Detroit Lions vs. Denver Broncos: Storylines, prediction for a potentially one-sided affair in Denver

    What are the main storylines, current odds, and our prediction for the Week 14 Detroit Lions vs. Denver Broncos matchup?

    What are the key storylines and our prediction for this Detroit Lions vs. Denver Broncos Week 14 matchup? Let’s examine the elements that may decide the game before looking at the NFL odds and making a prediction for Lions at Broncos.

    Detroit Lions vs. Denver Broncos Prediction | Storylines for Week 14

    The situation for these two franchises is wildly different. The Lions may have gotten their first win of the season last week, but they have no real expectation of making the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Broncos remain in the thick of the NFL postseason race. However, they need more consistency over the final five weeks of the season to advance up the NFL standings in 2021.

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    This game could have been competitive had it been played in Detroit. However, in the elements in Denver, it is tough to see the Lions’ offense provide enough for them to win. Let’s examine the key storylines surrounding this Lions at Broncos game in Week 14 and get to our prediction.

    The Broncos need to bounce back after a tough loss in Kansas City

    The last few weeks for the Broncos have been extremely up and down. Their performances against the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers were impressive, as they won by a combined score of 58-29. However, they struggled against both the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.

    In those two games, they lost by a combined total of 32 points, while their offense managed just 22 total points. Their offense has been the trouble this year, ranking in the bottom half of the league. Meanwhile, they have a top-10 defense overall, even if the numbers across individual categories are not all that impressive.

    At 6-6, the Broncos have a great chance to challenge for the playoffs in the AFC, but they need more consistency from their offense. The intriguing thing about their loss to the Chiefs is they had 404 total yards (including 150 rushing yards), but thanks to their 3 turnovers, they could only score 9 points.

    The next few weeks are crucial for the Broncos. With games coming against fellow AFC playoff contenders in the Bengals, Raiders, and Chargers, they need to beat the Lions — or those contests become must-win.

    Can the Lions build on their first victory or will they struggle in Denver?

    The Lions are coming off the emotional high of their first victory of the 2021 season. That moment can either inspire them to more success, or it could lead to the ultimate anti-climax for a team that has thrown everything into the past few weeks. That means that making a prediction for this Lions vs. Broncos matchup is difficult.

    Heading into Week 14, Detroit’s defense has been superb and could give them a chance against a turgid Broncos offense. In the last four weeks, they have held three of their opponents to fewer than 20 points, giving up an average of 18 points per game in that time. They have allowed plenty of yards in that time (385 per game) but have managed to keep opponents out of the end zone.

    This Broncos defense will be tough for the Lions to face. Last week was only the second time Detroit’s offense has gone over 20 points this season. Converting in the red zone has been tough, as they rank 29th with a 50% conversion rate. This week, the Lions face the ninth-ranked red-zone defense — Denver has allowed just a 53.8% conversion rate.

    One area the Lions will hope to exploit is Denver’s defensive struggles on third down. The Broncos rank 29th with a 43.9% third-down conversion rate. Unfortunately, the Lions’ offense has struggled significantly on third down offensively. They rank last in the league with a conversion rate of just 31.5%.

    Lions vs. Broncos betting line and game prediction

    • Spread: Broncos -10 (odds courtesy of DraftKings sportsbook)
    • Moneyline: Lions +360, Broncos -490
    • Total: 42.5

    This game feels like one of the more one-sided contests of a bizarre Week 14. The Lions might be riding high off a victory against the Vikings, but it will be tough for them to make it back-to-back victories in Denver.

    For that to happen, it has to be driven by their offense. No matter how well the Lions’ defense plays, they are likely going to need their offense to score more than 20 points again this week. The Broncos have had trouble on offense, but they are still averaging close to a field goal more per game than the Lions.

    The big question here is whether they can muster enough offense to cover the spread. They may need to rely on their defense capitalizing on any mistakes by Jared Goff and the Lions’ offense. If Denver’s defense does not force multiple turnovers, it’s tough to trust them to cover the spread.

    Lions vs. Broncos prediction: Broncos 20, Lions 13

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