Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Detroit Lions Pick 12/15/19
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7 SU, 4-8-1 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (3-9-1 SU, 5-8 ATS)
NFL Week 15
Date/Time: Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 1PM EST
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Point Spread: TB -3.5/DET +3.5 (BetAnySports - Lay only -105 on sides/totals! Pleasers! 19 point football teasers! Progressive parlays where some games can lose and you still get paid!)
Over/Under Total: 47
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Detroit Lions in NFC action on Sunday at Ford Field in week 15. Tampa has been doing better lately, somewhat quietly winning three in a row, including a 38-35 win over the Colts on Sunday. They now take to the road for the third time in four games when they take on a nosediving Detroit bunch that took another L on Sunday. This time, it was the Vikings, who beat the Lions easier than they did the first time this season, with a 20-7 win in Minneapolis. The loss was the Lions’ sixth in a row and their ninth in ten games. Can they cover in the role of home dog this week or will a hot Tampa bunch deliver?
The Highs and Lows of the Tampa Offense
The most compelling part of this matchup, the Tampa offense can thrill and disappoint in the span of a few seconds. Sunday was a case in point, with Jameis Winston going for a fat 456 yards and leading his team back from three separate two-score deficits to nip the Colts at the wire. But four turnovers, including three Winston picks, almost undermined the entire effort and made it, so the Bucs had to play from behind from most of the game. Still, with Chris Godwin, OJ Howard, and others, the aerial attack is very robust, though losing Mike Evans hurts. It’s just that they often have the black cloud of being one of the more error-prone offenses hanging over their heads. You never can be sure exactly what you’re going to get. A good version of this group would certainly stand to match up well with a Detroit defense that stopped showing up a few months ago.
Being on the road hasn’t hurt this Tampa offense. In seven road games this season, the Tampa offense is scoring an average of 34 points a game, considerably more than at home for some bizarre reason. They travel well, and with Detroit waning on the defensive side of the ball, we could be seeing a prolific performance from this group. Coach Bruce Arians sees his expertise resonate, and they’re getting things to click on offense in a big way. It might not have worked for the whole season, but if they can maintain this clip, it certainly sets up nicely for next season. A lot of guys are playing for a place in Arians’ future plans, and that includes Winston.
Get our prognosticator’s NFL Week 15 Picks Against the Spread right off the press!
What Does Detroit Have Left?
It’s a fair question for a team that hasn’t been able to buy a win as of late; covering the spread just once since week six doesn’t help much, either. After watching the Vikings’ defense get torched the previous MNF, the Lions could do nothing, failing to so much as hitting the scoreboard until the game was almost over. It’s not all their fault, as injuries have taken an already-problematic group and rendered them downright dysfunctional. It kept pouring on Sunday, with the D-line hit hard by even more injuries. After a decent Thanksgiving showing, QB David Blough came down to earth with two picks on a largely-ineffectual day. Their lead back is a guy in Bo Scarborough who is on his fifth team in two seasons, though the word is Kerryon Johnson should be returning. And despite having some viable receivers in Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola, it hasn’t mattered much lately. A defense that is getting very little support has tried the best they can. And giving up 20 to the Vikings isn’t so bad perhaps, but more often than not, they’re not making much of an impact.
Several weeks ago, the Bucs are right where the Lions are—a three-win team struggling to gain a foothold. But they stuck at it, and even on Sunday, we saw what can happen when they don’t get discouraged. With Winston throwing it to the wrong guys, he hung in there and saw the tide turn, and when it did, they took off. Not only have they overcome in-season disappointments, overcoming a stretch of 5 losses in six games to be on the precipice of a .500 record, but we’ve also seen them do significant turnarounds in games that weren’t going their way.
Can Detroit Overcome Winston?
The Detroit secondary looked a little better in allowing less than 300 yards to Kirk Cousins on Sunday, though he did complete 24 of 30 passes. The previous week, Mitchell Trubisky put up 338 yards against this bunch, which is not a good sign. The recipe in the secondary just hasn’t worked this season and is a big part of their overall problem. With only five picks on the whole season, we’ll see if they can take advantage of Winston, who does have 23 on the season. But they seldom do, as they are leaky and not making an impact. Even with Evans out, the idea of Winston connecting with his various targets against this “D” is a bit frightening, even for the staunchest Detroit apologists.
Lay the Number on the Road Fav
Neither team has been profitable at the betting windows this season, as they are a combined 9-16-1 against the spread. And sure, even if Tampa is on a little spurt, laying points on them is hard enough and doubly so on the road. But whereas Tampa has been able to go on a run, Detroit is probably playing with a lame-duck coach, starting their third quarterback of the year, and look like a dying animal just waiting for the inevitable. Even if that’s overstating the case a little, playing winning teams that are still trying hard and able to overcome adversity is a bit out of Detroit’s range right now. I see Tampa covering the small number on the road this week.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers minus points.
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