NFL Divisional Round: Buccaneers vs. Lions picks, predictions and player props

Zachary Cohen breaks down the NFL Playoffs Divisional Round meeting between the Buccaneers and Lions on Sunday, January 21.

Sep 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) looks to pass during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers vs. Lions Divisional Round odds and predictions

On Sunday, January 21, the Detroit Lions take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a spot in the NFC Championship Game. This one will be played at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on Sunday, January 21. That should make for a fun atmosphere, as no fanbase on the planet wants this as bad as the Lions. But the Buccaneers are playing some great football right now, so this isn’t going to be easy for Detroit. With that said, keep reading for our Buccaneers vs. Lions NFL picks and predictions to see how this one might play out. 

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How To Watch Buccaneers vs. Lions

Date: Sunday, January 21

Time: 3:00 pm ET

Channel: NBC

Buccaneers vs. Lions Spread

The Buccaneers were small underdogs against the Eagles in the Wild-Card Round, but they ended up earning a 32-9 home victory. Baker Mayfield was tremendous in that game, throwing for 337 yards with three touchdowns. Tampa Bay’s offense looked as good as it has all season, and the unit has really turned things up a notch in the second half of the year. That makes it hard to turn the Buccaneers down as underdogs of nearly a touchdown here. 

The Lions had the best rushing defense in the NFL this season, according to DVOA. However, that might not matter all that much against a Bucs team that doesn’t expect to get much out of the running game. Running back Rachaad White played like a star for Tampa Bay this season, but he did a lot of his best work as a receiver out of the backfield. And overall, this Buccaneers team is going to try and win on the back of Mayfield and the passing game. The Lions are extremely burnable in the secondary, and Tampa Bay has one of the better receiving corps in the league. Both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are capable of eating in this match-up. 

This Bucs offense really started clicking once December hit, making it hard to even factor in Detroit’s 20-6 road win over Tampa Bay in October. However, I do think it’s fair to consider what the Buccaneers defense did in that game. Tampa Bay has been rock-solid on that side of the ball all year, and nothing has changed as of late. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Buccaneers are able to slow down the Lions running game again. Detroit rushed 22 times for only 40 yards in the last meeting between these teams. What I’m not expecting to happen again is Jared Goff throwing for 340 yards. Goff will be happy to be playing another game inside a dome, but the Buccaneers will be ready for this passing game. 

Over the last two seasons, Tampa Bay is 6-0 against the spread when avenging a loss where the team scored less than 14 points. The Buccaneers won those games by an average score of 26.5 to 19.2. Tampa Bay is also 8-1 ATS in road games this season, and that includes a 7-1 ATS mark as a road underdog. On top of that, Detroit is just 2-3 straight up and 1-4 ATS when coming off a win by three or fewer points under Dan Campbell.

Buccaneers vs. Lions Total

The Buccaneers offense has been surprisingly explosive recently, so it’s not crazy to expect a shootout in this meeting with the Lions. I think Tampa Bay will show up defensively in this one, but that doesn’t mean the Buccaneers will completely shut the Lions down. The fact of the matter here is that Detroit is a big favorite in an indoor game, and these are two teams with good passing offenses — at least right now. The Lions are seventh in the the league in DVOA through the air this year, while the Buccaneers have been an above-average passing offense for a few weeks now. That said, with perfect throwing conditions, you should expect some offense here. 

It’s just hard to overlook the fact that the Over is 15-6 in Detroit’s dome games since the start of last season. And the average total points scored in those games was 55.1 points per game. This offense is a whole other beast when playing indoors, and I think the opponent will be able to keep up. So, I’m looking for points here.

Buccaneers vs. Lions Player Prop

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Baker Mayfield Over 241.5 Passing Yards (-114 – Play to Over 242.5)

Mayfield is coming off a 337-yard performance and has now thrown for at least 250 yards in four of his last five games. It took Mayfield some time to really get comfortable in Dave Canales’ offense, but he’s now playing the best football of his NFL career. And Mayfield will now be facing a Lions team that is mediocre when it comes to passing defense. He’ll also be doing so in perfect throwing conditions. That said, I like Mayfield to have a big game against Detroit. I also like the fact that this Over would be in even better shape if the Lions were to go up big in this one, which can’t be ruled out. He’d then have to try and play Tampa Bay back in the game, and that would result in a ton of yards.

Buccaneers vs. Lions Prediction

The Buccaneers feel like a more connected team right now, and they have a whole lot of momentum entering this game. They needed a lot to go right in order to even make the postseason, but they did that and then beat down the Eagles. Now, they get to give their defensive head coach a second crack at an offense that can occasionally stall out. So, I like Tampa to get some key stops here. And the Buccaneers have been hot offensively, so I think they’ll take advantage of a match-up with a mediocre defense. I’m taking the points in this game, but I also think Tampa is a live ‘dog.

Pick: Bucs +6

Head to our Pro Picks page to see how VSiN analysts are betting Buccaneers vs. Lions! 

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