The Detroit Lions have not won their annual Thanksgiving Day game since 2016, but if they can upset the Buffalo Bills on Thursday afternoon, they will break that streak and extend their current–and very surprising–win streak to four games.
After holding off the Packers at home and edging the Bears in Chicago, the Lions made it three wins in a row on Sunday with a 31-18 road win over the Giants.
It’s Detroit’s first three-game win streak since 2017, which also took spanned Week 9, Week 10, and Week 11 before ending on Turkey Day with a 30-23 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
If they avoid suffering that same fate against the Bills, the Lions will have four wins in a row for the first time since 2016, when they won five games in a row on the way to the franchise’s most recent appearance in the NFL playoffs.
However, the odds are certainly up against them here, as Buffalo enters Week 12 sitting ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, and Dallas Cowboys atop the latest Super Bowl odds.
But am I writing off the Lions’ chances to best the Bills? Read on for my breakdown of the matchup, along with my Lions vs Bills prediction and picks.
Buffalo Bills vs Detroit Lions Matchup Information and Betting Odds
- Matchup: Buffalo Bills (7-3, 3-2 away, 2nd in the AFC East) vs Detroit Lions (4-6, 2-3 home, 2nd in the NFC North)
- Venue & Location: Ford Field (Detroit, Michigan)
- Date: Thursday, November 24, 2022
- Game Time: 12:30 pm ET
- How to Watch Bills vs Lions: CBS
Bills vs Lions Early Odds
Game odds are via FanDuel as of Tuesday, November 22, 2022, at 3:00 am ET. Odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites may also be included in this article.
- Buffalo Bills -9.5 (-105)
- Detroit Lions +9.5 (-115)
- Over 53.5 (-115)
- Under 53.5 (-105)
- Buffalo Bills -420
- Detroit Lions +330
Can Detroit Continue to Turn the Tide with Takeaways?
This will be Buffalo’s second straight game at Ford Field, as they played Sunday’s 31-23 win over the Cleveland Browns there due to the snowstorm that rendered playing at home impossible.
It wasn’t where they would have wanted to be, but the Bills were able to get back on track against the Browns after back-to-back close losses against the Jets and Vikings.
A key to the win for Buffalo was playing a turnover-free game after crucial giveaways cost them against the Jets and Vikings.
After throwing multiple interceptions in back-to-back-to-back games, Josh Allen was not spectacular, but he didn’t let the ball wind up in the other team’s hands.
If the Lions are to be in it to win it on Turkey Day, they will need Allen to return his generous ways.
Winning the turnover battle has been a huge part of Detroit’s win streak, as they are +6 in that department during the streak.
- vs Green Bay Packers: three takeaways (three interceptions), zero giveaways
- at Chicago Bears: one takeaway (one interception, which was returned for a touchdown)
- at New York Giants: three takeaways (two interceptions, one fumble recovery), zero giveaways
It is a heck of a leap for the Lions, who had just six takeaways and a turnover margin of -5 in their first seven games.
They now have a better turnover margin (+1) than the Bills (0), who are tied for third in the NFL in takeaways (18 – 13 interceptions, five lost fumbles) but alone in third in the league in giveaways (18 – ten interceptions, eight lost fumbles).
Buffalo Bills vs Detroit Lions Prediction and Picks
Bills vs Lions Prediction: Bills to win
Bills vs Lions Picks: Lions to cover (Best Value: +9.5 @ -115 at FanDuel) & Lions to cover in the first half (Best Value: +6 @ -120 at FanDuel)
I’m not bold enough to back Detroit with my Bills vs Lions prediction, but I do think that this is a game that the Lions can and will at least stay close.
Allen didn’t make have any giveaways against the Browns, but Cleveland ranks 29th in turnover margin (-6) and is tied for 28th in takeaways (8 – five interceptions, three fumble recoveries).
Look for Allen to keep Detroit in it with a giveaway or two, and they may even lead at some point late in the game. But turning them into an upset will prove to be a bridge too far for the Lions.
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