The Bucs are 3-1 on the season and a large reason for that has been because of their stellar play in the secondary. That impressive play has created some interesting betting lines, as Vegas is expecting low results from the Lions offense. But the Lions constantly strive for balance on offense and there are a few constants that happen weekly in their passing attack.
Those consistencies from the Lions, plus low expectations from the betting community, have resulted in some thought-provoking betting wagers to consider.
Josh Reynolds, OVER 32.5 receiving yards (-115)
In Week 3 against the Falcons the Lions relentlessly attacked the middle of the field and Josh Reynolds finished the game without a catch. That goose egg in the stat column has resulted in favorable betting lines for his expected production.
But outside of Week 3—an anomaly the Lions have said they don’t expect to happen again—Reynolds has been highly efficient. He produced 80 receiving yards on four receptions in Week 1 against the Chiefs, had five catches for 66 yards against the Seahawks in Week 2, three receptions for 69 yards against the Packers in Week 4, then had four receptions for 76 yards last week against the Panthers.
Simply put, not only has Reynolds outperformed this betting line in every week but one, but he’s actually doubled it in each of those games as well—for those looking at adjusted betting lines.
Josh Reynolds, OVER 17.5 longest reception yards (-115)
In the locker room following last week's game, Reynolds said, “They gonna learn. All I do is catch first downs and touchdowns” — and through five games, that is factually accurate. Of his 16 receptions this season, all have gone for first downs or touchdowns.
In each of the four games he had a catch, his longest receptions were 22, 26, 27, and 33 yards. And again, the score sheet anomaly in Week 3 has resulted in a betting line that Reynolds has easily beaten in all of his other games.
Now, the Bucs do have solid outside corners in Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean, which could limit Reynolds’ overall catches. But each has also given up at least one big play in every game this season. Davis has given up receptions of 20 and 42 yards, while Dean has relinquished receptions of 18, 19, 20, 33, and 34 yards.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, OVER 5.5 receptions (-160)
I thought about recommending Reynolds OVER 2.5 receptions (-110) for all the reasons explained above, but instead, let’s shift to Amon-Ra St. Brown in the same category.
While he missed last week’s game with an injury, his abdomen did not restrict him in practices this week and he’s not listed with an injury designation. In the four games he played in, he produced five catches against the Packers, six against the Chiefs and Seahawks, as well as nine against the Falcons.
The Packers game keeps this number reasonable and the Bucs will likely be covering St. Brown with UDFA rookie Christian Izien. Izen has played well above expectations and isn’t giving up many receiving yards, but he has also allowed 12 of the 14 passes against him to be caught.
Bonus: Something to consider
I noticed that Reynolds’ “longest reception” wager can’t be part of a parlay on DraftKings, so for those looking for another option, consider this: First quarter spread, Lions -0.5 (+120).
In the Lions’ five games played, they have held a first-quarter lead four times and been tied once. Conversely, the Bucs have held a first-quarter lead just once (3-0 against the Vikings in Week 1) and have trailed in each of their other games, even failing to score in the first quarter in each of their last two games.
Translation: The Lions get out to fast starts, while the Bucs take some time to get moving.