Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day Best Bet

by | Last updated Nov 23, 2022 | nfl

Buffalo Bills (7-3 SU, 5-4-1 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (4-6 SU, 6-4 ATS)

Date/Time: Thursday, Nov 24, 12:30 PM EST

Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Mi.


Point Spread: Buff -9 / Det +9 (Make the Lions a +29 underdog by inserting them into a massive 20 point NFL teaser found at Wagerweb!)

Over/Under Total: 54

The Buffalo Bills travel back to the Motor City to kick off the NFL’s Thanksgiving festivities against the Lions this Thursday. This will be a very entertaining start to the Holiday slate, with BOVADA.LV making the Bills 9-point road favorites and setting the total at 54. I’m looking for the Lions to continue playing well and cover the number. Here are three reasons.

Detroit’s Offense Will Score

The Lions are riding a three-game winning streak into Turkey Day, led by an offense that is rounding into form as the season progresses. Detroit has scored more than 30 points in half of their ten games, including 31 in the last 2. The rushing attack led by Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift went for 160 yards last week against the Giants and should have success this week against the Bills. Williams will bang away at the Bills front, while Swift – who should finally be 100% healthy for this contest – looks to make big plays. QB Jared Goff has been efficient for Detroit this year and can keep the sticks moving as long as he is protected. Detroit allows the 3rd fewest sacks in the league, while Buffalo is middle of the pack at getting to opposing QBs, so Goff should have time to find his receivers, who are also getting healthy. Amon-Ra St. Brown is emerging as a legit #1 receiver and will find holes in the Bills D. St. Brown has caught 90% of his targets in the last two weeks.

Buffalo’s defense opened the year as one of the better stop units in the league but has been very pedestrian in the last few games. They rank 5th in opponent’s yards per play but have allowed 387 total yards in 4 of their last five games. Only the Jets couldn’t reach that number. Matt Milano is the rock of this unit, and he did return to full health last week against the Browns and made a difference. Even with Milano, Cleveland racked up 396 yards while playing catch-up most of the day. Buffalo is 3rd in the league in takeaways, so that will be a key stat, but Detroit takes care of the ball pretty well and only has one giveaway in their last four contests. I expect Goff and company to score early and be able to keep the game competitive against the Bills.

Buffalo’s Offense Won’t Run Away

The Bills’ offense opened the year like a juggernaut but has slowed down in recent weeks, primarily due to turnovers. Prior to last week’s game with the Browns, Josh Allen and Company had eight turnovers in the previous three games, including six interceptions. Allen took care of the ball better last week, but the game script allowed Buffalo to lean on the running game more. Allen is playing through an elbow ligament issue that appears to be affecting his accuracy, but most of the interceptions were more because of bad decisions than bad execution. Buffalo has tons of talent on offense that will give the Lions fits, with Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, and Dawson Knox being close to impossible to cover, while Devin Singletary complements Allen’s running. Overall, Buffalo is 2nd in the league in yards per play, 2nd in 3rd down conversion, and 2nd in points scored.

Let’s not go overboard and expect that Detroit is going to shut down this offense. Detroit’s D is last in the league at opponent’s points, yards, and 3rd down conversions. The Lions will need to continue to force turnovers to have some success this week. They have taken the ball away seven times in their last three games, which is the primary reason they have come away victorious in those games. Buffalo has been the type of team that could bury bad opponents over the past couple of years, but I think between Allen’s elbow issues and a Lion defense that can create some turnovers, Buffalo will not run away on Thursday.

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The Intangibles Are With The Lions

Buffalo had lost two games prior to taking care of business last week against the Browns. It was well documented that they gave up a game in Western New York due to 6 feet of snow in the area and had to travel to Detroit to meet the Browns. Rather than stay in Detroit, they traveled back to Buffalo after the Cleveland game. With the snow, holiday, and short week, they will have almost no time to prepare for Detroit. After this week, the Bills will play each of their division rivals in the next three weeks. It’s easy to see Buffalo not being fully prepared and looking past the lowly Lions this week.

Detroit, on the other hand, lives for the Turkey Day game. While being on a high from 3 wins in a row, they get a chance to be on a national stage and show the world this is a different Lion team. Even if they fall behind, the Lions won’t quit keeping the back door cover an open possibility. Detroit has won and covered the last three weeks, while the Bills have not covered in those same three weeks.

Play the Lions on Thanksgiving

Let’s start Thanksgiving backing the Lions +9 at home. Detroit can score enough to keep this game close and, with some turnover luck, could sneak out a win. Bet your Thanksgiving Day NFL predictions for FREE by scoring a 100% real cash bonus up to $300 by entering bonus promo code PREDICT100 at MyBookie Sportsbook!