It is quite evident that Buffalo Bills’ fans are getting restless from years of disappointment. The frustration was on display last week, in the preseason, following a three-and-out by E.J. Manuel and the offense. It takes something special for a team to get booed off the field in the preseason, but that is pretty much what happened last week. The Bills are a young team, with a young core. Manuel will be the starter this season and his number 1 receiver will be the talented rookie Sammy Watkins. Talented, yes, but he is still a rookie. Receivers often have growing pains coming from the college to the NFL, unless you are Randy Moss. But even some of the best in the NFL at the moment didn’t enter and blow the lid off the league. I expect Watkins to be good, but it won’t be all smooth.
Another season and big expectations for their opponents tonight, the Detroit Lions. Matthew Stafford will be at the controls with a bevy of options around him in the passing game. If he can’t make it work with Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate as his primary options then there will be some big doubters. Not to mention a first round pick at tight end with Eric Ebron and running back Reggie Bush. Talent is all over this offense, and as such, are expected to be one of the best offenses the league has to offer this season. The question is will it be enough to compensate for what should be a less than average defense. None of these questions will be answered tonight of course, as the starters will be watching from the sidelines getting prepared for next weeks regular season opener.
Lions vs. Bills Spread and Betting Odds:
Detroit Lions +4 (-110)
@Buffalo Bills -4 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Lions vs. Bills Pick:
As I mentioned in my previous article this week, this game will be about the backups. Very important game for some of them, the starters not so much. I can say for certain that this is an important game for the Lions’ backup quarterbacks. Kellen Moore has floated around with the Lions for a few years now, and the verdict is still out on what his role is going to be with the team going forward. It is quite conceivable that he will end up as the backup at some point, maybe this season, or he may get cut and the Lions go with only two quarterbacks. The Lions other option behind Stafford is Dan Orlovsky, who has been around the league for over 10 years now. He spent time with the Lions, and actually started some games, during their 0-16 season. He prevented that from happening again with the Colts, leading them to a win in the season Peyton Manning went down. Speaking for Moore, he has only gotten action in preseason games in his career, but every time he is in there he delivers. He doesn’t look rattled or confused at all, Moore just leads the team down the field. Moore led the team to a win in week 1, delivering a pretty ball in the corner of the end zone 30 yards. Unfortunately for him it may not be enough to save his job with the Lions, but if he does get cut, he’ll get snatched up by another team I believe. I do like that Orlovsly has game experience and starting experience for tonights game. Both quarterbacks should be fine against the Bills tonight, as both have proven to be capable second stringers.
The Buffalo Bills will follow up E.J. Manuel with Jeff Tuel and Jordan Palmer. Palmer is the new third stringer as Thad Lewis recently got bumped out. He was signed after the Bears cut him this week as a result of losing the starting quarterback job to Jimmy Clausen. Palmer should get the 4th quarter. I like Tuel to get the majority of this game, but the 4th quarter is where point spreads are covered in the preseason. Tuel was actually the former third stringer going into camp behind Lewis. So, there has been plenty of quarterback reshuffling in the preseason. The Lions are getting 4 points in this spot, and for the 4th game of the preseason against a team that has issues at quarterback, I like it. I also like Moore to look good late in this game, like he usually does in the preseason. If the Lions are down a backdoor cover is extremely likely, or even a straight up win from them. I had this capped at Bills -2. Needless to say I like getting +4 on the Lions in this matchup.
PICK = LIONS +4 (-110)