Sep 242016
 

Arizona Cardinals (1-1) at Buffalo Bills (0-2)

Earlier this off-season, the Bills looked like a legitimate candidate to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999, after coming up just short in each of the past two seasons. However, they’ve had some very bad luck since then. They’re without their first and second round picks (Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland) with injury, while top defensive lineman Marcell Dareus still has two games to go on his 4-game suspension. Talented backup running back Karlos Williams was also suspended for the first 4 games of the season, but he was so out of shape this off-season that he didn’t even make the final roster. On top of that, left tackle Cordy Glenn remains out after getting hurt week 1, talented starting cornerback Ronald Darby joins him on the sidelines this week, and #1 wide receiver Sammy Watkins could end up missing this game after being limited through the first 2 games of the season due to complications from an off-season foot surgery.

Through 2 games, the Bills have been one of the worst teams in the league, ranking 31st in rate of moving the chains differential. That’ll improve as they get guys back and it’s only been two games (they finished 19th in that metric last season), but their injury situation seems like it’s going to get worse before it gets better with Watkins and Darby expected out. This line is pretty high at 4, considering 1 in 4 games are decided by 3 points or fewer, but the Cardinals remain one of the top teams in the league (3rd in RMCD) and are much healthier than the Bills. They’re also much better rested, after two straight games at home to start the season. Teams are 42-30 ATS in their first road game of the season after two straight home games to start the season. As long as this line doesn’t get any higher than 4, it’s worth a bet.

Arizona Cardinals 27 Buffalo Bills 20

Pick against the spread: Arizona -4

Confidence: Medium

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