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NFL Picks - 10/10/2011

Last Updated: 10/5/2011 at 8:00 PM ET
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For each Monday during the NFL season, Paul Bessire thoroughly breaks down the Monday night ATS play. See Predictalator Picks for this game.

ATS Lock of the Week: Detroit -6 vs. Chicago (Covers 61.8%)
The Predictalator is buying into the Detroit Lions at least for this week, our first ever Lock of the Week on a Monday in the NFL. It's a night of firsts as the Lions, 4-0 for the first time in 31 years, host the division rival Bears in the first ever Monday Night Football game at Ford Field. Expect a strong showing in front of the home crowd and national television audience.

While the Lions have the talent and coaching to warrant being favored over just about anyone in this specific situation (at home on Monday Night), strong matchup advantages signal a blowout. Detroit, which enters the week ranked fifth in our most recent NFL Power Rankings is home to the fifth most efficient passing attack and second best pass defense in the league. Quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson lead a pass offense that averages 7.7 yards-per-pass-attempt, has only thrown three interceptions and allowed five sacks on 167 pass plays this season. Defensively, tackle Ndamukong Suh is setting the tone and an improved secondary is making the most of its opportunities as the team has allowed just 6.2 yards-per-pass-attempt, while sacking the opposition nine times and picking off seven passes on 161 pass plays. The biggest knock on the Lions is that they are one-dimensional, ranking 31st in rushing and 25th against the run.

Well guess what? The Lions are facing a team about as one-dimensional as they are and with far less overall ability. The Bears throw the ball 64% of the time, yet rank just 16th in passing efficiency offensively. The Bears under offensive coordinator Mike Martz love to pass, but that will not work against the Lions. Neither will an overall defense that comes in 24th overall in our NFL rankings. Chicago would be best-suited to run the ball, slow the game down and ride Matt Forte, who had a great game running last week, on the ground to try to keep it close. While the chances of that working may be greater than throwing it 64% of the time, it still would not likely be successful against a home team on Monday night that is as hot and as explosive as any team in the league.

According to 50,000 simulations by the Predictalator, Detroit wins at home over Chicago 74.8% of the time and by an average score of 27.2-17.0. The Lions, as six-point favorites, are both our second-most likely team to win and most likely team to cover this week, as they cover the spread 61.8% of the time, which is our Lock of the Week and would warrant a $99 play from a $50 player. With minimal success from the Chicago offense, the UNDER (47.5) comes in a little more often than not and is weak, but playable.

NFL Picks Pages:
October 9: Predictalator Picks  Paul's Analysis
October 10: Predictalator Picks  Paul's Analysis
Customize the Predictalator - Play the Games with Any Lines
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