Buffalo Bills vs Detroit Lions Odds, Pick and Predictions
A very disappointing week for our week 4 picks as despite a good start, the Jaguars were unable to stay within 14 points of the Chargers, and in a surprising result, the Vikings beat up on the previously undefeated Atlanta Falcons. The Jags got off to a good start against the heavily favoured Chargers on Sunday as 14 second quarter points had Jacksonville down just 17-14 at the half. However Jacksonville was held off the scoreboard for the entire second half while the Chargers put up the final 16 points of the game en route to a 33-14 victory. The Vikings and Falcons exchanged scores all afternoon long, however the 4th quarter was the difference as the Vikings outscored the high-flying Atlanta offense 14-0 in the final quarter and dealt Atlanta their first defeat of this young season by a score of 41-28.
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I feel we are set up nicely for a turn-around week in week 5 as we have suffered two consecutive losing weeks after a hot start to the season. We will right the ship this week as we look at the Lions hosting the now Kyle Orton lead Buffalo Bills and the struggling New Orleans Saints playing host to the confusing Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Change is in the air for the Buffalo Bills as E.J. Manuel will take a backseat this Sunday against the Lions and Kyle Orton will take over as the starter for a Bills team looking to create an identity on offense. Manuel wasn't performing terribly, however his performance has gotten worse week by week and his 47.7% completion percentage in the Bills most recent loss to Houston spelled doom for the sophomore QB. Orton has the veteran presence that is sometimes needed at most important position on the football field, and he faired very well in his only start last season as a Dallas Cowboy, but was doomed by a final drive interception that ended the Cowboys season.
Odds - Detroit -7.5 (+115) @ OVER 43.5 (-110)
Head Coach Doug Marrone is looking at Orton to make better use of the supporting cast on offense as Sammy Watkins has yet to break out at Wide Receiver and C.J. Spiller needs to be more of a checkdown option in the passing game. Buffalo averages just 199 yards through the air this season, and I firmly believe having Orton behind centre will improve this teams passing game. The Lions passing game was in fine form in their last action against the Jets on Sunday despite a hobbled Calvin Johnson. Golden Tate caught 116 yards worth of passes from Mathew Stafford who fell just short of 300 yards with a 293-yard performance.
My Pick - OVER 43.5 (-110)
The fact Tate was able to step up with Johnson not at full speed was essential for this Detroit Lions pass-first offensive mentality. Buffalo gives up 338 yards per game on defence and will be tested all game long, especially in the secondary. With Tate's emergence as a top end receiver in this league, evidenced by his 317 yards so far this season, combined with Megatron's dominance when healthy, the Lions form one of the best passing threats in the NFL. I'm looking for Mathew Stafford to easily hit the 300 yard plateau on his home field this Sunday while utilizing the many weapons at his disposal. That is not anything against the weapons Orton has in the form of Watkins, Spiller, and especially Fred Jackson out of the backfield, which is why I like this game to go over the rather low total of 43.5 points. These two teams combined to go OVER the total in nine of their last ten games in the month of October. Let's see Kyle Orton amp up the passing game for the Bills and Mathew Stafford continuing to find his targets for another big game through the air this Sunday from Ford Field in Detroit.