It’s been tough sledding for the Buffalo Bills lately, and we absolutely mean that. They haven’t necessarily suffered the consequences on the field, but in their personal and home lives, things have been a little disrupted.
For example, because of the blizzard that was expected and eventually arrived in their area last week, they had to move their scheduled game against the Cleveland Browns to Ford Field in Detroit. Now, they come back four days later to the same venue, this time taking on the Detroit Lions in a Thanksgiving Day game that begins at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time.
On most of the online NFL betting sites like BetOnline, any NFL lines that have been posted on this game by the folks, Buffalo is the clear favorite:
Buffalo Bills – 9.5
Detroit Lions + 9.5
Over 54.5 Points -110
Under 54.5 points – 1/10
Detroit is definitely on the right track, having won three straight games and responding to the emotional style of second-year head coach Dan Campbell. Last week they captured a 31-18 victory on the road against the New York Giants, and currently, they are not completely out of the playoff race with their 4-6 record. Furthermore, they’ve been pretty good against the spread, going 6-3-1.
Certainly, there are weaknesses, including a defense that has given up 50% conversions on third down and ranks 32nd overall. But there are some positive things to look at as well. One of the shining lights is Amon-Re St. Brown, who has a knack for scoring touchdowns and racking up 100-yard games. Last week he had seven catches for 77 yards, but Detroit attacked on the ground as well, as Justin Jackson and Jamaal Williams had 130 yards between them, with Williams scoring three touchdowns. With D’Andre Swift also in the fold, this has the makings of a formidable rushing game.
And this isn’t all that surprising for some people. If you remember, Detroit was expected to be a contender by many people if you read some of the preseason annuals.
Of course, Buffalo has been considered a prime contender for the Super Bowl right from the start. And while we are not going to say there are big trouble signs, Josh Allen’s injuries have not been a pleasant thing to go through. And the Bills have not looked like the locomotive they were in the first couple of weeks of the season. The low point was when they blew a 17-point lead against Minnesota a couple of weeks ago, where Allen fumbled the snap in his own end zone, and Minnesota recovered for a touchdown.
The Bills are still very strong on the defensive end in a lot of categories, including the fact that they have given up fewer yards per drive than any other team in the league. However, we’re not sure we like they’re scheduling situation on this particular Turkey Day.
Logic would seem to dictate that they would stay in Detroit and avoid the dangerous weather back home; instead, they went back to Buffalo and then had to negotiate a trip back. That can take a lot out of a team and can be a distraction. The Lions look like the kind of team that believes in themselves right now, and you may want to have a Sharper Edge than Buffalo may have going into a game like this.
Detroit has played four different division leaders – the Dolphins, Eagles, Seahawks, and Vikings – and has kept each of those games within four points. They can do the same here. So we’re going to go ahead and take advantage of the hefty impost and go with the guys from the Motor City.
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