Detroit Lions (5-8) at Buffalo Bills (4-9)
NFL: Sunday, December 16th, 2018 at 1:00 pm (New Era Field)
Line and Odds: Buffalo Bills -2.5 Over/Under: 38.5
Free NFL Pick Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions are looking to finish out the first year of the Matt Patricia era on a strong note. Detroit has a 5-8 record which makes them 4th in the NFC North and 13th in the NFC. They are 2-5 in their last 7 games. The two wins the Lions earned in that 7 game stretch were a 20-19 win against the Carolina Panthers and last week’s 17-3 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Going 2-5 in 7 games is nothing to brag about, but 4 of those 5 losses came against Seattle, Chicago, and the Los Angeles Rams. They’ve faced a tough schedule over the past 2 months. Detroit has gone 3-4 at home and 2-4 on the road, this season. Other than last week’s win over Arizona, the only road victory they have is a 32-21 defeat of the Miami Dolphins. Despite beating the Cardinals by 14 points, it was a wholly unimpressive performance. The Lions were out-gained 279 yards to 218. QB Matthew Stafford went 15/23 for just 101 yards in 10 drives. 7 of Detroit’s 17 points came from a 67 yard Darius Slay interception return touchdown off of Josh Rosen. A win is tough to get in the NFL, but this performance was nothing to brag about. For years, people have thought of Detroit as an offensive team led by a gun-slinging QB. That’s not particularly the case this year as the Lions’ offense has been sub-par. They rank 27th in the NFL with a yards per play average of 5.2. Detroit scores 20.8 points per game, which ranks 25th in scoring offense. The Lions average 330.6 yards per game, ranking 24th in total offense. They rank 25th in 3rd down conversion percentage, achieving 1st downs on 35.8% of their 3rd down situations. Detroit scores touchdowns on just 48.84% of their red zone trips, ranking 27th in red zone TD percentage. One of their best offensive players, RB Kerryon Johnson, is listed as questionable for their tilt with the Buffalo Bills. He leads the Lions with 641 rushing yards on 118 carries. The Lions are a little bit better on defense than they are on offense. They allow 348.7 yards per game, ranking 12th in total defense. Detroit allows 24.5 points per game, which ranks 19th in the NFL. Detroit is 21st in average yards per play allowed at 5.9. The Lions rank 18th in 3rd down conversion defense and 19th in defensive red zone touchdown percentage.
The Buffalo Bills’ 2018 season has been disappointing compared to last season’s playoff team. They are currently 3rd in the AFC East and 13th in the AFC. After a 2 game win streak, the Bills have lost their last 2 games. Buffalo lost at Miami 21-17 two weeks ago, and lost to the New York Jets 27-23 last week. The loss to the Jets was something of a microcosm for Josh Allen’s season. Allen went 18 of 36 for 206 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. He also lost a fumble. However, he showed flashes that forced you to remember why he was a top 10 pick in the 2018 NFL draft. His big arm was on full display and he ran for 101 yards on 9 carries. The first time the Bills saw a deficit in the Jets game was when NYJ RB Elijah McGuire scored a TD with 1:17 left in the 4th quarter. Unlike the Lions vs. Arizona, the Bills dominated the stat sheet in their loss. They out-gained the Jets 368 yards to 248. Buffalo averaged 5.2 yards per play, while the New York Jets averaged 4.7. They could’ve beaten NYJ if it wasn’t for Josh Allen’s 3 costly turnovers. The Bills’ offense has been a disaster this season. Buffalo ranks 31st in the NFL with a yards per play average of 4.6. Buffalo is 31st in terms of total offense, averaging 292.0 yards per game. They are also 31st in scoring offense and giveaways. The Buffalo Bills have scored just 15.5 points per game and have given the ball away 28 times. They rank 29th in 3rd down conversion percentage, converting 32.2% of their 3rd down attempts into 1st downs. RB LeSean McCoy is listed as doubtful on this week’s injury report. While this is a big loss in terms of offensive weaponry, McCoy has had a down year. He has gained just 479 rushing yards on 145 attempts for 3.3 yards per carry. On the other side of the ball, the Bills defense is one of the best in the NFL. This fact is not reflected in their 20th ranked scoring defense. Buffalo is 2nd in terms of average yards per play allowed with 4.8. They are ranked 1st in total defense, allowing 290.6 yards per game. The Buffalo Bills are 10th in turnovers forced with 20 takeaways. The Bills’ defense allows 24.6 points per game, but this is more reflective of the poor positions their offense puts them in than their actual quality of play.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
Detroit is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Detroit’s last 7 games
Detroit is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
Buffalo is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Buffalo’s last 5 games
Buffalo is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games at home
Free NFL Prediction Detroit Lions vs. Buffalo Bills
I like the Lions to cover the +2.5 line in this match-up. I wouldn’t trust a team like the Buffalo Bills with a -2.5 point spread. Their offense is just too unreliable. Buffalo has a top-tier defense, but it hasn’t been good enough to overcome their atrocious offense. The Bills will have a difficult time putting stress on the Lions defense, especially without LeSean McCoy. Matt Stafford is having a down year, but he still has enough around him to put up points. I expect Buffalo to give the ball away and put their defense in tough positions that will allow Detroit to take advantage. The Lions will win a close one in Buffalo. Take Detroit and the points.