The NFL is back! Kind of... I’m a notorious preseason hater, but there are some storylines to be aware of if you’re a sicko who actually watches these games. The best way to manufacture interest is to bet on them, so I’ll give my prediction for this game against the Bills as well (Shameless plug: sign up at Pointsbet with promo code: FRUSTRATE to bet along with me).
So here we go, new coaches, new QB, new scheme, all unveiled on Friday night. Dan Campbell has said that he plans to play starters for at least most of the first quarter, which won’t be the norm league-wide, but maybe makes sense for a young team. Of course you run the risk of national criticism if a starter gets injured, but we’ll save that storyline for if it’s needed. There have been some minor injuries throughout training camp that might limit the availability of guys like Hand, Okudah, and Swift.
Dan Campbell: “We talked about it yesterday as a staff, we feel like they need to play. So, I think we’re looking at about a quarter this first preseason game against Buffalo.”
In this game I will be watching for a few things. What is our offensive scheme? Expect a lot of runs, a focus on time-of-possession, and some play action passing. How do we look in the kicking game? Big holes to fill at punter and placekicker, and some of the reports from training camp raise concern. A steady kicker has been taken for granted in Detroit for a lot of years, and I’d rather not find out how the rest of the league lives in that respect. Finally, NO INJURIES. Please for the love of Barry let there be no injuries. Again, preseason games don’t matter, unless a key player gets hurt. Then suddenly this game might be the biggest of your season. Please, please, please let there be no injuries.
If you’re a degenerate like me who bets on the preseason games, let’s get into my prediction. Here is how I decide. Which HC is better? Do we know who is playing? Which team has a deeper QB room? To the first point, obviously Dan Campbell is completely unproven so far, so advantage Buffalo. The Bills have already said that they plan to have Josh Allen out the entire game, so the Lions will probably have more starters and for a longer stretch. The question then is with Allen out, who will have the deeper QB room Friday? Goff and Trubisky both have multiple years of starting experience. 3rd stringer Davis Webb has never started a game, so I’ll give David Blough the experience edge because he started multiple games as Detroit’s backup. After that you’re looking at Tim Boyle vs Jake Fromm, not much to say there, but Boyle has more NFL experience though neither have started. If you somehow stayed awake through the examination of Lions and Bills 4th string QBs then you might have a problem, but I would probably give Detroit the advantage in this game based on the above factors. Vegas agrees, and Detroit has moved from an underdog to a 1-2 point favorite on most books. Objectively, I wouldn’t bet either team and would probably just follow the preseason trend of under 36.5. As a fan though GIMME THE LIONS AT ANY NUMBER YOU WANT!
Lions -1.5 and under 36.5.
Score prediction: 16-14 Lions miss an XP and a late FG attempt but squeak out a close win
Additional prediction: Over 1.5 kneecaps bitten by Dan Campbell.
-The Man In the Michigan Hat
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