Pick 1: Detroit vs. Tampa Bay and Denver vs. Buffalo

Pick 1: Detroit vs. Tampa Bay and Denver vs. Buffalo

The Teaser: Pair Detroit and Denver

Game 1: Detroit vs. Tampa Bay

The Initial Line:

Detroit -10 home vs. Tampa Bay

The Take:

Add 7.5 points to Detroit’s line

The Final Line:

Detroit -2.5

The Breakdown:

Detroit had a nice bounce-back win on Thanksgiving, winning at home vs Chicago 34-17. After 2 straight games without a TD, Detroit got 3 in the 2nd quarter alone. Matthew Stafford threw for 390 yds and 2 TDs, and Calvin Johnson had 146 yds and both receiving TDs. The defense also forced Jay Cutler into 2 INTs which helped the cause. Tampa Bay moved to 0-6 at home this year after falling to Cincinnati 14-13. Neither team had over 300 total yards in a game that had 4 total turnovers. Tampa Bay’s defense did force Andy Dalton into 3 INTs in the first half, but were not able to capitalize. Josh McCown was only 15-29 for 190 yds and an INT, and they only gained 75 rush yds on the day.

Despite losing 2 straight games before their last victory, Detroit still sits in a good position for the postseason at 8-4 and 1 game back of GB in the division. Surprisingly Tampa Bay is still in the playoff hunt with a 2-10 record, due to the fact that the leader in the NFC South (Atlanta) is sporting a 5-7 record. Detroit is just a much better team on offense and defense than TB, as they rank 2nd in defense in the NFL while TB ranks 20th. Also they will bring some confidence into the game at home, where they have scored an average of 24 PPG. Tampa Bay has only scored that many pts 3 times this year. Take Detroit at -2.5, as they should win this one easily.

Game 2: Denver vs. Buffalo

The Initial Line:

Denver -10 home vs. Buffalo

The Take:

Add 7.5 points to Denver’s line

The Final Line:

Denver -2.5

The Breakdown:

Denver got its second straight win, defeating division rival Kansas City on Sunday Night Football 29-16. This time it was Peyton Manning who carried the team, as he completed 50% of his passes for 179 yds and 2 TDs. CJ Anderson had a great game on the ground, rushing 32 times for 168 yds. The defense also turned in a strong performance, forcing 3 turnovers against a usually mistake-free KC offense. Buffalo got a nice win at home, defeating Cleveland 26-10. Dan Carpenter kicked 4 FGs in the game and Jerry Hughes returned a fumble 18 yds for a TD. The defense was also able to force Cleveland’s offense into 3 turnovers total.

Both Denver and Buffalo have won 2 straight games, but it was promising to see that even when Peyton has a below average game the offense can still gain yards on the ground. Denver has now scored at least 29 points in 9 out of 12 games this season. Buffalo on the other hand has only achieved that total 3 times. It will be interesting to see how Buffalo’s D matches up with Denver’s O, as Buffalo forces the 2nd most turnovers while Denver has the 4th fewest on offense. However Denver has been tough to beat at home since Peyton has been there. They are 20-2 (90.9% win %) there since 2012. Expect the trend to continue, and take Denver at home.

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