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Detroit Lions Favored By 3 Against Falcons....Really?

NFL News - August 15th, 2009 - Written by Glen

BetUS, one of the leading online sportsbooks for betting preseason NFL football, has posted the odds on the exhibition game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Detroit Lions, which is slated for Saturday, at 4:00 pm. Being as how the game is in Detroit, the odds makers see the Falcons as under dogs. But, by just how much? For starters, on the moneyline, Atlanta has a payout of +130, for winning the game straight up, while Detroit is only paying -150 on the money line. Odds makers predict the total score for the game is firmly at 35, with both sides, of the over/under, paying -110. If you prefer betting the spread, the Falcons will be getting 3 points, from the Lions, with a -115 payout. The opposite side of the bet pays -105, for betting the Lions to cover. This game is sure to be a good test, for each team, as they begin their 2009 NFL Season campaigns.

The Lions have much room for improvement, and they started working on it with the 2009 NFL Draft. The first pick, of the entire draft, went to the Lions, and they picked quarterback Matthew Stafford. Stafford will not be starting on Saturday afternoon, as was expected, but is reported to be coming into the game in the second quarter. Daunte Culpepper will continue as the starting quarterback, for the Lions, and will take the snaps with the first team offense. Lions WR Bryant Johnson will be on the field, having recovered from an injury, caused by a freak golf cart accident. Though the Lions have gained a wide receiver, they will be without Jared DeVries, in the trenches. The Lions have a lot to do to get better this year, so expect extended playing time for back ups, and rookies.

Last year, the Lions went winless in the regular season, and these exhibition games will give Detroit an opportunity to test their new found strength before going into this years' regular season. Jim Schwartz is the new head coach of the Detroit Lions, and will be going into the first preseason game backed by experienced coordinators, Scott Linehan and Gunthar Cunningham. The first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Quarterback Matthew Stafford, carries a tremendous weight on his shoulders, as is expected. Whenever a team pays an unproven talent, such as Stafford, expectations are always high, even by Lions' standards.

The Atlanta Falcons will be playing each of the four quarterbacks, currently on their roster. It is expected that each will get a full quarter of play, however that may change as the pace and feel of this match change. Matt Ryan, 3rd overall in 2008 NFL Draft, is looking to extend the performances he had, during his sensational 2008 rookie season. Other Falcons QBs include veteran Chris Redman, Shockley, and John Wilson, who will each have their chance on the field. Just as with the Lions, the Falcons will be evaluating their prospects for the 2009 NFL Season, with the main focus being on defense. The Falcons have a host of rookies, in key defensive spots, which must prove their worth, should they want to receive significant playing time in 2009.

According to the Falcons' coaching staff, training drills, over the past several weeks of camp, have gone quite well, and they expect to continue to build upon the success the Falcons had last year. The Falcons have some moving around to do, before anything is final, but this should be the first step to seeing how players react in game situations. The Falcons may not expect to win this game, or may not even care much about this game, as their focus is on the upcoming NFL season. Look for several wrinkles, in the Atlanta offense, as well as many substitutions, on defense, as the Falcons plan to experiment with several different packages. For both teams, Week 1 of the 2009 NFL Season begins on September 12th, 2009.

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