Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions: 2014 Week 14 NFL Pick

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-10) at Detroit Lions (8-4)

This line is too high. The Lions aren’t as good as their record, as they’ve gone 4-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less. They rank just 17th in rate of moving the chains differential, moving the chains at a 70.83% rate, as opposed to 70.83% for their opponents, a differential of 0.00%. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have just 2 losses by more than 10 points, which is relevant considering this line is at 10. On the road, they only have 1 loss by more than 10 points. They also have road victories as big underdogs in Washington and Pittsburgh and they played close games against solid teams in Cleveland and New Orleans. They rank 29th, moving the chains at a 68.34% rate, as opposed to 74.18% for their opponents, a differential of -5.83%.

The Lions are also in a bad spot because they are 1-11 ATS since 2011 off of a win by 10 or more, including 0-7 ATS as favorites. In those 7 instances as a favorite, they’ve only won twice, meaning they will upset 5 times in a 7 game span. The Buccaneers should be able to keep this one close. The only reason this isn’t a bigger play is because the Buccaneers are in a bad spot with a trip to Carolina on deck. Teams are 51-82 ATS as non-divisional road underdogs before being divisional road underdogs since 2002.

Detroit Lions 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10

Pick against the spread: Tampa Bay +10

Confidence: Low

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2 thoughts on “Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions: 2014 Week 14 NFL Pick

  1. I understand and agree with your reasoning, but I’m not clear on one point: why do you feel the line is too high? Based on the Rate of Moving the Chains differential, as I understand it, the line would be Detroit -6 on a neutral field. That means DET -9 at Ford Field, right? So, yes, it’s slightly more at -10, but not off by much.

    What am I missing?

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    • 10 is a key number so that 1-1.5 points of line value is reasonably significant. On top of that, most of Tampa Bay’s struggles this season were concentration in those 2 blowout losses to Atlanta and Baltimore. They haven’t lost by more than 10 in any of their other games. Plus Detroit has really struggled recently off of big wins over the past 3 seasons. It’s a low confidence pick so I don’t have any money on Tampa Bay, but there’s enough there for me to have some confidence.

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