NFL: Lions look to bring down Falcons at Wembley
Week 8 sees the NFL return to London for the second time in 2014. To celebrate Detroit Lions taking on Atlanta Falcons, Coral offer a special wincast on the former with Golden Tate touching down anytime at odds of 5/2. Please note there is a maximum stake of £20 on this bet.
This latest edition of the International Series at Wembley Stadium will be a clash of two teams whose seasons to date are trending in different directions.
Detroit appear to be heading for a winning season (5-2) and currently sit atop their division, edging out Green Bay Packers with a better conference record. They will come into this game full of confidence after winning a close contest last Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, 24-23.
The Lions’ success has been underpinned by strong performances from their defense in 2014. They are ranked first overall in this area this season, and are allowing just 15 points per game on average to their opposition.
Detroit’s offense, however, has not been as reliable as their defense this campaign. This situation is not helped by injuries to key players such as star wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who has missed the Lions’ last two games with an ankle problem.
Fans attending Wembley will be hoping he can return to fitness in time to play a part, although he remains a significant injury doubt. The Lions look to have now found a great substitute for Johnson, however, in Tate.
He caught a career-best 10 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown in last weekend’s game against New Orleans, and is 8/1 with Coral to score first against the Falcons.
Atlanta (2-5), meanwhile, will be hoping the change of scenery can help revive their fortunes. They enter the game in London on the back of a four-game losing streak, and are currently second bottom of the AFC South division.
The Falcons have, however, fared better than the Lions in recent meetings between these two sides, winning the last three, and are 6/4 to triumph once again here.
Many of Atlanta’s problems this season have stemmed from an injury-hit offensive line, with four of their five starters sidelined. This crisis notwithstanding, Falcons need to improve after allowing nine sacks on quarterback Matt Ryan in the last two outings – a stat that will have the Lions’ potent defense licking their lips (Detroit have so far logged 21 sacks in 2014).
Despite the struggles on the offensive line, Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones has managed to thrive and, after seven weeks, leads the NFL both in receptions and in catches of 20+ yards. This big play ability means Jones will be a threat on Sunday, and he is 7/1 to grab the first touchdown.
For the Falcons to win, however, punters may feel that their defense will need to raise its game in this encounter. Atlanta arrive in Wembley with their defense ranked a lowly 30th out of 32 teams in the NFL, and have disappointingly conceded 27 or more points in each of their last four games.
The Falcons are particularly struggling against the run this season, conceding more rushing touchdowns than any other side. Lions running back Joique Bell will be hoping to break out as a result.
Bell, who leads Detroit in rushing touchdowns with three, is 7/1 to reach the endzone first. This game could, therefore, come down to which unit will adjust the best – the Lions offense (ranked 25th in the NFL), or Atlanta’s defense.
With the Falcons showing little sign of improvement at the back, while Detriot’s attack ably adjusting to Johnson’s absence, all signs seem to point to the Lions besting that key battle.
Consequently, Detriot justify their status as favourites to triumph in London. And punters could be Wembley winners by backing them with Coral. We currently offering an industry best price of 10/17 on the Lions to win.