Week 1 NFL Expert Picks: Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Bucs: September 11th 2011
Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Bucs
Week 1 Expert NFL Pick: Tampa Bay Bucs -1 (September 11th 2011)
Detroit is once again the “it” team as the Lions are being praised as the next big thing. To their credit, they very well could be but we have not seen it yet and the lines should not be reflecting it. Detroit finished last season with four straight wins to end the season, all by a touchdown or less, and then went 4-0 this preseason. A thumping of the Patriots on national television in Week Three certainly caught the attention of the public and we have seen this line drop four points since opening.
Because the Lions are the talk of the town, many seem to be forgetting that the Tampa Bay Buccaneer had a very solid season a year ago. They were one of just 13 teams that won at least 10 games and they were one of two teams, along with the New York Giants, that failed to make the playoffs despite double-digit wins. The Buccaneers play in a tough division with the Saints and Falcons so they are not getting the same praise as the others. This team will once again be good and this line is not reflecting that.
According to Jay Kornegay who is the vice president of race and sports operations at the Las Vegas Hilton, the public is all over the Lions as far as going over their win total. “It’s almost 4-to-1 in ratio as far as more people betting the over than the under”, he said. “I can’t say we’re going to be Lions fans this year.” He also noted that they are ranked sixth in Super Bowl betting popularity and they have gone from 25-1 to 12-1 to win the NFC championship. This without playing a meaningful game.
The Buccaneers missed the playoffs by just a game last season and they can thank the Lions for that. They won three of their final four games and the one loss in that stretch came against Detroit at home in overtime. “We definitely had a bad taste in our mouths after that game,” said defensive tackle Roy Miller. “It just carried over to this year. But in the back of our mind, we remember the game so it will be something to remember when we walk on field.”
The fact that the Lions had dropped an NFL-record 26 consecutive road games before rallying behind third-string quarterback Drew Stanton to win 23-20 in overtime made the loss even more difficult to swallow. Detroit is 0-4 ATS in its last four games as an underdog of three points or less while the Buccaneers are 3-1-1 ATS in their five games as a favorite of the same parameters. Tampa Bay was favored by 3.5 points in that meeting last season and not enough has changed to make this line this much shorter. 3* (456) Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Get more expert’s NFL picks from Matt Fargo at Touthouse.com