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Inside the Points - Week 13 - Holiday Edition
By Fritz Schlottman
November 26, 2003
 

Green Bay (6-5) vs. Detroit (3-8)

Vegas Line

Total Points = 45

Predicted Outcome

Total Points =40
GB 23, DET 17

Trends

GB
Points for = 25, Points Against = 21
Over/Under = 6/5 (Away = 3/2)
GB is under the last three games

DET
Points for = 20, Points Against = 24
Over/Under = 4/7 (Home = 2/3)
Detroit is under three of the last four games.

        GB     DET  
Date Away Home Tot Rush Pass Tot Rush Pass
9/14/2003 DET 6 GB 31 332 200 132 293 56 237
11/10/2002 DET 14 GB 40 503 150 353 362 126 236
9/22/2002 GB 37 DET 31 442 95 347 271 95 176
11/22/2001 GB 29 DET 27 339 104 235 360 167 193
9/9/2001 DET 6 GB 28 424 179 245 288 56 232
12/10/2000 DET 13 GB 26 330 128 202 293 103 190
10/8/2000 GB 24 DET 31 339 69 270 253 74 179

Motivation

Turkey Day is the biggest game on the Lions schedule. Detroit is coming off two bad away losses (Seattle 14-35 and Minnesota 14-24) and now faces a Packers team that needs to run the table to make the playoffs. Typically, the Lions really get up for the Packers in Detroit. GB has won in the Motor City each of the past two years, but by less than this week's point spread.

Opinion

Vegas wants no part of the Packers at more than a touchdown in this game. The pros think that Favre's thumb is not right (he only attempted 15 passes last week with two interceptions) and his history on turf and indoors is spotty at best. That said, if this point spread continues to drift towards the Lions, the wise guys like GB's running game vs. DET's rush defense and the Packers receivers vs. the Lions defensive backs enough to jump on this game if it gets below seven points.

On the other hand, the handicappers don't like the Lions either. Given how their offense has performed and how few weapons QB Joey Harrington has, you can't count on Detroit to score more than 14 points against the worst defense. Without a running game and without any sort of number one receiver, Harrington is forcing the ball into places he has no business throwing into.

All things considered 45 points are too high for this game. The pros like the Under more than either side in this contest.

Miami (7-4) at Dallas (8-3)

Vegas Line

Total Points = 35

Predicted Outcome

Total Points = 31
Dallas 17, Miami 14

Trends

MIA
Points for = 18, Points against = 15
Over/Under = 3/8 (Away = 0/5)

DAL
Points for = 12, Points against = 13
Over/Under = 5/6 (Home = 3/3)
Under has won five of the last six for DAL

No recent meetings.

Motivation

The last time these teams met was the infamous Leon Lett game where the Dallas DT had a mental lapse and touched a blocked MIA field goal allowing the Dolphins to recover and attempt a second three pointer that was good for the win.

Both teams need this game. DAL needs a win to stay with the Eagles in the NFC East and MIA has a slim one-game lead over the Broncos for the last AFC playoff position.

Opinion

Vegas thinks this game sets up to be another defensive battle where a turnover or mistake will win or lose the game. The Dolphins got a spark from the return of QB Fiedler. But like Flutie's return, that spark only seems to last one game. Still he's the right choice in a low-scoring battle where a bad pass will cost you the football contest.

Neither team should be able to run the ball. Dallas has the NFL's #1 defense and the Dolphins have shut down opposing rushers all season. Without a balanced attack, both QBs will be asked to either win or lose this game. Given the material each team has to work with, Vegas is taking a pass on the sides and taking the Under in this game.