The Patriots opened as 4-point favorites as they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills in Week 4.
One of the keys to picking games against the spread early in the season is identifying trends and figuring out whether they are sustainable. The Bills are 2-1, and a big part of their only loss was turnovers. So do the numbers back up their record? Is this a team primed for a run this year? Can they beat New England again at home?
Nah. Had you going there for a second, didn’t I?
Remember what I said about trends? Ryan Fitzpatrick leads the league in TD passes, but he’s averaging less than 200 yards passing per game. He’s been sacked once all year. Those trends won’t continue. They also have a trend of watching RBs go down with crippling injuries. Being a Bills running back this year has been more dangerous than being an ice road trucker. They’re down to Tashard Choice. That’s never a recipe for success. Ask Dallas.
It’s hard to argue that the Bills D hasn’t improved with the addition of Mario Williams, but it’s kinda in the same way that a flattering dress improves the appearance of a fat chick. But seriously, they were atrocious last year. This year, Buffalo’s defense ranks 23rd in scoring and in the bottom half of the league against the pass. And that’s after facing quarterbacking luminaries such as Mark Sanchez, Matt Cassel and Brandon Wheedon.
The line is skewed a bit toward the Bills since Buffalo has won two straight while the Patriots have lost two straight, as well as the fact that Buffalo beat the Pats last year in an early-season home game. Of course, that was a turnover-driven win that won’t happen again. I’m taking the Pats and laying the points.
Other Lines I Like...
Broncos (-6.5) vs. Raiders
Last week, a few national writers made a case that Oakland might be the worst team in the league. Now after one fluky win against a team traveling across the country without their two big playmakers on defense, we’re saying they can go on the road and hang within a TD of Peyton Manning? Did I miss something here?
Bengals (-2) @ Jaguars
I believe in Andy Dalton on the road more than I believe in Blaine Gabbert at home. Actually, I think I believe in Andy Dalton throwing a bowling ball all the way through a garden hose more than I believe in Blaine Gabbert throwing a ping-pong ball into a dryer that he’s standing next to. Pretty sure I made that picture a whole lot more complex than need be. I can’t help it, making things more complex than they need to be is inevitable when talking about Blaine Gabbert playing quarterback.
2012 Record ATS 9-4
Record ATS since 2010 81-70-4
The Pats at -4 might be the steal of the week. They are going to come out extremely pissed off and motivated. There is no way that they will let themselves fall to 1-3, especially against a Buffalo team that stunned them with an upset last season.
That being said, anyone who lays down money on these games with the replacement officials in place, may as well be betting at the roulette table.