Detroit Lions vs. Buffalo Bills Preview
Where: New Era Field — Buffalo, NY
When: Thursday, August 31, 2017 – 7:00 PM ET
Line: Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills – view all NFL lines
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Betting on the Detroit Lions
The Lions got their first preseason defeat this past Friday. They fell short of upsetting the New England Patriots, 30-28. It’s a loss they may help them gain confidence, though, as they were able to score 28 straight points after being down, 24-0, in the first quarter.
Matthew Stafford, who just became the highest-paid player in the league, and Jake Rudock will again be the team’s quarterbacks. Both have over 300-plus passing yards in the preseason, and they collectively have a 6-3 touchdown-interception ratio. They will look to pass to a receiving corps that is led by the usual guys, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. The former leads the team in yards per reception and Jones co-leads the team in receptions.
Ameer Abdullah will be the catalyst of the running game, and he’s a quality guy in that area (4.3 yards per carry). However, throwing the ball has clearly been the team’s biggest strength. Their top 10-ranked passing attack (239.7 per game) is the main reason why they are also top 10 in points (22.7 per game).
Over on the defensive side of the ball, the Lions are also quite decent. They are top nine in total yards allowed (288) and points per game (15.3), which saw them limit their first two preseason opponents to 10 points or less.
Betting on the Buffalo Bills
It was another week of growing pains for the Bills. They got punished by the aggressive Baltimore Ravens defense this past Saturday, 13-9, despite moving the ball better and the Ravens committing 13 penalties for 126 yards.
The offense’s issues start with the awful play from two of the team’s three men behind center. Official starter Tyrod Taylor and his backup Nathan Peterman have only completed 49.4 percent of their passes in the preseason (48-for-97), and Peterman’s one TD weeks back is the lone passing score from the two. TJ Yates, the third man in the group, has the best numbers, and he’s only 23-for-41 for 233 yards, one TD, and two interceptions, which is also quite mediocre to say the least.
The ground attack will also feature three guys – Joe Banyard, Jonathan Williams, and Mike Tolbert – and they combine for 64.9 yards per game on 4.8 yards per carry. The receiving game doesn’t have a true number one target in the preseason, with Brandon Reilly’s nine receptions for 112 yards only barely leading the corps.
Defensively, it’s the front seven that ought to step up its game. They are placing the Bills 12th in rushing defense (82.7 per game), which is cancelling out much of their great efforts in stopping the pass (177.3 per game, fourth overall).
The Lions win it, 20-14.
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