It might not be appropriate to call the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ‘red hot’ but they have won three straight and four of their last five. They’ll try to make it four straight and five of six as they head to Detroit to take on the Lions. Of note in this game the Bucs are in the rare role as a road favorite and are priced as a -3.5 point chalk.
Detroit is in a completely different situation. They’ve lost six straight and 9 of 10. They have covered in their last two games giving them a 4-6 ATS record during their 10 game run of futility. They might not be able to save head coach Matt Patricia’s job but they’ve been putting up a decent effort in most weeks. The 13 point loss to the Vikings was their largest margin of defeat this season. 7 of their 9 losses have been by single digits.
The Lions might not be much but they’re a team desperately looking to end a losing streak. The Bucs’ recent winning run is far less impressive in context. They beat Arizona and injury ravaged Indianapolis at home and Atlanta and Jacksonville on the road. Detroit has been at their best getting points this year. They’re just 2-8 SU in that role but 6-4 against the spread which brings us back to the theme of ‘effort’. Maybe Matt Patricia isn’t cut out to be a head coach but you can’t say his team doesn’t play hard for him. Lions have also been money in the bank during the month of December and are on a 7-4 ATS run.
This a much better matchup for David Blough who will get his third consecutive start with Matthew Stafford and Jeff Driskel both sidelined. Blough played pretty well in his debut at home against the Bears but struggled on the road at Minnesota. This will be the weakest defense he’s faced and he gets them at home. The Lions have decent wide receivers in Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. Blough might not be anywhere near a ‘franchise quarterback’ but against Tampa Bay he doesn’t have to be.
The most salient question: do you *really* trust Jameis Winston as a road favorite of more than a FG? Winston has thrown 23 interceptions and lost 5 fumbles this year. Tampa Bay has been an awful favorite over the past three years going 5-9 ATS including 1-3 ATS this year. They’re also 3-7 ATS against conference opponents this year and on a 3-7 ATS run in games played on turf. Lions end their losing streak with an outright win here.