With a combined record of 2-14, the Detroit Lions and the Buffalo Bills play this Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium. But don’t let the record prevent you from tuning into this game, as both teams are actually playing better than their wins and losses indicate.
Detroit’s QB Mathew Stafford suffered another devastating injury last week with under 7 minutes to go in the 4th quarter. All current reports indicate that he has a separated shoulder and will be shut down for the remainder of the season. That means Shaun Hill and Drew Stanton will take over at quarterback. Hill injured his forearm just as Stafford returned from his first shoulder injury last week, and the Lions are “hopeful” Hill will be ready for Sunday. As it happens, Hill’s actually played better than Stafford this season, throwing for over 1300 yards and 9 TDs. He’s gotten Calvin Johnson involved, and he’s answered the critics who said he was purely a game manager in San Fran. The Lions have improved as the season’s gone on; after their week 7 bye, they beat the Redskins at home and last week lost in OT to the Jets. Their strength is in the passing game, and weakness is on defense, however they’ve been behind in nearly every game which means they’ve had no choice but to ditch the running game and go pass heavy. Rookie RB Jahvid Best is playing on turf toe, and although he’s toughing it out, the injury is clearly slowing him down and preventing him from being the effective player he was in the first few weeks of the season.
The Bills have quite the similar story. At 0-8, they’re making the case for the best winless team this deep into a season in a long time. Anyone who’s watched this team play knows how in sync their offense is. Head Coach Chan Gailey is implementing the same spread offense that turned Tyler Thigpen into a stud two years ago in Kansas City, and Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is much more impressive than Thigpen was. Buffalo’s last three losses have come by 3 points, two of them in OT. Their defense is ranked last in rushing yards and points allowed, and they’ll be looking for their first win of the season against the only past winless franchise in NFL history.
Lions vs. Bills Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Detroit Lions +3
@ Buffalo Bills -3
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Bills vs. Lions Prediction for Week 10 Betting:
Spread Prediction (Top Play): It’s hard not to cheer for the Bills this week, unless you’re a Lions fans, of course. Buffalo have played better than some teams with multiple wins (Jaguars, Cardinals and Broncos), but their schedule and sometimes luck hasn’t been kind to them. The Lions got their first win of the season at home in week 5 over the Rams who were coming off a big home win against the Seahawks. This week’s situation is very similar, with the Lions coming off a great performance at home versus the Jets. Also, as bad as the Bills have been on defense, they’re actually ranked 6th in pass defense, giving up less than 200 yards per game. Because of Shaun Hill’s injury and the Lions bye, Hill hasn’t seen action since week 5 which means he’ll be rusty on Sunday. The Lions run game has been invisible the last several weeks, so because of all of this, I like the Bills to win this game by a TD or more.
Game Total Prediction: The Over/Under in this game is just right, and if this game was played in Detroit I believe it’d be closer to 50. But the weather in Buffalo has started to pick up, and as the wind blows and the cold plays a factor, the Bills opponents will have trouble moving the ball through the air. I like this game to be one sided, and I don’t think Detroit will put up enough points to send this one over.