The Patriots are 7.5-point favorites as they visit the Buffalo Bills in Week 1.
I was tempted to make this week’s edition extremely brief by simply saying “because Jeff Tuel.” But since it’s the first Opening Lines of the year, I feel like I’d be robbing a lot of people from the enjoyment of reading my witty banter.
The relatively meager line this week is driven by two main factors – the Bills are playing at home, and nobody is quite sure what to make of the New England passing game quite yet. As an unabashed Pats fan, if I have to see one more graphic showing all of the receivers who left in the offseason, I’m going to jam an ice pick in my eye. Seriously, I’d rather watch replays of that 15-year-old boy twerking with Robin Thicke on the VMAs. Brady made the AFC Championship Game one year throwing to Reche Caldwell. The last time the Pats overhauled their WR corps, Brady threw 50 TDs (30 of which went to receivers not named Randy Moss). The preseason performances of Amendola, Thompkins, Sudfeld and Dobson should erase all doubt; this passing game is going to be pretty darn good.
If you can look past Belichick’s record against rookie QBs, the next fact that slaps you in the face is pretty compelling; the Bills defense can’t stop anybody. A sampling of their ranks last year: 26th in points allowed, 22nd in total yards allowed and 31st against the run. They didn’t do much in the offseason to shore up that unit, so there is little hope that they’ll improve significantly in 2013.
Add it all up, and this looks like a resounding New England win. I’m taking the Pats and laying the points.
Other Lines I Like
Texans (-3) @ Chargers
Don’t bet against home underdogs, blah blah blah. Listen, the Chargers are going to suck this year. The job of Chargers WR has been more dangerous this preseason than being an Aaron Hernandez associate, and Rivers is starting to show signs of shell shock behind an offensive line that allowed 49 sacks last year. When they aren’t playing New England, the Texans D is pretty good. I’m not sure why this line isn’t 6+, but I’ll gladly take the license to print money.
Eagles (+5) @ Redskins
Fading the Eagles was an easy way to make money last year, but there is at least some reason for optimism in Philly this year with the new warp-speed offensive attack of Chip Kelly. I do think the Redskins are a better team, but with the Eagles determined to run at least 20 more plays on offense than their opposition, I think they are good enough to keep this one close and make sure the game is decided in the final two minutes. If the Eagles had a better defense, the moneyline would get plenty interesting too.
2012 Record ATS: 37-34
Record ATS Since 2010: 107-99-4