The Detroit Lions moved to 4-1 on the season with a 42-24 win over the Carolina Panthers in Week 5, as they took care of business against a clearly inferior team. Now they'll hit the road in three of their next four games, starting with Week 6 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As a nod to the increased appeal of the game, the NFL moved Lions-Buccaneers to a 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff last week. The Buccaneers are 3-1, coming off their bye in Week 5.
But Tampa Bay is, shall we say, a flimsy 3-1. They have beaten the 1-4 Minnesota Vikings, the 1-4 Chicago Bears and the 3-2 New Orleans Saints. The Saints had a clearly less than 100 percent Derek Carr under center. The one really good team the Buccaneers have played, the Philadelphia Eagles, beat them fairly soundly.
So in some way, playing the Lions will be a test of how good the Buccaneers really are.
Via FanDuel Sportsbook, here are the early odds for Lions-Buccaneers along with a prediction for the game.
Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Early Week 6 odds and a prediction
Lions: -3 (-120)
Buccaneer: +3 (-102)
Over/Under (43.5 points)
Prediction: Lions 27, Buccaneers 20
The Lions have won decisively, a couple times more decisively than the score truly indicated, in three straight games-by 14, 14 and 18 points respectively. Going on the road is never easy, and it could be a challenging environment at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday. But if Lions fans travel like they have to Kansas City and Green Bay, there will be a good bit of Honolulu Blue in the stands Sunday afternoon.
Even on the road against a team that has a good record, I just don't see the Lions having very much trouble with the post-Tom Brady Buccaneers. Winning by a touchdown might be light when it's all said and done.
On the betting angles, the Lions cover, win outright and the over cashes in.
Notes: Odds update regularly and are subject to change.