NFL Thanksgiving picks, odds, betting offers


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Our NFL betting writer brings you his best Bills vs. Lions predictions and picks for their NFL Week 12 showdown, which is live Thursday on CBS at 12:30 p.m. ET.

The Buffalo Bills will play their second straight game in Detroit when they visit the Lions on Thursday. The Bills (7-3) posted a 31-23 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in a game that was moved to the Motor City due to a weather emergency in western New York.

Buffalo’s offense played turnover-free ball, Tyler Bass matched a career high by making all six of his field goal attempts and the Bills modest two-game skid was snapped. The Lions (4-6), in turn, recorded their third straight victory on Sunday after Jamaal Williams rushed for three touchdowns in a 31-18 victory over the New York Giants.

Bills vs. Lions picks

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Bills vs. Lions prediction and analysis

The Bills’ high-octane offense ranks second in both points per game (28.1) and total yards (417.4) and third in passing yards (283.4). The Lions, in turn, rank last in scoring defense (28.2 points) and total yards allowed (415.9).

While all of that sounds well and good, now let’s consider this: Josh Allen has one or fewer touchdown passes in three straight games — his longest such streak since the 2019 season. Allen, who is dealing with an ailing elbow, has thrown six of his 10 interceptions over the last four games.

The Lions have seven takeaways during their three-game winning streak after totaling just six over the first seven games of the season. Detroit is likely without Jeff Okudah (concussion) as it bids to end a five-game Thanksgiving Day losing streak.

Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills
Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills
Getty Images

Bills cover -9.5

While Allen didn’t exactly eat to his fill after recording 197 passing yards against Cleveland, he has done his fair share of feasting during Thanksgiving Day games. He passed for a touchdown and rushed for another in Buffalo’s 26-15 win over Dallas in 2019 and threw for four more in a 31-6 romp over New Orleans in 2021. 

Trusted target Stefon Diggs leads the Bills in catches (76), receiving yards (1,033) and receiving touchdowns (eight). Diggs is no stranger to the Lions during his time with the NFC North-rival Minnesota Vikings, and he’s torched Detroit to the tune of recording at least five catches and 65 scrimmage yards in six of his seven career encounters.

Tight end Dawson Knox had a career high-tying seven catches last week to move into second place on the team with 31 receptions. He reeled in two touchdown receptions in last season’s Thanksgiving Day victory over the Saints.

Bills vs. Lions pick: Bills to cover -9.5 @ -110 at Caesars Sportsbook

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Jamaal Williams to score first Lions touchdown

Williams recorded his fifth multi-touchdown performance on Sunday to become the fourth NFL player since 2000 to total at least two rushing TDs in his team’s first 10 games of a season (Shaun Alexander, Priest Holmes and Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson). With an NFL-best 12 rushing TDs, Williams successfully has wrested the No. 1 role in the backfield from D’Andre Swift.

For Detroit to keep within earshot of Buffalo, it will need to run the ball and keep Allen and Co. on the sideline. Enter Williams, who is eating up large chunks of the clock after totaling 57 carries over his last three games.

Williams will encounter Buffalo’s stout eighth-ranked rush defense (106.6), so it won’t be easy. If he isn’t successful, this game could get out of hand in a hurry and force many to check on the ETA of the turkey in the oven.

Bills vs. Lions pick: Jamaal Williams to score first team touchdown @ +575 at Caesars Sportsbook

Over 54 total points

The over rests at a hefty 54 points, and that sizable number may not be high enough given Detroit has scored 30-plus points in consecutive weeks for the first time since Weeks 1 and 2 and Buffalo is, well, Buffalo. The Lions’ generous defense also plays a role in the decision.

In addition to the Bills’ passing game, running back Devin Singletary is finding his groove and rushed for a season-high 86 yards last week.

As for Detroit, Amon-Ra St. Brown has recorded at least seven receptions in six of his last seven home games.

Bills vs. Lions pick: Over 54 points @ -110 at Caesars Sportsbook

Bills vs. Lions odds

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook, subject to change. Accurate at the time of publishing.

Team Spread Money Line Total Points: 54
Bills -9.5 (-110) -440 Over -110
Lions +9.5 (-110) +335 Over -110

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