Pick Lions as Underdogs vs. Bills in NFL Preseason Odds

David Lawrence

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 5:09 PM GMT

The Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills are both making their way through an ugly preseason, but in this NFL preseason, just about everyone has been ugly. The Bills are a four-point favorite on the NFL odds.

Is There A Coaching Edge?
Jim Caldwell of the Lions used to coach the Indianapolis Colts, and he made a Super Bowl with the team. Of course, he had Peyton Manning on his side, so that helped him a lot. Caldwell entered this preseason with a 4-11 preseason record, but the Lions are 2-1 in this preseason while Buffalo is 1-3. Detroit has won each of its two preseason games by 13-12 scores, however, so it’s not as though the Lions have been convincing or impressive. Detroit’s one preseason loss came by a score of 27-26, so the Lions can say that they’ve played three one-point games in this preseason, which is really hard to do. The Lions have a lot of talent on their roster, and Caldwell certainly wants to see a lot of position battles take place on Thursday so that he can make final roster cuts and get his 53-man team set for the coming season, in which Lions fans are hoping Detroit can make big improvements on its awful 2013 season.

Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone has not had a winning record in NFL preseason games, and he’s 1-3 this preseason. The Bills have been the worst team in the NFL over the past 13 years in terms of not making the playoffs and never tasting any real success. Even the Cleveland Browns made the playoffs more recently than the Bills. A number of franchises that are down on their luck, such as Jacksonville and the Oakland Raiders, have made the playoffs more recently than Buffalo has. Marrone has a hard job on his hands, but it’s hard to say that he’s a better coach than Caldwell.

 

Who Has The Edge In Quarterback Depth?
This is a tough one. Buffalo was not great at quarterback last season, but it was very deep. Thad Lewis played admirably, though not always with great precision, as the team’s number four quarterback after E.J. Manuel, Kevin Kolb, and Jeff Tuel were hit by injuries and signee Matt Flynn just didn’t work out after a brief trial run. The Bills kept going through players, and Lewis provided some stability amidst all the craziness and the disruptions. Manuel came back from an injury late in the season, but he just wasn’t the same player as he was before the injury. This preseason, Lewis and Manuel have both struggled a lot, leading former Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly, the legend who is recovering and in remission from cancer, to express concerns about the Bills’ quarterback situation.

Detroit Lions will give Kellen Moore a lot of playing time as the backup to Matthew Stafford. Moore does not have a big arm, but his sense of the field is better than a lot of other backups around the league. If you were to choose between Moore and the Bills’ two guys, you’d call it a wash at worst, maybe leaning to Moore.

 

Outlook
This is a game in which the Bills are desperate for good quarterback play, but will they find it? Detroit has a lot of players who are hungry to be part of what could be a playoff team. The Bills seem to be losing hope in their quarterbacks. Take Detroit plus the points as your NFL pick.
Free NFL Pick: Lions +4

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