Thanksgiving Day: Buffalo Bills (7-3) at Detroit Lions (4-6)
Opening Spread: Lions +9.
Opening Game Total: 54.
Opening Team Totals: Lions (22.5), Bills (31.5).
The Line Report
- This line opened as Lions +9.
- This line has moved between Lions +9.5 and Lions +10.
- This total opened at 54 points.
- This total has moved slightly down to 53.5 points.
Lions Offense vs. Bills Defense
The Lions have a top-10, if not top-five, offensive line at full strength. Right now, the Lions’ entire interior offensive line has some injury uncertainty. Buffalo has a top-10, if not top-five, front at full strength. Consider this a strength vs. strength trench matchup where no side has a notable advantage, but keep an eye on the injury report as we get closer to kickoff.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Lions are 6-4 against the spread this season.
- Detriot is 7-3 on overs this season.
- Lions QB Jared Goff is 49-42-2 against the spread in his career.
- Goff is 46-47 on overs in his career.
- Lions coach Dan Campbell is 21-18 against the spread in his NFL head coaching career.
- Campbell is 19-20 on overs in his NFL head coaching career.
- Detroit is scoring 25 points per game, good for eighth in the league.
- The Lions are 15th in the league in yards passing per game and 10th in yards rushing.
- Per the Edge, Jamaal Williams is 12th among running backs in yards rushing, and he leads the league in rushing touchdowns with 12.
- Amon-Ra St. Brown has 38 targets during his last four games. St. Brown’s 28.3% target share is 10th in the league.
- DJ Chark returned to action last week against the Giants, seeing only one target on 10 snaps and four routes run. That lone target had 29 air yards.
- Brock Wright is playing ahead of James Mitchell at tight end.
- Per TruMedia, St. Brown has played 197 snaps on the perimeter and 200 in the slot.
- Buffalo has allowed 17.4 points per game, which is fifth in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Bills have allowed the 23rd-most yards rushing per game and the 17th-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Buffalo has given up the ninth-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- The Bills have given up the eighth-most PPR points per game to perimeter receivers.
- Buffalo has allowed the 20th-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
Bills Offense vs. Lions Defense
Buffalo has an average offensive line aided by Josh Allen’s unique combination of play-extending ability and power-based tackle-breaking. Detroit has a bottom-tier front with rookie Edge Aidan Hutchinson as an impact player. Buffalo has a mild advantage in the trenches, while Hutchinson has shown the ability to make an impact against anyone throughout his rookie campaign.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Bills are 5-5 against the spread this season.
- Buffalo is 3-7 on overs this season.
- Allen is 40-27-4 against the spread in his career.
- Allen is 30-39-2 on overs in his career.
- Bills coach Sean McDermott is 50-36-5 against the spread in his NFL head coaching career.
- McDermott is 40-49-2 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Buffalo is scoring 28.1 points per game, good for second in the league.
- The Bills are third in the league in yards passing per game and ninth in yards rushing.
- Per the Edge, Allen is third among quarterbacks in yards rushing with 483.
- Devin Singletary has 13 or more carries in four of his last five games. Singletary has two targets in three of those contests and five in the other two.
- Stefon Diggs is second in the league in receptions (76), third in yards receiving (1093), third in receiving touchdowns (8), seventh in target share (28.7%) and 12th in air yards share (37.9%).
- Gabe Davis has seven or more targets in three of his last four games.
- Isaiah McKenzie has nine total targets during his last four games.
- Dawson Knox did not breach 50 yards receiving in any of his first seven games this season, but he has in each of his last two.
- Per TruMedia, Diggs has played 333 snaps on the perimeter and 168 in the slot.
- Davis has played 474 snaps on the perimeter and 84 in the slot.
- McKenzie has played 87 snaps on the perimeter and 219 in the slot.
- Knox has played 230 snaps as an inline tight end, 57 on the perimeter and 154 in the slot.
