Buffalo Bills vs Detroit Lions Matchup Preview - November 24th, 2022

Editor

The Detroit Lions come in as 9.5 point home underdog as they play the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field Thursday. Their last head-to-head matchup was a low scoring slugfest. In Week 15 of 2018 the Bills won on the road beating the Lions 14-13.

Buffalo's biggest strength has been their offense, ranking #3 in the league with 380 yards per game. They've achieved offensive success largely through the quality of their passing attack, which is #3-best in football with 293 yards per game. Perhaps because the defense has to take their pass game so seriously, the Bills have also managed to rush for 4.99 yards per carry, which puts them in the top 10. It's also worth noting that opposing defenses have stacked the box a whopping 13.2% of the time against the Bills in an attempt to stop the run game. But because passing is so much more important for an offensive to run effectively, this has opened up opportunities for Buffalo's offense to succeed through the air. This represents a particular advantage for Buffalo given that the Lions have struggled so much to stop the pass this year, allowing 9.07 yards per target (#1-worst in the league). In terms of their defense, the Bills have ranked #14 in the league in total yards allowed per game. Opposing offenses have passed for 224 yards per game through the air against them (#20 in football). On the ground, opposing ball-carriers have ranked #13 with 4.44 yards per carry. Buffalo has been most effective in shutting down opposing tight ends, holding them to 6.06 yards per target (#4-best). Buffalo has been least effective in shutting down opposing running backs, giving up a 87.2% completion rate (#3-highest).

Detroit's primary disadvantage has been their defense, which has allowed a monstrous 396 yards per game this year, sliding them into the #2 spot among the league's worst. Much of their struggle has come in trying to shut down the run game, as they've allowed opposing ball-carriers to rush for the #2-most yards per carry: 5.47. That kind of ineffectiveness has also leached over to their pass defense, which has landed them in the #32 spot in terms of yards per target (9.07). Lions safeties are perhaps most responsible for their dismal run defense this year, given that they grade out as the #4-worst unit in the NFL. This presents a decided disadvantage for Detroit given that the Bills ground game has been so good this year, rushing for 4.99 yards per carry (#3-best in the league). When it comes to their offense, the Lions check in at #6 in football when it comes to total yards per game. Their passing game has compiled 243 yards per game (#14 in football). Their run game has ranked #8 with 4.73 yards per attempt on the ground.

Buffalo Bills Insights

  • The weather forecast calls for snow in this game... which generally means lower pass volume (and increased run volume) and lessened passing efficiency.

  • Gabe Davis has accumulated far more air yards this year (100.0 per game) than he did last year (56.0 per game).

  • The Sharp Model projects Josh Allen to pass for 2.41 TDs in this week's game, on average: the most of all quarterbacks.

Detroit Lions Insights

  • This game will be played in a dome—which means no wind, increased pass volume, increased touchdown potential, and better passing effectiveness.

  • The Buffalo Bills linebackers project as the best group of LBs in the NFL this year in covering pass-catchers.

  • The Buffalo Bills pass defense has excelled when opposing WRs have gotten into space, surrendering an average of 3.75 yards-after-the-catch this year: the 2nd-least in the league.

Betting Trends

  • The Detroit Lions have hit the 1H Moneyline in 6 of their last 8 games at home (+8.15 Units / 94% ROI)

  • The Buffalo Bills have hit the 1H Game Total Over in 11 of their last 17 games (+6.50 Units / 34% ROI)

  • Gabriel Davis has hit the Receiving Yards Over in 12 of his last 17 games (+6.15 Units / 32% ROI)