Detroit Lions vs. Buffalo Bills Pick
Detroit Lions (5-8 SU, 7-6 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bills (4-9 SU, 5-8 ATS)
When: December 16, 2018, 1:00 PM EST
Where: New Era Field, Orchard Park, New York
BY: Rick Wise
Point Spread: DET -2.5/BUF +2.5 (MyBookie)
Takeaways From Week 14
The Lions improved to 5-8 after a 17-3 victory over the Arizona Cardinals Sunday that snapped a two-game losing streak.
Detroit’s run defense was stout. The Lions had been at or near the bottom third of the league in defending the run for much of the season but they held Arizona to 61 yards on 21 attempts, including keeping running back David Johnson to 49 yards on 15 carries.
The game highlighted how badly the Lions need weapons on offense. The unit’s two biggest playmakers, Marvin Jones and Kerryon Johnson, are injured but when there’s nobody to step up, which there isn’t, it’s time to fill some holes. Running backs and wide receivers need to be at the top of Detroit’s 2019 draft list.
Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills fell to 4-9 after losing their second straight 27-23 to the New York Jets on Sunday.
Josh Allen was up and down. He finished 18-of-36 passing for 206 yards and was intercepted twice, but he cancelled out much of the bad with his legs. He carried 9 times for 101 yards and a touchdown and in the process broke a record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in three consecutive games with 335.
With the release of wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes, Robert Foster has become this team’s unquestioned vertical threat. The rookie broke out with 7 receptions for 104 yards on 8 targets. Second-year wideout Isaiah McKenzie looks to be Buffalo’s second option at receiver now. He caught 4 passes for 47 yards and 1 touchdown.
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Despite being two of the league’s oldest franchises, the Detroit Lions and the Buffalo Bills don’t have much of a history against each other. They’ve squared off just ten times with their first meeting coming in 1997. The Bills lead the series 5-4-1 and they’ve won 2 of the last three meetings dating back to 2006.
For Detroit, listed as questionable for Sunday’s game are DE Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder), T Rick Wagner (concussion), DE Kenny Hyde Jr. (illness), S Charles Washington (hamstring), LB Trevor Bates (ankle), RB Kerryon Johnson (knee), DE Da’Shawn Hand (knee) and WR Brandon Powell (undisclosed).
For Buffalo, listed as questionable for Sunday’s game are QB Derek Anderson (concussion) K Stephen Hauschka (back), RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring), RB Chris Ivory (shoulder), TE Jason Croom (groin) and CB Taron Johnson (ankle).
When the Lions have the Ball
The Lions are dealing with a ton of injuries on both sides of the ball but the two that matter the most are to the offense’s biggest weapons, Kerryon Johnson and Marvin Jones. And the offense has been woeful without them. Matthew Stafford finished 15-of-23 for a paltry 101 yards against Arizona and the ground game needed four different runners, including Stafford, to post 122 yards on 31 carries for a 3.9 yards per carry average. The unit looks to be in trouble again Sunday against Buffalo’s top-ranked pass defense and its 9th-ranked rushing defense.
When the Bills have the Ball
Everyone knows that Josh Allen has thus far been a much bigger threat running the ball than throwing it but the rookie’s still setting records with his legs. To date, Allen’s posted 490 yards and 5 touchdowns on 66 attempts for a 7.4 yards per carry average. Against Detroit’s middle of the road 18th-ranked rushing defense on Sunday, Allen could go either way. He should have a bit of a tougher task throwing the ball against the Lions’ 12th-ranked passing defense, though.
- Detroit is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
- 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
- Detroit is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games on the road
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Detroit’s last 6 games on the road
- Detroit is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Buffalo
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Detroit’s last 5 games when playing Buffalo
- Buffalo is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
- 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
- Buffalo is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games at home
- The total has gone OVER in 17 of Buffalo’s last 22 games at home
- Buffalo is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Detroit
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Buffalo’s last 5 games when playing Detroit
Gametime temperatures for this one are expected to hit 36 degrees under partly cloudy skies with 74% humidity and 8 mph WSW winds.
Rick Wise’s Pick: Buffalo +2.5