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First-half observations: Lions better football team than Football Team

By Matt Schoch
The Detroit News

After such a stinker of a Saturday for our Big Ten programs, the Lions are coming to the rescue on Sunday.

If your power is out because of high Michigan winds, you’re actually missing some quality Lions football for a change.

The Lions lead the Washington Football Team, 17-3, at halftime and look poised to snap a two-game losing streak.

Lions running back D'Andre Swift (32) jumps over Washington Football Team safety Deshazor Everett (22) during the first half.

Swift start for Swift's start

Fans have been clamoring for D’Andre Swift to start at running back for most of the season.

The rookie got his first start on Sunday and has been proving some pundits prophetic. Swift has 44 yards on eight carries.

On his second run of the game, he leaped over Deshazor Everett for a 16-yard gain.

Not to be outdone, Adrian Peterson has been spry too with 17 yards on his two carries.

Kerryon Johnson has not played a snap.

Where's Jeff Driskel?

The 2019 Detroit Lions are represented well by the Washington Football Team.

Per usual, Detroit was decimated last year by injuries, giving players like tight end Logan Thomas and running back J.D. McKissic a chance to put up some career stats. Both players landed on Washington this year and are building on 2019.

McKissic had 11 targets in the first half, catching six passes for 48 yards. He’s among the league leaders for receiving numbers for a running back. Thomas has already smashed last year’s career numbers, entering Sunday with 24 catches and three touchdowns. He had one catch for 10 yards in the first half.

Washington fans are learning what Detroit fans already knew. McKissic and Thomas are nice depth guys, but nothing more. 

Sportsbooks rooting against Lions

In the last couple days, the point spread fell from 4.5 points for the Lions all the way down to 2.5 points by kickoff at most sportsbooks.

That’s a crucial drop as it fell below 3 points, the most common margin of victory in the NFL.

If the Lions remain in control though, it will pay off for the betting public and cost the sportsbooks.

FanDuel Sportsbook reported Sunday morning that 63% of spread bets and 68% of money was on Detroit. PointsBet Sportsbook reported 66% of spread bets on the Lions and 68% of the money.

Both sportsbooks will soon be live in Michigan after online gambling launches. You can follow the progress on online sports betting launch here.

Matt Schoch is a writer for PlayMichigan.com and freelance writer for The Detroit News.