Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicks off this Sunday at 4:25pm EST in Tampa Florida as a home game for the Buccaneers. The Lions are currently a -3 favorite and -162 on the moneyline while the total is set at 42.5. Read on for more Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers best bets and predictions as the Lions are in a great position to cover the spread.
Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Prediction
Even without two key playmakers on both sides of the ball with Amon-Ra St Brown and Brian Branch resting due to injuries, the Lions looked as crisp as ever. Granted they played against the Carolina Panthers, arguably the worst team in football, but still found success with ease off the backs of their depth.
They will need all the production they can get as Tampa’s pass defense is as good as it gets. They currently rank eighth in Def Pass EPA, second in Def Pass DVOA, and fifth in Def Pass Success Rate. Impressive marks for a team that uses a heavy dose of the blitz, ranking third in blitz rate. That means they are successfully getting to the quarterback, forcing the ball out of his hands and throwing into clogged passing lanes.
That plays right into the Lions hands as Jared Goff is capable of punishing blitz heavy defenses behind one of the best offensive lines in football. Especially since the Bucs defensive line struggles to generate pressure off their blitz, ranking 27th in Def Line Yards, 22nd in Def Sack Rate, and 15th in Pressure.
Should Goff still get a clean pocket for a majority of the contest against the blitz, that leaves the middle of the field wide open for the picking. That’s detrimental against a Lions pass attack who thrives in getting their playmakers open across the middle, especially if Amon-Ra St Brown is back from injury. Better yet for the Lions, should they punish the blitz and revert Tampa’s defense to drop back in coverage, then this opens up holes for their ground game.
On the other end, the Lions defensive line will be the key factor once again as this unit has thrived with shutting down the run and collapsing the pocket. Baker has revived his career with a good start yet is still prone to turnover worthy plays. Any sort of pressure lessens the quality of his throws, creating Havoc to the Lions benefit. Tampa’s offensive line struggles to hold their ground, ranking 30th in Adjusted Line Yards.
Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Prediction: Lions -3
Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Betting Odds
It’s no secret that Jared Goff struggles on the road, making it a surprise that oddsmakers opened the Lions at the key number of -3. Bettors believe that number is right, failing to move it in either direction since the opener. Should you like the Bucs, it’s worth waiting to see if this ticks up to +3.5 as the public comes in on the Lions as we near kickoff.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a moderate pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 45.5. Bettors believe defense will thrive in this game, betting the under down to as low as 42.5 as of writing. This comes as no surprise when you couple the Lions defensive success and Goff’s outdoors struggles, potentially creating plenty of stalled out drives.
Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Key Injuries
Plenty of big names have appeared on the injury report heading into this one with Amon-Ra St Brown, Brian Branch, Jahmyr Gibbs, and Mike Evans all being listed as questionable.
Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Key Matchups
Can David Montgomery continue to find success on the ground?
David Montgomery Vs. Bucs Front Seven
With Jahmyr Gibbs listed as questionable and trending down, David Montgomery is expected to take a brunt of the carries once again as the Lions lead back. He has greatly benefited from open running lanes as opposing defenses have had to drop back in coverage in an attempt to slow down the Lions pass attack.
David Montgomery scores his FOURTH touchdown in two games 🔥
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 8, 2023
Better yet for Montgomery, he may be able to find success in standard coverage as the Bucs defense have struggled to limit rushing production. Tampa Bay currently ranks 21st in Def Rush DVOA and 29th in Def Rush Success Rate. Success Rate being the most important matchup, meaning Montgomery can routinely cut the distance to gain in half on early downs and set up the rest of the offense for easy conversions.