The Buffalo Bills (3-10) host the Detroit Lions (5-8) on Sunday afternoon in cross-conference battle between two sub .500 teams. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on December 16th at New Era Stadium and the game will be broadcast on FOX.
Oddsmakers opened this game up as a pick’em. That line has moved substantially after early betting, as Buffalo is currently available a 2.5-point home favorite. The total for this matchup is 38.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 15 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Bills vs Lions Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Detroit had lost five out of their last six games heading into a Week 14 matchup against Arizona, which turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. The Lions were in no real danger of losing their third game in the row, as they held the Cardinals scoreless until the fourth quarter en route to a 17-3 win. QB Matt Stafford certainly have to do a lot, throwing for just 101 yards through the air. RB Zach Zenner had a solid performance on the ground due to the absence of usual starter Kerryon Johnson, rushing for 54 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Zenner will likely be relied upon heavily again on Sunday, as Johnson has already been ruled out due to a lingering knee injury. Overall, Detroit is currently averaging 20.8 points per game (26th overall) on 330.6 yards of total offense.
The Lions have looked slightly better on the other side of the ball through their first thirteen games, allowing opponents to score 24.5 points per game (19th overall) on 348.7 yards of total offense. They currently rank around the league average against both the pass and the run, sitting in 11th and 18th overall respectively.
Buffalo lost their second consecutive game last weekend, falling 27-23 at home to the New York Jets to drop to 3-10 overall on the season. The Bills looked to be well on their way to their third win in the last four games before completely collapsing in the fourth quarter, allowing Darnold and Co. to outscore them 14-3 in the final fifteen minutes. QB Josh Allen had an up and down game, going 18/36 for 206 yards and getting picked off twice. However, Allen was dominant on the ground, rushing for 101 yards and touchdown on only nine carries. WR Robert Foster also had a big game, catching seven passes for a team-high 104 receiving yards. As a whole, Buffalo is currently averaging just 15.5 points per game (31st overall) on 292.0 yards per game of total offense.
The Bills have been much better on defense for much of the year, giving up an average of 24.6 points per game (20th overall) on 290.6 yards per game of total offense. They have certainly looked outstanding against the pass, holding opponents to only 185.6 yards per game through the air (1st overall).
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Buffalo -2.5
I’m going to side with the small home favorite in this particular matchup, as New Era Stadium is always a tough place to play for struggling offenses. Stafford barely topped the 100-yard mark in Week 14 against Arizona, and now has to deal with the best pass-defense in the entire NFL – at least in terms of yards allowed per game. Buffalo could easily be 3-1 overall in their last four games if they had found a way to close the Jets out at home last Sunday. Josh Allen has really been coming on strong as of late, rushing for over 100 yards in consecutive games while also establishing strong chemistry with Robert Foster and Zay Jones in the passing game.
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The Bills are a solid 15-4 straight up in their last nineteen games following consecutive losses. They are also 4-1 straight up over their last five meetings with Detroit overall. The Lions are just 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine road games against teams with a losing home record. They are also only 2-5 ATS over their last seven games overall.
It has been a rough second half of the season for Lions fans – not only was star wideout Golden Tate traded at the deadline, the team also lost Marvin Jones Jr. and Kerryon Johnson to injury. Stafford simply doesn’t have enough weapons on offense to lead Detroit to an upset victory in this game against a fairly tough Buffalo defense. Josh Allen continues to improve in his rookie season and should be able to post another strong outing against a below average Lions defense. I’m going to lay the 2.5 points and take the home favorite to grind out a cover at home – give me the Bills.