Thanksgiving Day NFL Picks: Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions Betting Odds and Best Bets

Thanksgiving Day NFL Picks: Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions Betting Odds and Best Bets

This article is part of our NFL Picks series.

Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions Betting Odds, Picks, Parlays and Predictions 

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The Bills (7-3) pay a visit to the Lions (4-6) at Ford Field for an interconference Week 12 Thanksgiving Day clash on Thursday afternoon.

Each team comes into the holiday showdown off a Week 11 win. Buffalo upended the Browns by a 31-23 score at Ford Field due to inclement weather forcing relocation of the game, while Detroit recorded its second straight road victory with a 31-18 win over the Giants.

Buffalo Bills  at Detroit Lions  for Week 12

*Best lines at time of writing listed

Moneyline: Bills -425 (DraftKings Sportsbook)/ Lions +350 (FanDuel Sportsbook)

Point spread: Bills -9.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)/ Lions +9.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)

Total: Over 54 points (DraftKings Sportsbook)/ Under 54.5 points (PointsBet Sportsbook)

The Bills opened as 10-point favorites pre-Week 11, and after Josh Allen further corroborated his elbow seemed to be in good shape during the win over the Browns, the number moved up to 10.5 early in the week. However, it then began a quick descent all the way to nine, only to shoot back up to 10 and toggle between that figure and 9.5, where it sits as of Wednesday morning.

In contrast, the total has seen decidedly upward movement. It opened at 51, but after both teams scored 31 points in Week 11, it began to be bet up until reaching 54 early in the week. After a brief move down, it began another ascent and has been between 54 and 54.5 between midday Tuesday and late Wednesday morning.

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Buffalo Bills  at Detroit Lions Betting Picks This Week

The Bills' offense put together one of its more well-rounded games of the season against Cleveland despite Allen throwing for a season-low 197 yards. That's because both Devin Singletary and James Cook were involved to a notable degree, racking up 172 rushing yards between them on 29 carries. Head coach Sean McDermott had the luxury of giving his two backs heavy usage with Buffalo enjoying a 22-10 lead going into the fourth quarter, and a similar game script could play out Thursday.

At minimum, the Bills should have an opportunity to run a similar game plan if they so wish to, considering the Lions have had trouble stopping both the run and pass, especially on the fast track of Ford Field – Detroit is yielding an NFL-high 454.2 total yards per home game. However, it's a good bet Allen will be more aggressive than last week, when there seemed to be a measure of confidence from McDermott that the Browns weren't capable of seriously threatening to outpace Buffalo with their offense.

The Lions aren't likely to either, but they've shown some firepower this season on that side of the ball and have somewhat quietly averaged an NFC-high 31.6 points per home game. In fact, the only other team putting up more points on its home field in the entire league is the Bills (34 PPG). The fact Detroit can also trot out its own version of a balanced attack with a three-headed backfield consisting of Jamaal Williams, D'Andre Swift and Justin Jackson. With tackling machine Tremaine Edmunds (groin) already ruled out for Buffalo, the Lions could find some success on the ground.

The home team's ability to keep the pressure on the Bills offense to pile up some points puts me in the direction of taking a shot at plus money on Buffalo's potential range of points. Given the defensive matchup, the Bills certainly have the potential to put up at least 31 points, especially with the Lions already giving up an NFL-high 30.6 per home contest.

Bills at Lions Best Bets: 

  • Bills to score 31-40 points (+150 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
  • Same-Game Parlay: Bills moneyline and Bills Over 32.5 points (-114 on FanDuel Sportsbook)

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Buffalo Bills  at Detroit Lions  Prediction

Bills 35, Lions 23

As outlined, the Bills should have the luxury of offensive balance in this game, and their increasing incorporation of Cook into the backfield mix of late only makes the entire Buffalo offense that much more explosive. The Lions defense is certainly willing but not always able, and with Jeff Okudah's  (concussion) absence, they're even more ripe for the picking. Detroit will give it quite a fight for three-plus quarters, but I see Buffalo putting it away with a late touchdown.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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