including back-to-back winning years) and produced 26 of 41 winning football months and an amazing 45 of 70 winning football months over the past decade. Robert has eight of 10 winning NFL preseasons and he is at nearly 60 percent winners over his last 900 totals picks. Also, Robert's proprietary KING College Football Betting System has posted three of five winning seasons. Robert is looking for a third straight winning football year and wants more profit this fall. SIGN UP HERE TODAY AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR 3-FOR-1 FOOTBALL SPECIALS!
We are offering new clients $60 in free college football picks for Robert's picks or any Advisory Board handicapper of your choosing. Get your free college football picks now!
Read more articles by Robert Ferringo
Get all of this Weeks NFL picks
Get all of this Weeks Guaranteed Expert NFL Picks