Detroit at Buffalo
Time: NOON CT, FOX
Spread: BUF -2.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Buffalo Bills have lost six of its past eight, but it finds itself 2.5 point favorite sat home this week against the Detroit Lions. Buffalo is just 2-4 at home, where it hosts Detroit at Noon (CT) on FOX. The over/under for the affair is set at 40 total points according to NFL oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
The Buffalo Bills are 4-9 and just 2-4 at home where it hosts the Lions this week. Buffalo is in second-to-last place in the AFC East, with only the Jets trailing it. Prior to its 17-21 loss to the Miami Dolphins two weeks ago, the Bills had won two-straight with victories over the Jets (on the road) and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Now, after falling to the Jets last week, the team carries a two-game skid on its shoulders all over again.
?Josh Allen has struggled to adapt to the NFL. He has thrown for 1,223 yards but averages just 6.4 yards per attempt and has thrown more interceptions (7) than touchdowns (5). He also averages just 130.3 yards per game with a passer rating of 66.3. Last week was one of his better. Despite throwing two interceptions, he did throw two touchdowns as well and amassed 231 yards on 18 of 33 passing against the Dolphins. He also rushed just nine times for 135 yards including a long-rush of 28-yards.
The rush game has been harsh to the Bills, though.
LeSean McCoy looks pretty washed up, with his 3.3 yards-per-attempt average on 143 carries. He has scored two touchdowns and has 478 yards on the season, but it has been largely an ineffective short rush attack.
Josh Allen is a much better rusher from the QB position. Allen has 389 rushing yards on just 57 attempts, with his 6.8 yard-per-carry average, and he leads the team with four rushing TDs. Chris Ivory is more like McCoy with just 3.3 yards per carry and Buffalo averages just 4.2 yards-per-attempt as a team with nine rushing TDs on the season as a team. It has scored just eight TDs via the pass; and despite Zay Jones having caught 41 of 69 targeted passes with four TDs, the rest of the roster has been far less effective. Kelvin Benjamin has 354 yards and Robert Foster adds another 256, but Buffalo’s offense has been pretty pitiful despite these few standouts.
The Detroit Lions are 5-8 on the season with a 2-4 mark on the road. The Lions won 17-3 over the Arizona Cardinals last week, but overall it has lost five of its past seven.
Detroit will be without a host of players this week, including Kerryon Johnson, Bruce Ellington, Da’Shawn Hand, Rick Wagner, and Charles Washington. Of course, that may not matter a ton, as Detroit’s top-four receivers do much of the lifting that Ellington does not play a huge role. Johnson, of course, is the team’s top rusher at 5.4 yards-per-carry and 641 rushing yards on the season.
Expect LeGarrette Blount to see even more carries as the team’s top-option with 125 rushes this season. But Blount has hardly been good: He averages under three yards per attempt, and he has just two rushes for greater than 20-yards on the year. He does lead the team in rushing touchdowns (five), but it remains to be seen who will serve as the No. 2 back with Johnson out.
Theo Riddick has had some success on his 25 touches, but none of the rushers outside of Matt Stafford seem likely to fill in for Johnson. Stafford has 73 yards on 23 attempts (3.2 per), but Detroit is not a good rushing team at 4.2 yards-per-carry as a team, and its OL has been poor at best. Stafford has endured 37 sacks for a colossal total loss of 242 yards, and his passer rating is just 89.3 due to his 11 interceptions this season.
Overall, this is a clash between two very poor teams and the spread is set closely in favor of hosting Buffalo, but ESPN’s matchup predictor gives the Lions a 44.6 percent chance at victory, and many will be looking to make money line bets due to the fact that, well, simply Stafford is a better and more experienced offensive machine than the rookie Allen.