Buffalo Bills (3-5) at New England Patriots (5-3)
Poor Bills. Last week they had to face the Texans and now they have to face the Patriots. Well, maybe it’s not so bad. While teams struggle as double digit dogs before being double digit dogs, 22-42 ATS since 2002, a situation the Bills lost in last week, it’s the exact opposite for double digit dogs after being double digit dogs, as long as they lost the week before. Teams in that spot are 36-22 ATS since 2002. Even better, the Bills are in their 2nd straight road game off a loss. Teams are 78-47 ATS since 2008 in that spot.
Meanwhile, as frequently as the Patriots have blown teams out in the last few years, they’ve struggled as favorites of more than a touchdown. They always seem to play down to the level of the competition as big favorites, going 5-10 ATS. That’s pretty remarkable considering how much of a covering machine they’ve been since 2010. In all other situations, they’re a ridiculous 21-8 ATS. We’ve already seen that twice this year as they lost at home to the Cardinals and needed overtime to beat the Jets. We could see a 3rd instance of that here, though double digit home favorites are 15-7 ATS off a bye since 2002.
We are getting a little bit of line value with the Patriots, but barely. The yards per play differential method gives us a real line of -7 and the rate of sustaining drives method gives us a real line of -17. If you average those out, you get a line of -12 and this line is -11. However, it’s just 1 point and given that both metrics are pretty far in each direction, it’s hard to say there’s noteworthy line value for either team.
Finally, we’re getting an opportunity to fade a heavy public lean. As some of you may know, the public killed the odds makers in unprecedented fashion last week, going 12-2 and winning every heavy lean. The odds makers aren’t going broke or anything. They killed the public for the first 8 weeks of the season and are still up on the year, but given that, I would be very nervous to bet on a heavy public lean this week because the odds makers, regardless of whether or not you believe in conspiracy theories, always have a way of bouncing back. It’s a significant play on the Bills.
Public lean: New England (new thing I’m adding, siding with the odds makers on bets is not a bad thing to do since they make so much money, so I’m listing this here to allow readers to “fade” the public, if they so choose, in this example, the odds makers win if Buffalo covers)
Sharps lean: NE 8 BUF 2
Final update: No change.
New England Patriots 31 Buffalo Bills 24
Pick against spread: Buffalo +11 (-110) 3 units