Lions vs. Buccaneers Pick
Can the Detroit Lions stay in the playoff mix and pick up a win on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when the two meet today at 1PM ET?
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Detroit is favored on the road, as the Lions are getting odds of -3 points against Tampa Bay. The over/under total for the contest has been set at 44 points. Detroit has won and covered the spread in three of its last four meetings with Tampa. The public betting in this game has 55 percent of the wagers going on the Bucs at home. Today’s game takes place from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida and will air live on FOX.
Detroit is coming off a 44-20 loss at Baltimore last Sunday to fall to 6-6 on the season. The Lions are 5-6-1 against the spread, going 0-2-1 at the betting window in their last three games. Detroit has struggled on offense in recent weeks due to injuries to the offensive line and a lack of a run game. The Lions put up 26.2 points per contest but average just 355.4 yards per game overall and only 78.3 rushing yards per game. Last week, QB Matthew Stafford suffered some big hits and injured his throwing hand. He was limited all week in practice but seems likely to play. He has thrown for 3,302 yards and 22 touchdowns this season, but has been sacked 39 times. Marvin Jones Jr. is his top receiving target with 48 catches for 821 yards and eight touchdowns. Defensively, Detroit is allowing 25.7 points and 372.4 yards per game. Their run defense has suffered due to the loss of Haloti Ngata in the middle. The defense has been lacking in a pass rush as well, amassing just 23 sacks this season.
Tampa Bay is coming off a 26-20 OT loss at Green Bay last week to fall to 4-8 on the season. The Bucs are 3-8-1 against the spread, failing to cover in their last two games as well. Tampa has struggled on both sides of the ball. The defense is giving up 24 points and 393.9 yards per contest. Their pass defense is allowing 275 yards per game and has just 17 sacks. On offense, Tampa is averaging just 20.3 points and 362.5 yards per game. Jameis Winston returned from his shoulder injury last week. He has thrown for 2,190 yards and 12 touchdowns this season to go with six interceptions. Doug Martin missed last week due to a concussion, but is expected back today. He is the leading rusher with just 376 yards. Mike Evans is the leading receiver with 53 catches for 735 yards and four touchdowns.
The Lions seem like a shell of themselves right now. They have opened their last four games by trailing by double digits and that’s not a recipe for success. Another slow start today won’t turn out well on the road. Stafford may play, but is definitely hurting on his throwing hand and has to be somewhat nervous in the pocket given his recent lack of protection. Tampa’s offense should be able to move the ball on this Detroit defense, which should give the Bucs defense a boost with some added rest. I like the home team to get past this maligned Lions team.
NFL WEEK 14 PREDICTION: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS +3