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NFL Turkey Day Picks and Preview: Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions (+9.5) (o/u 54.5)

The Odds



















The Details

Kickoff: Thursday, November 24th at Ford Field, Detroit, MI

When: 12:30 pm EST

How to Watch: CBS

Public Bets: Lions, 51%

Public Money: Lions, 58%

Odds Courtesy of DraftKings, as of 11/23

The Word

The Buffalo Bills travel to Detroit for their Thanksgiving matchup against the cowardly Lions, owners of a three-game winning streak. The Bills put a beat down on the Browns in Detroit last week and decided to stay in the Motor City for Turkey week. Here’s the scoop.

54% of the public bets are on the Bills. The pros like them too, as 59% of the public money has moved onto Buffalo. The Bills defense can play on the road. Buffalo is 5-0 on road unders this year, going 10.8 ppg below the points total.  Buffalo is 0-3-1 in their last four games ATS. The good news for Allen fans? He’s never gone 0-5 ATS in his career.

The Lions are abysmal straight up and against the spread on Thanksgiving, but there could be a silver lining. Home underdogs of a TD or more are 6-0 ATS this year. Goff also covers on short rest, for some reason. He’s 2-0 this season on short rest. We do not know why.

Bills Appetizer

NATE: John bets the Lions every year on Thanksgiving, so we know where he stands on this, and he will justify it with little to no actual logic. That’s probably because there is very little logic to justify wanting to play the Lions here aside from some of the trends listed above, depending on how you’d choose to cherry-pick them.

If you remove the Cowboys from the equation, Thanksgiving favorites are 28-8 against the spread since 2006. That will be the trend I’m cherry-picking to justify this bet.

The Bills are just significantly better than the Lions in basically every category. Football Outsiders rates the Bills as #1 overall, 3rd on defense and special teams, and 6th on offense. That’s pretty stout.

The Lions rank 16th overall, 10th on offense, 25th on defense, and 12th in special teams.

The Lions are going to be outmatched by the Bills in every aspect of this game. Lay the points here for a Bills team that needs to get some momentum going. Pick: Bills -9.5

Nate’s Pick

Bills -9.5


I Can't Quit You

JOHN: Why even bother to attempt to handicap this game? I have bet Detroit at home 47 straight years, since I was 17. Never missed once! Usually I lose the early game and then get even on Dallas.

The Lions have won three straight and are at home. The Bills looked OK last week playing in Detroit against the Brownies, but the dominance they exhibited earlier in the season has just rusted out. A key second quarter fumble by Cleveland stalled a drive and turned the game.

Why not bet Detroit on Thanksgiving Day? Don’t break with tradition, it's bad karma. Pass the sweet potatoes and give me a winner before dessert.

John’s Pick

Lions +9.5

Just Play the Game!

JACK: I think Nate and the Godzilla are both going to lose this bet somehow. This is not a number I feel confident in, although there could be some value by taking a trip to Teaser Town with the Cowboys. I’m not going to do that here, because the Godzilla wll throw a fit. “Just pick the damn game!”

Here’s a nice number for you. The Bills are averaging 28.1 ppg this year. In their last three games, they are averaging 26 ppg. When they have to play on the road, that number drops closer to 24 ppg. Josh Allen’s recent struggles in the red zone are well documented, so this could be a good spot to look at the Bills team totals. 

The only reservation here would be that the Lions defense is garbage. That’s true, but I’m hoping the Bills ease up in the second half and the team total (32.5) hits the under.

Jack’s Pick

Bills Team Total Under 32.5 

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