Running Back Tandem to Lead Bills to ATS Cover vs. Lions

Steven Suarez

Thursday, October 2, 2014 6:56 PM GMT

Aiming for their third consecutive win, the Lions welcome the Bills to Detroit this weekend. Sportsbooks have listed the Lions as touchdown-favorites on the NFL odds, but we're not so sure the hosts are the best side to take in this spot.

In searching for their third straight victory, the Lions are favored by seven points at a lot of the top NFL betting sites. They've been one of the best teams to back this season, covering the spread in three of the first four weeks. Meanwhile, the Bills have gone 2-2 both straight up and against the spread thus far.

Is there value in making a play on the total? We'll have a lot of speed on the field (Spiller, Bush, Calvin Johnson, Tate, Watkins), so we could see a lot of big plays. Right now, the O/U is at 43.5 on the NFL odds board, which at first glance seems a little low.

Detroit Lions in 2014-15 Regular Season3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS, +5.8 margin of victory

Buffalo Bills in 2014-15 Regular Season2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS, +1.0 margin of victory

The Lions crushed the Giants in Week 1, then fell flat on their faces the following week in a road loss to Carolina. However, they've since responded by winning consecutive games over Green Bay and then the New York Jets. Now Detroit is sitting pretty at 3-1, with a home game incoming in Week 5.

In Week 4, Detroit survived a tough road test to beat the Jets 24-17. 

Matthew Stafford bounced back after a putrid Week 4 to throw for 293 yards and two touchdowns. With Calvin Johnson hobbled, Stafford found a new favorite toy in Golden State, who had eight catches for 116 yards. The scoring plays were made by Eric Ebron and Jeremy Ross, with Johnson getting held to a measly 12 yards. Surely he'll fare better this weekend.

Detroit's run game didn't do much of anything, with neither Reggie Bush or Joique Bell topping 50 yards, but at least the defense stepped up. The Lions were all over Geno Smith, and that defensive pressure was key to preserving a crucial road win.

This weekend, Detroit will play a Bills team that has lost two straight. Buffalo fell 24-17 in Houston last weekend as the NFL betting underdogs.

QB E.J. Manuel again made quite a few mistakes, throwing two picks and getting sacked twice on his way to a putrid 7.4 QBR. C.J. Spiller had 60 rushing yards and 24 receiving yards, while Fred Jackson totaled 85 total yards in the loss. Elsewhere, Mike Williams led the way with 84 receiving yards, with practically all of it coming on an 80-yard TD play. Rookie wideout Sammy Watkins grabbed the other touchdown.

Manuel's poor showing was the last straw, as the coaching staff has decided to hand over the reigns to Kyle Orton. Yikes, you know things are bad when that's your next course of action. We can't wait to see how Orton fares in his first start of the season.

 

Suarez Says:
There are a couple plays that appear to hold value in our eyes.

We think the Bills actually may be worth a play in this situation. A lot of people will be counting them out since Orton will be starting, but it's not like Manuel was getting the job done, and Buffalo still has a fearsome two-headed monster in their backfield. We think the duo of Spiller and Jackson could cause Detroit problems this weekend.

There could also be some value on the "over". As we mentioned at the top, we'll have a lot of speed on the field in Detroit, which could translate into some long-yardage plays and help this total go higher than people think. Our official NFL pick will be on the Bills as NFL betting dogs, but we also like the look of the 'over' as a lean.

NFL Picks: Bills +7.5 (and lean OVER) at 5Dimes

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