Lions Buccaneers Betting – Improving Detroit “D” Keeps Them Close In Tampa Bay
Sports betting players will check out two of the young up-and-comers in the NFL this week, and even though Detroit’s record doesn’t really reflect it, the Detroit Lions have made some big improvements, particularly on defense. The Lions will roll into Tampa Bay to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend, and their defense will not only keep them in the game, but they could end up with an upset.
- What: NFL betting
- When: Sunday, December 19th, 1:00 PM ET
- Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL
- Pick: Detroit Lions +6
What’s On The Line
The Lions (3-10) ended a five-game skid by controlling the Green Bay Packers’ offense in a 7-3 win at home, while the Buccaneers (8-5) were a bit fortunate to come away with a 17-16 win at the Washington Redskins, thanks to some missed field goals and a missed PAT with nine seconds left. The Bucs are still well in the playoff race, while Detroit could be the most dangerous spoiler left in the NFC, so Tampa Bay isn’t going to have an easy game at home this week.
Offensive Matchups: Lions Buccaneers Betting
Detroit ran for 190 yards on the ground against the Packers, which allowed them to cut down on turnover chances. Drew Stanton was 10-of-22 for 117 yards and a touchdown, but he was picked off twice, and the Lions are still keeping the offense very simple for Stanton with Matt Stafford and Shaun Hill on the sidelines. Maurice Morris led the ground attack with 51 yards as the Lions hit Green Bay with a number of different looks, and that’s a change from a rushing attack that is 27th in the league. They’ll need more of the same as Stanton figures to start a third consecutive game for the Lions.
Josh Freeman was 15-of-25 for 266 yards and a touchdown for the Bucs, who had 365 yards of offense. They failed to score a touchdown on all three of their red-zone opportunities, they had a couple of fumbles, and managed just 15 first downs as opposed to 22 for the Redskins, but Tampa Bay moved the chains in the second half. Rookie receiver Arrelious Benn had his first 100-yard game, posting 122 yards, and if he could step up to be a solid No.2 to Mike Williams, along with tight end Kellen Winslow, the Bucs could have an impressive offense down the stretch.
Betting Edge: Buccaneers
Defensive Matchups: Lions Buccaneers Betting
First, the Lions knocked Aaron Rodgers out of the game with a concussion, then they held the Packers without a score for the rest of the game. The key to this game was the Lions’ front four, who completely destroyed the Green Bay offensive line. Ndamokung Suh, Lawrence Jackson and Turk McBride were constantly in the Green Bay backfield, which helped their secondary out a lot. What is even more impressive is that they did it without five starters, three of which were lost during the game.
The Bucs gave up 188 yards on the ground against a Washington offense that is awful running the ball, and had a running back, Ryan Torain, that hasn’t played for five weeks. Like the Lions, the Bucs lost a few starters and are trying to hold it together down the stretch, but they did get a great effort out of Ronde Barber, who led the team with 10 tackles. Aqib Talib was out with a hip injury, and the veteran corner Barber stepped up in his place to show that he’s still capable of leading the secondary.
Betting Edge: Draw
Notable Injuries: Lions Buccaneers Betting
Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (neck) and cornerback Alphonso Smith (shoulder) are on injured reserve, while corner Brandon MacDonald (arm) will likely join them, and end Cliff Avril (ribs) and linebacker Landon Johnson (neck) will have this week to get ready. Stafford (shoulder) and Hill (finger) will likely be out for the season for the Lions.
Rookie defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (biceps) and linebacker Quincy Black (arm) are both gone on injured reserve, while center Jeff Faine (tricep) and safety Cody Grimm (leg) are doubtful, and Talib (hip) is still a concern for Tampa Bay.
Betting Edge: Draw
Outlook and Pick: Lions Buccaneers Betting
The Bucs are 6-point NFL betting favorites at home against the Lions in this NFC contest, and even though they’re 7-3 in 10 meetings with the Lions since 1999, they’re only 3-7 ATS. The Lions are 3-3 ATS on the road, along with a 7-4 mark as an ATS underdog, while the Bucs are only 2-4 ATS at home. We’re willing to give the Lions a chance to keep this close, even though we don’t think they’ll claim the SU win. If Detroit’s front four can compete like they did against the Packers, then they can possibly pull out the upset, and they’ll be the key to the Lions covering this online betting spread.
Stan’s Pick: Detroit Lions