- Detriot has allowed 28.2 points per game, which is last in the league.
- The Lions gave up 90 yards rushing to Eagles QB Jalen Hurts on opening day, 147 to Bears QB Justin Fields two weeks ago and 50 yards rushing on seven carries to Giants QB Daniel Jones last week.
- Per The Edge, the Lions have allowed the ninth-most yards rushing per game and the second-fewest yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Detroit has given up the third-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- The Lions have given up the third-most PPR points per game to slot receivers.
- Detriot allowed the fourth-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
- The Lions have allowed the most PPR points per game to inline tight ends.
This Is What You’re Betting On in Bills vs. Lions
The Thanksgiving Slate is being released before injuries, and tournament lines are released. On the Lions’ side, their interior offensive line from left guard to right guard all have some level of injury uncertainty. Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah is also considered doubtful for this contest, which is a significant loss considering their pass-centric opponent.
On the Bills’ side, Allen is still dealing with his throwing elbow issue, while center Mitch Morse has some injury uncertainty. On defense, Edge Greg Rousseau and LB Tremaine Edmunds are both names to watch on the injury report.
Buffalo has undergone some unorthodox travel due to the weather the last few days. They had to play a home game in Detroit last Sunday due to massive snowfall in Buffalo. Then, they traveled back to Buffalo, before traveling back to Detroit on a short week.
A bet on the Lions is a bet on a surging team riding a three-game winning streak. Detroit dominated the Giants on the road last week, so your first concern as a Lions’ bettor is Detroit comes out a little flat after last week’s spike game. Your second is the Lions’ defense has improved as the year has progressed, but they have given up 28 or more points six times this year. The Eagles hung 38 points, the Seahawks 48 and the Dolphins 31 against Detroit this season.
If you’re betting on the Lions, you have to expect Allen’s offense to at least approach 30 points. Detroit’s offensive line can mitigate Buffalo’s push, which at least creates a path to Goff having a solid game. Ultimately, if you are betting on Detroit, you’re more so betting on the Bills playing down on a short week after a few days of unorthodox travel.
A bet on the Bills is a bet on Allen’s offense at least meeting expectations. If Buffalo plays well offensively, breaching 30 points is on the table. I’ve been asking myself, “how do the Lions stop Allen’s pass-centric offense,” and I simply do not have a great answer. The Bills’ defense has been among the better units in the league during the past two years, but the Lions have a strong offensive line and a few skill-position players capable of making an impact.
Ten points is a lot in an NFL game, especially on the road on a short week, but Buffalo certainly has the raw materials to cover that number. My biggest concern with a Bills’ bet is the potential impact of their unorthodox travel schedule during the last few days. Coming out flat against a scrappy, far more desperate Lions team after getting on three planes in roughly five days is one of the ways this game can play. Detroit made a habit of making these games closer than you’d expect last season.
Per TruMedia, during the last 157 games played on Thursday Night Football, home teams are 83-70-4 ATS during that span. On average, home teams have covered by just shy of one point while outright winning by a margin just shy of six points during this sample. Give the home team a slight baseline edge in your decision-making process on the short week.
Bills vs. Lions Pool Picks and Other Bets
Awards Market Ramifications: Allen is an MVP contender. Hutchinson is a Defensive Rookie of the Year contender.
Winner/ Confidence Pool: I’m taking Buffalo in my winner pools, and I expect to be aligned with consensus in my confidence pool rankings.
Spread Pool: I liked Buffalo early in the week and made them one of the legs in my three-team, 10-point teaser. But the unorthodox travel schedule makes me like the Bills much less than I did as large road favorites. From a football standpoint, Buffalo has a pretty clear path to winning this game decisively, but at this point, I think I’m going to stay away from this game against the spread.
Survivor Pool: I’m considering Buffalo in my main survivor pool entry.
Ryan’s recent betting record:
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 35-20
Props 2022: 36-21
WATCH MORE: Gregory Rousseau Previews Lions Matchup