Monday Night Football odds: Jets vs. Lions picks by proven expert who's 28-10 on New York and Detroit games
RJ White also finished in the top 1 percent of the Las Vegas SuperContest
Week 1 of the NFL season wraps up with the New York Jets visiting the Detroit Lions in the first game of a Monday Night Football double-header at 7:10 p.m. ET. The Lions are seven-point favorites as game time approaches, up from an open of 6.5. The over-under for total points scored is 44 after rising as high as 45. The Jets are +245 underdogs on the money line (risk $100 to win $245), while the Lions are -300 (risk $300 to win $100). The game marks the debut of a new cornerstone for each franchise as Matt Patricia makes his NFL coaching debut for Detroit, while rookie Sam Darnold will start for New York. Before you make any Lions vs. Jets picks, you need to listen to what SportsLine Expert R.J. White has to say.
The CBS Sports NFL editor finished in the top 1 percent of the Las Vegas SuperContest last season, tying for 18th out of a record 2,748 competitors. It was no fluke, either; he also cashed big time in the 2015 SuperContest. Now, he's back and ready to rip up sportsbooks in 2018.
The renowned prognosticator has zeroed in on this matchup and has a strong history of success handicapping these clubs. White is looking to build on an amazing 21-10 spread record when selecting games involving the Jets or Lions. Now, he has released a confident spread pick for this matchup, which he's sharing only at SportsLine.
White knows both clubs will be introducing new faces of their franchises. New York will start ballyhooed rookie Sam Darnold at quarterback, while Matt Patricia is making his head coaching debut for Detroit.
Patricia won three Super Bowls while on New England's staff and became a coveted prospect in the off-season. He was considered a candidate for multiple head coaching jobs before catching on with the Lions, who dismissed Jim Caldwell after four seasons. Caldwell went 36-28 with two playoff appearances, but missed the postseason with a 9-7 campaign last year.
Patricia's first major task is overhauling a defense that ranked in the bottom third of most major categories last year. Although the Lions didn't make any blockbuster acquisitions on the defensive side, they are hoping for increased production from edge rusher Ziggy Ansah, who has battled injuries the past two seasons. Rookie Da'Shawn Hand from Alabama could add needed depth at left end and tackle.
On offense, the Lions retain quarterback Matthew Stafford, who led the league in passing yards last year with 4,446. The team added LeGarrette Blount from the Eagles and drafted Kerryon Johnson, who had almost 1,400 yards rushing and 20 total touchdowns last year at Auburn.
Just because the Lions shored up their run game doesn't mean they can cover on Monday. Stafford will be opposed by Darnold, the much-hyped rookie who will be the youngest quarterback to start Week 1 in the Super Bowl era. In a draft full of talented QBs, the Jets grabbed the former USC star at No. 3 overall in the hopes he will become their coveted franchise quarterback.
Darnold played well in the preseason, prompting the trade of Teddy Bridgewater and the demotion of veteran Josh McCown. Darnold was known for his quick release and accuracy in college and has plenty of weapons like Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa. Anderson had seven touchdowns last season, while Enunwa returns from a neck injury that sidelined him last season.
The Jets also are looking to bolster a defense that finished No. 25 in the NFL last season with averages of 23.9 points and 352.3 yards allowed. Second-year pro Jamal Adams is seen as a rising star at safety, while Darron Lee is emerging at inside linebacker.
We can tell you White is leaning under, but he has unearthed a critical X-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-back. He's sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.
Who wins Jets-Lions? And what critical factor determines the spread outcome? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to jump on Monday, all from the top NFL analyst who's an amazing 21-10 on picks involving these teams.
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