Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions Pick 8/23/19
Buffalo Bills (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS), 8/23/19
Time: 8 pm ET Friday, Aug. 23
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Point spread: Bills -1
The Bills are looking good so far this exhibition season, the Lions, not so much, heading into this Week 3 pre-season affair in Motown Friday night. Buffalo has been playing its starting quarterback this pre-season, while Detroit’s been sitting its QB. How are we playing this game with our free NFL pick?
NFL Betting Odds
Week 3’s NFL exhibition betting odds opened Detroit at around -1.5 over Buffalo, with an over/under of 42.5. Early betting action then flipped the Bills into one-point favorites.
Bills vs. Lions Set-Up
Buffalo opened its 2019 exhibition season, its third under Coach McDermott, with a 24-16 win over Indianapolis two weeks ago, then won at Carolina last Friday 27-14. The Bills bounced out to a 14-0 lead on the Colts, then hung on from there, then grabbed an early 17-0 lead on the Panthers and cruised from there.
Starting quarterback Josh Allen played two series against Indianapolis, hitting on 6/11 passes for 66 yards, then played two series against Carolina, going 9/11 for 102 yards, producing 10 points.
In relief of Allen back-ups Matt Barkley and Tyree Jackson are a combined 23/44 passing for 349 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. Actually, Barkley’s looked good.
Our guess is Allen will play at least the first half Thursday night before turning things over to the back-ups.
Detroit, meanwhile, opened its exhibition season, its second under Coach Patricia, with an embarrassing 31-3 loss at home to New England two weeks ago. Then last Saturday the Lions fell at Houston 30-23. Detroit got totally dominated by the Patriots, losing total yardage by a lopsided margin of 459-93. The Lions then fell down to the Texans 10-0 early, rallied to tie the game at 10-10 but gave up a 17-6 run and couldn’t recover.
Starting QB Matt Stafford has not played this pre-season yet. In his place back-ups, David Fales and Josh Johnson are a combined 26/51 passing for 373 yards and one touchdown, with two interceptions.
As of early this week it was uncertain whether Stafford would play Thursday night or not.
These two teams just met back in Week 14 of last season, a 14-13 Bills win in Orchard Park. Allen and Stafford both played that whole game but it played under a total of 39.
NFL Betting Trends
Buffalo is 5-5 both SU and ATS in two-plus exhibition seasons under Coach McDermott.
Detroit is 1-5 both SU and ATS in one-plus exhibition seasons under Coach Patricia.
The Bills win over the Colts two weeks ago played over a total of 35 and their win over the Panthers last week played over a total of 40.
The Lions lost to the Patriots two weeks ago played under a total of 35, while their loss to the Texans last week played over a total of 41.
Unders are 17-15 so far this NFL exhibition season.
Free NFL Pick
Allen and Barkley will probably play most of this game for Buffalo, so we have to give the Bills the edge in that department because we don’t know if Stafford will even play. Also, Buffalo has run the ball for 257 yards through two games, while the Detroit defense has allowed 301 yards on the ground. We’re betting the Bills with our free NFL pick in this spot.