Bills' 0-7 SU & ATS Preseason Record Against Lions Since 2007 Makes Detroit Our NFL Pick

Jason Lake

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 11:02 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 1, 2015 11:02 PM UTC

The Buffalo Bills might have settled on a starting quarterback, but there's still a job up for grabs in Thursday's game against the Detroit Lions, and the NFL odds have taken notice.

The three-headed quarterback monster has been slain. On Monday, Bills head coach Rex Ryan named Tyrod Taylor as his starting quarterback for the regular season, passing on veteran Matt Cassel and incumbent EJ Manuel. That puts an end to the mystery that's been surrounding Buffalo's QB competition all summer long.

Well, not quite. There's a fourth guy playing for a job: Matt Simms, who's a strong candidate to take every single snap for the Bills Thursday night (7:30 p.m. ET) when they visit the Lions in the preseason finale. Provided Simms doesn't break an arm or otherwise foul up this game, he could earn himself the No. 3 spot if Buffalo chooses to ditch either Flynn or Manuel. That might be enough motivation for Simms and the Bills to pay off as 1-point road dogs on the NFL odds board.


Ngata Problem
It's a nice theory, and according to our early consensus reports, 100 percent of bettors were on the Buffalo Bills to kick things off. Then everything got turned upside-down Tuesday morning, as 85 percent of bettors were on the Detroit Lions despite little change in the football odds. Maybe the news of Simms perhaps playing the whole game wasn't encouraging for Buffalo supporters after all.

Here's another problem with our theory: Lions DT Haloti Ngata and RB Joique Bell were activated on Monday and got in their first practice of the summer. They might have to play some of Thursday's game just to get in a little work before the regular season. Detroit head coach Jim Caldwell would only say that it “depends on the situation” whether Ngata and Bell, or any of his other starters, would face the Bills.


Seven Bagels for Seven Brothers
Which leaves us in a bit of a pickle. Buffalo and Detroit have each won two of three SU and ATS this preseason; Ryan is now 13-14 ATS lifetime in exhibition play, while Caldwell is 10-9 ATS. Not much to work with there, either. Fortunately for us, these two teams have met in the preseason finale every year since way back in 2002. We're not sure how much predictive power this has since Ryan wasn't involved, but the Bills are just 3-10 SU and 4-9 ATS in these games, including 0-7 SU and ATS since 2007.

Ordinarily, we might defer and take the OVER instead, since it's 19-8 lifetime for Ryan and a neutral 9-10 for Caldwell. However, the UNDER is 3-0 this year with the Lions and their perhaps-still-good defense, and apparently the people have spoken about how little they expect from Simms and the Buffalo offense. We'll attach our hopes and dreams to that 0-7 SU and ATS record and fade the Bills with our instead. May the prolate spheroid be with you.

Free NFL Pick: Take the Lions –1 (–105) at WagerWeb

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