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Bucs-Lions: Predictions, odds, how to watch Sunday’s game in Detroit

The Bucs are without Mike Evans for the first time since 2017, but Ndamukong Suh is back in Motown.
Bucs career receptions leader Mike Evans (left) won't be available to help quarterback Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay for Sunday's 1 p.m. game at Detroit. [MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times]
Bucs career receptions leader Mike Evans (left) won't be available to help quarterback Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay for Sunday's 1 p.m. game at Detroit. [MONICA HERNDON | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Dec. 13, 2019

Here’s what you need to know about the Bucs’ bid for a fourth straight victory Sunday in Detroit:

Bucs-Lions TV, streaming options, odds, etc.

Time: 1 p.m. ET Sunday

Place: Ford Field, Detroit

TV: FOX (WTVT Tampa Bay)

Announcers: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth and Jennifer Hale

Streaming: NFL app (locally or with a Verizon subscription); NFL Game Pass (audio only); NFL Sunday Ticket (with a Sunday Ticket subscription).

Radio: 97.9 FM in Tampa Bay (Bucs radio affiliates can be found here).

Officiating assignment: Referee Adrian Hill (10 years).

Odds: The Bucs are favored by 3.5 points (over/under 46 points), per Caesars.

Related: MORE BUCS: The latest on the Buccaneers


Trap game?

John Romano, columnist, @romano_tbtimes: Everything points to a Bucs victory. The Lions have lost 9-of-10, and have one of the worst past defenses in the NFL. They haven’t won a game since quarterback Matthew Stafford hurt his back a month ago. Meanwhile, the Bucs are looking like a team on a roll. It’s a no-brainer, right? Yes, except this has the feel of a trap game. Jameis Winston has a sore thumb and Mike Evans is out of the lineup. And the Lions aren’t quite as bad as they look. Before losing to the Vikings 20-7 last week, Detroit had been within 8 points of every team on the schedule. The Bucs will likely win, but don’t be surprised if this one goes haywire. Bucs 27-24.

This shouldn’t be close

Rick Stroud, Bucs beat writer, @NFLStroud: The Lions are starting rookie David Blough, an undrafted rookie from Purdue. In addition to Marvin Jones, they may be without a couple starting offensive linemen. This is a team the Bucs should beat, even without Evans. There’s every indication Winston will play with his broken thumb, and if he’s as effective as he was passing the ball in the second half last Sunday against the Colts, this won’t be that close. Barring turnovers, the Bucs win by a touchdown. Bucs 24-17.

A clean game

Eduardo A. Encina, Bucs/Pro sports enterprise writer, @EddieintheYard: Statistically, this game will feature two of the league’s three worst pass defenses in the game, but both units have shown improvement in recent weeks. Both teams will be without one of their top receiving weapons. The Bucs won’t have Mike Evans, and the Lions will be without No. 2 receiver Marvin Jones. The Bucs are looking for their fourth straight win, and the Lions have lost six straight, so these teams are going in very different directions. Give the edge to the Bucs. Expect Jameis Winston to have one of his cleanest games of the season. Bucs 28-24.

Road warriors

Thomas Bassinger, sports data reporter, @tometrics: Winston has a fractured thumb. Evans, his No. 1 target, is out. Donovan Smith, the man in charge of protecting his blind side, is banged up. It might seem as if the Bucs are doomed, but this is actually a favorable matchup. The Lions pass defense ranks 25th in Football Outsiders’ efficiency ratings and 29th in pressure rate (25.9 percent), according to Sports Info Solutions. And interceptions? Detroit has picked off only five passes, tied for fewest in the league, and hasn’t picked off more than one in any game this season. A win Sunday in the Motor City would be Tampa Bay’s fifth road win, a total it has reached just six other times in franchise history, last doing so in 2016. Bucs 24-20.

Evans would sure come in handy

Mike Sherman, deputy editor | sports, @mikesherman: Jason Pierre-Paul’s win-out prediction is halfway home. The Lions are in shambles. Another Belichick assistant is flailing as a head coach. The Bucs are in position for a fourth straight win for the first time since Dec. 4, 2016, when they won 28-21 at San Diego. The only things that could mess this up are injuries and turnovers. ... Uh-oh. Bucs 24-21.


Has Breshad Perriman’s time finally come? (Eduardo A. Encina)

Lions fans could see a different Ndamukong Suh (Rick Stroud)

Week 15 NFL picks (Mike Sherman)

Ryan Griffin is no longer the NFL’s Moonlight Graham (Rick Stroud)

• • •

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Previewing Bucs-Lions


  1. In this Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, file photo, then-Patriots receiver Antonio Brown roams the sideline during the first half against the Dolphins in Miami Gardens. Law enforcement authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Brown, who along with his trainer has been accused of attacking a man near Brown's South Florida home in Hollywood. [LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP]
    The troubled NFL wide receiver is accused, along with his trainer, of attacking a man in South Florida.
  2. NFC linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, hands Sean Silverthorn, of Largo, Fla., two tickets to the Super Bowl after a practice for the NFL Pro Bowl football game Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Kissimmee, Fla. [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
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  3. In this Feb. 7, 2012 file photo New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy during the team's NFL football Super Bowl parade in New York. Manning, who led the Giants to two Super Bowls in a 16-year career that saw him set almost every team passing record, has retired. The Giants said Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 that Manning would formally announce his retirement on Friday. [JULIO CORTEZ  |  AP]
    The two-time Super Bowl MVP is calling it quits after 16 seasons, all with the same team.
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, center, talks with kids while playing games during the fourth annual Dream Forever Foundation Football Camp held last June in Tampa. [SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Winston, who played at Florida State, is from Alabama, where the private historically black liberal arts college is located.
  5. In this Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, file photo, New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) on the sidelines,during the first half at an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Miami Gardens. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File) [LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP]
    The wide receiver’s trainer was arrested following accusations that he and Brown attacked another man near Brown’s home, authorities said.
  6. Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) calls a play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. [CHARLIE RIEDEL  |  AP]
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  7. Former Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis, left, started a Twitter beef with San Francisco's Richard Sherman, right, on Sunday. [TIMES FILES, ASSOCIATED  PRESS]
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  8. San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch, center, is interviewed by Terry Bradshaw after the NFL NFC Championship football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. The 49ers won 37-20 to advance to Super Bowl 54 against the Kansas City Chiefs. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) [MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ  |  AP]
    San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch joins an impressive list of former Bucs players, coaches and executives to reach the Super Bowl in recent years.
  9. San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert, who finishes with 220 yards rushing and four TDs, breaks away from the Green Bay Packers during the first half of their NFC Championship Game on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. [TONY AVELAR  |  AP]
    Little-known Raheem Mostert, a former skateboarder-turned-surfer-turned-football player out of New Smyrna Beach High, has a historic game, rushing for 220 yards and four touchdowns.
  10. Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill catches a touchdown pass in front of Tennessee Titans defensive back Logan Ryan during the first half of the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. [CHARLIE RIEDEL  |  AP]
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