Date/Time: November 24th, 1:00 PM ET
Spread: Detroit -9.5
Week 12 of the NFL season is here! With all of the games on the docket each and every week, we are going to be zeroing in on just one side or total that we think is the best of the bunch. Join us today, look at the game on Sunday, November 24th between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Detroit Lions.
We’ll make the decree right now that we aren’t going to be playing against the Oakland Raiders any time in the near future, as they have now beaten us in back to back weeks to drop us to 4-7 ATS in our picks of the week. There’s still a lot of season left to make it up though, and we have a juicy looking underdog to back this week in the Bucs going up to Ford Field to take on the Lions.
This isn’t your average week for the Lions by any stretch of the imagination. They are coming off of a heartbreaking loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game that they absolutely should have had. They have played back to back games on the road and are coming back home for two games in five days, and it’s tough to not at least have one eye on the duel with the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day down the line. We wouldn’t be faulting the Lions for putting less emphasis on this game and more on the one that is coming up in Week 13, especially knowing that Tampa Bay should be a pushover of a foe.
Or is it?
The Buccaneers have played much better ball over the course of the last three weeks. They had the Seattle Seahawks dead to rights before blowing that game, and they turned around and beat the Miami Dolphins and the Atlanta Falcons at home. They still haven’t won a road game yet this year, but they don’t have to win this one, rather just come within a touchdown or so.
What has really gotten this Tampa Bay team going in recent weeks is the play of rookie QB Mike Glennon. We’ll admit that after the first few games he was in the saddle, we were convinced that Glennon was a bust waiting to happen in this league. He was inefficient with his throws, wasn’t really uncorking a lot of deep balls, and was making too many bad passes in the flats. However, against the Seahawks, he went 17-of-23 for 168 yards and two TDs, and that was the game where he really turned things around. He’s started hitting a few deep balls, which is loosening things up for the running game just a bit, and Glennon was precise as could be against the Atlanta Falcons last week as well. He went 20-of-23 for 231 yards and two scores, and he certainly has built a great rapport with WR Vincent Jackson, who is going to be a terror to try to cover.
This Detroit defense is going to be a lot stingier than the one which Glennon played against last week for sure. However, we still know that he is going to have a great chance to move the ball, as QB Ben Roethlisberger just threw for 367 yards and four TDs against the Lions last week in bad weather conditions in the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
We hate the fact that S Dashon Goldson has been suspended for this game for his hit on WR Roddy White last week, but we think this is one that the Buccaneers can overcome. Detroit very well could be without DE Ziggy Ansah, S Glover Quin, and several others in this one as well, and those are two huge pieces to the puzzle on a defense which has been very good, relatively speaking this year.
We would be lying if we said we weren’t afraid of WR Calvin Johnson going off for 240 yards and three TDs against this secondary. Even with DB Darrelle Revis locked on Megatron all game long, we don’t think it’s going to make all that much of a difference. The Lions very well should get to at least 28 in this game.
Here’s what has us hooked, though. The Lions haven’t won a game by more than 14 points all season long, and only two of their six wins came by double digits. In fact, six of the 10 Detroit games thus far this year have been decided by eight points or fewer. If we can get this game right in that wheelhouse, we would be happy campers.
Teasing Tampa Bay would be the play we would love to make, and teasing it with the ‘over’ in this one seems to be the right play to us. Getting the Bucs at +16.5 is going to be far more than enough, and the ‘over’ 42 should be a snap to boot. However, for the sake of just making a single play, we want Tampa Bay on our side. The Buccaneers aren’t playing ball anything like a 2-8 team at this point, and they are going to be revved up to go on the road against a division leader and take their best shot. They won’t win this one, but this should be another one of these games which finishes within just a handful of points.
Week 12 NFL Pick of the Week: Tampa Bay Buccaneers +9.5
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.