Lions vs. Bucs Spread Steady at 5.5: Detroit Road Woes vs. Tampa Injuries

Written by:
Don Shapiro
Published on:
Lions vs. Bucs Spread

The Lions vs. Bucs spread remained steady at -5.5 in favor of Tampa Bay at home.  The Buccaneers are currently 8-5 while Detroit comes into this game having beaten Green Bay last week, giving them a record of 3-10.   Tampa Bay still have hopes for a wildcard playoffs appearance, however, they are stuck in a red hot division with New Orleans one game ahead and Atlanta leading the NFC South.

One of the reasons why the Bucs line in this game is reasonably low considering the lopsided records has to do with mounting injuries.  Sports bettors must be aware of the potential impact such injuries might have on Tampa’s performance Sunday.   They have lost four starters: Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Quincy Black.  McCoy (torn left biceps), the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft, and Black (broken forearm) were placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

The Bucs will also be dealing with an arrest of Geno Hayes for disorderly conduct.  He will play on Sunday but is the third Tampa Bay player to be arrested during this regular season. 

"You talk to your team about making good decisions all the time," Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris said. "Obviously, you're frustrated with anything that diverts attention away from your team. ... It's diverting away from us being positive and 8-5, and just talking about that stuff."

Lucky for the Bucs they will be facing a Detroit team that has a monumental trend going against them entering this game.  They have lost 26 straight games on the road.

While the Lions are 3-13 Against The Spread in their last 16 games as a road underdog of 3.5-10.0, they are also 6-2-2 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.

Losing on the road is one thing, losing by how many points is quite another when it comes to sports betting. 

Detroit lost by 16 points on the road in Dallas but by only 2 points the week before in Buffalo.  They lost by 8 points in New York to the Giants and just two points to Green Bay prior to that. 

Unless the current spread were a field goal or less, the Lions losing trend on the road is not entirely relevant when it comes to betting the game (ATS record).

It should also be noted that Detroit plays well Against The Spread following wins, which is not necessarily the case with most teams with 4 or less wins this late into the season. The Lions are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win.  They are also 8-2 ATS vs. conference opponents.

Here is what scares us at when it comes to betting against Detroit.  They are 8-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record while Tampa Bay is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.

We say betting on Tampa Bay might be a risky move.  Likewise, Detroit on the road with only 3 wins under their belt is a tough bet to make even if they have the 60 percent or better edge coming into this game.  Tampa Bay in a teaser might make some degree of sense.  You decide.  We will sit this one out however (note that our Carrie Stroup may have other ideas come the weekend). 

Betting action on both the money line and spread was relatively even.  60 percent of the backing on the total was on the OVER 43.5. 

- Don Shapiro,

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