NFL: Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Odds, Predictions & Picks

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
NFL Lions vs Buccaneers
NFL: Detroit Lions vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The 4-1 Lions ride into Tampa Bay to take on their former NFC Central Division rivals. Tampa will bring back their vintage “Creamsicle” orange and white jerseys for the game. Detroit has won three in a row and has a two-game lead in the NFC North after dispatching the Panthers 42-24 last week. The Lions defense ranks third in the NFL against the run and 15th in points allowed. Star defensive tackle Aidan Hutchinson grabbed his fourth career interception in the win over the Panthers – amazing for a defensive lineman.

Lions vs. Bucs Best Odds

Lions vs. Bucs Analysis


Detroit quarterback Jared Goff has been steady as a rock for the Lions, throwing for 1,265 yards and nine scores. With rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs ailing, David Montgomery has picked up the slack with 371 yards on the ground. The Lions secret strength is their offensive line, and that will face a challenge from a good Bucs defensive front featuring running back eater and Pro Bowler Vita Vea.

Injury Report: The Lions had a long injury report Wednesday: DB Brian Branch, OT Taylor Decker, DB Khalil Dorsey, RB Jahmyr Gibbs, OG Jonah Jackson, RB Zonovan Knight, TE James Mitchell, CB Emmanuel Moseley, C Frank Ragnow and WR Amon-Ra St. Brown.


NFL Tampa Bay BuccaneersBucs

No one thought much about the Bucs coming into 2023, but they are on top of their division and journeyman quarterback Baker Mayfield has played well. Mayfield, who has been with the Browns, Panthers, Rams and now Bucs, can still move in the pocket. He’s only been sacked four times. Keep an eye on the injury to Bucs start WR Mike Evans, however, Evans tweaked his hamstring in the second half against the Saints in Week 4. He’s the Bucs biggest offensive threat.

Injury Report: The Bucs injury report Wednesday was lengthy: CB Jamel Dean, LB SirVocea Dennis, WR Mike Evans, OT Luke Goedeke, DL Calijah Kancey, S Ryan Neal, LB Anthony Nelson, DB Derrek Pitts, LB Devin White

Lions vs. Bucs Key Points and Trends

Tampa Bay is 1-4 after bye weeks in the last five years, Ironically, that one win came over the Lions back in 2020, but the Bucs had Tom Brady then. Detroit leads the all-time series 31-29.

Lions rookie TE Sam LaPorta continues to set records with every catch. He now has 25 catches for 289 yards and three touchdowns.

Bucs coach Todd Bowles is in his second year with Tampa Bay. He also coached the Jets for four years finishing 24-40 in New York.

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Lions vs. Bucs Match Prediction

This is a good test for the Lions, on the road, against a team playing with some confidence and coming off a bye. Don’t expect another pushover like the Panthers were last week. 

The Bucs don’t run the ball well. They play pretty conservative on offense and let their defense make plays. They have a good secondary, both Christian Izien and Dee Delaney have two interceptions already.

For Detroit to win they have to take advantage of the opportunities they get and be careful with the football. Tampa leads the NFL in turnover differential at +7. 

I can’t see the Bucs scoring a lot of points against a good Lions defense, but the Bucs defense will make it hard for the Lions too. 

Those “Creamsicle” jerseys will look nice, but remember, the Bucs lost a lot of games wearing them. The Lions are 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games. Take the Lions to cover the three-point spread.

Lions vs. Bucs Best Bet

Those “Creamsicle” jerseys will look nice, but remember, the Bucs lost a lot of games wearing them over the years. The Lions are 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games. They are playing winning football, and are better than the Bucs where it matters most, namely quarterback, and they can match the Bucs good defensive line. Take the Lions to cover the three-point spread

Lions -3 (-120) | FanDuel

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.