Lions vs Buccaneers Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Oct 11, 2023

The Lions (4-1) head into this Week 6 matchup as one of the hottest teams in the league, while the Buccaneers (3-1) come off a bye as one of the most surprising teams in the league. Detroit has lived up to their lofty preseason expectations, and Tampa Bay has greatly exceeded most preseason predictions that had them taking up residence in the basement of the NFC South in the post-Tom Brady era.

Detroit is dealing with injuries to a few key starters, but they fared just fine in a 42-24 blowout against the Panthers last week, while Tampa Bay should be fully rested coming off their bye after a 26-9 blowout against the Saints.

The Buccaneers three wins have come against teams with a combined 5-10 record, so they’ll have their work cut out for them against a Lions squad that looks ready to run away with the NFC North.

Lions vs Buccaneers Odds

NFL odds used for this Detroit vs Tampa Bay preview were found at DraftKings Sportsbook and are current as of Tuesday, October 10 at 12:00 P.M. ET.

  • Moneyline: Lions (-162) • Buccaneers (+136)
  • Spread: Lions -3 (-115) • Buccaneers +3 (-105)
  • Total Points: Over 43.5 (-108) • Under 43.5 (-112)
  • Implied Score: Lions 23.25, Buccaneers 20.25

Lions vs Buccaneers Predictions

Score Pick: Lions 27, Buccaneers 17

I’d have the Lions winning a lot bigger, but they’re still dealing with injury uncertainty with Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jahmyr Gibbs. While that didn’t matter much last week against an 0-5 Panthers team that looks destined for a top-3 pick, the Buccaneers have limited every non-Eagles opponent to 17 points or less this season.

All that said, Detroit is 2-0 on the road. It has enough depth to get by without St. Brown and Gibbs as Jared Goff, David Montgomery, and Sam LaPorta have emerged as dependable offensive playmakers for a first-place team (which is not something I would’ve expected to write just 12 months ago).

And speaking of things I never thought I’d write just 12 months ago (or maybe even one month ago), Baker Mayfield has looked great over the first four games of the season with 882 passing yards and a 7:2 touchdown:interception ratio. Mike Evans has also been playing at a Pro Bowl level and has quieted the preseason doubts about whether or not he could produce without Brady.

While I think the Buccaneers will be able to hang in this matchup, Detroit is firing on all cylinders right now and will prove to be too much for Tampa Bay to handle.

Lions vs Buccaneers Best Bets & Props

Lions Over 23.5 (+100)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 2 units

I’m locking in the over as my NFL bet of the day this week, primarily due to the fact that the Lions keep on rolling without or without Brown. The Lions scored 31 or more points in three of their five games and 20 and 21 points in their other two games.

Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is going to be a head coach by this time next year if the Lions can keep this up, but they’re set up to smash this total on the road this week. And I’d expect this total to bump up to at least 24.5 if St. Brown suits up.

Over 43.5 (-108)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

If the Lions can keep up their high-flying pace that we just talked about, we only need 14-17 points from the Buccaneers here. They’ve scored at least 20 in all three of their wins and still put up 11 points against a tough Eagles defense.

While I don’t love putting a lot of trust in Mayfield, the Lions have let every opponent except the Falcons score at least 20 points, so there’s (theoretically) a decent floor for the Buccaneers points total.

Lions -3 (-115)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

If you couldn’t already tell, I’m drinking the Lions Kool-Aid. I thought they were entirely overrated heading into the season, but they’ve converted me after beating the Chiefs and subsequently rolling through the rest of their non-Seahawks games (and they still came close to winning that game, too!).

Outside of the Chiefs game, Detroit has won their other three games by an average of 14 points. That doesn’t automatically translate into a 14-point win on the road against Tampa Bay, but there’s enough evidence here to point toward a Lions win margin of more than three points – especially if St. Brown plays.

I’d expect this line to move higher than three if we find out St. Brown is in, so there’s some value in getting in on this spread now.

Lions Score 21-30 (+145)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

For all the reasons stated above, I think it’s more or less a lock that the Lions will score 21 or more points. The biggest risk here is if they score more than 30 points. Our odds get even better if we bump up to the 31-40 team total points bet (+400), but I’m going to stick here as I think the Buccaneers defense is good enough to keep the Lions under 30 – especially at home.

Lions vs Buccaneers Same Game Parlay

Lions vs Buccaneers SGP (+146)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

  • Lions (-162)
  • Lions Over 23.5 (+100)
  • Lions Touchdowns Over 2.5 (-120)

I’ll be a broken record and say I think the Lions will win this game. I’ll be even more of a broken record and say that I think the Lions will score more than 23.5 points. So, my only real question is how they’ll get to both outcomes. They’ve scored three touchdowns in four of their five games this season, so history is on their side.

I don’t like making decisions based solely on history (it’s not exactly predictive), but they have enough firepower (especially if St. Brown plays) to hit this touchdown total.


Nick Roberts

Nick is an analyst at The Game Day who writes about the NFL and NBA from a betting perspective. He previously contributed to RotoWorld, Rotowire, and The New York Times. Nick resides in New Jersey.

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