Bills vs. Lions Odds, Picks, and Prediction
Titans vs. Packers Odds
|Date||Thu, Nov. 24|
Thanksgiving Day football will begin in the Motor City with an afternoon battle between the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions. Entering play, Buffalo is tied with the Miami Dolphins for first place in a crowded AFC East division. Detroit has climbed into second place in the NFC North after three consecutive victories, but they remain only 4-6 on the campaign. In this matchup, oddsmakers are expecting the Bills to come away with a comfortable victory, pricing Buffalo as 9.5-point road favorites on the spread.
Per Sal Capaccio, Bills Beat and Sideline reporter, Josh Allen was not wearing any sleeve or brace on his right elbow during the media-available portion of Tuesday’s practice – the first such time that he has gone without a sleeve or brace since injuring his elbow. Across the last three weeks, Allen has thrown for only two touchdowns against four interceptions, during which he is averaging only 244 passing yards per game, with a 1-2 overall record. In that span, Buffalo’s offense ranked only 17th in EPA/play after ranking 2nd in EPA/play through the first eight weeks of the schedule. If Allen is nearing full health on Thursday, he could be in for a big day against a Detroit secondary unit that has struggled this fall.
Defensively, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and defensive end Greg Rousseau have each been ruled out for this contest. Edmunds last played in Week 10 against the Minnesota Vikings, and Rousseau last played in Week 9 against the New York Jets. In a small sample size across the last two games, Buffalo ranked 26th in defensive EPA/play – having faced the Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns. The Bills remained strong against the run in those matchups, but experienced difficulty slowing down their opponents through the air. Edmunds leads the Buffalo defense in tackles in 2022, while Rousseau ranks second on the team in sacks. This group could have issues once again, especially on a short week.
Following an abysmal start to the season, Detroit has won three consecutive games, defeating the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, and the New York Giants in the process. Arguably, the biggest reason for their newfound success has been ball security, with only one total turnover during their current winning streak. Since Week 9, the Lions have excelled at moving the ball through the air, ranking 5th in Dropback EPA/play, with Jared Goff posting a 4-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio during the streak. Still, Goff ranks only 19th in EPA/play among qualified signal callers in 2022 – casting doubt as to whether the oft-maligned quarterback will be able to help Detroit sustain their recent run of offensive prowess.
An underrated aspect of the Lions’ recent run has been the improved play of their secondary unit, albeit in a limited sample size, and against three opposing offenses that are far from elite. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that Detroit’s defense ranks 8th in the NFL in Dropback EPA/play since Week 9. This unit could take a hit on Thursday, however, with cornerback Jeff Okudah having been ruled out with a concussion. The Lions will need Amani Oruwariye to play well if they hope to slow down a potent Buffalo passing attack in this spot.
Bills vs. Lions – Picks & Predictions
The Bills are unquestionably the more talented football team in this Thanksgiving matchup, but the absence of two key defenders has proven tough to overcome across each of the last two weeks – during which they have allowed 56 points. The Lions have excelled through the air during their current three-game winning streak, and should be able to do enough to keep this contest competitive if Amani Oruwariye is not exposed too badly on the outside. Take the underdog here against the spread.
PICK: Lions +10 (-126, DraftKings)
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