Indianapolis Colts (0-0) at Buffalo Bills (0-0)
To start the season, this week has 8 games that feature road favorites (and no game that features a line higher than a touchdown). Almost every single one of those 8 road favorites is heavily backed by the public. I hate making big plays on road favorites that are heavily backed by the public. Those always scream “trap game” to me. Whenever the public is heavily on a road favorite it’s usually for the wrong reason. That reason is that the lines can seem to be too low because homefield advantage is underestimated, as most people don’t understand that home vs. away is worth about 6 points on average.
Unfortunately, a lot of those road favorites are small road favorites over teams that they’re clearer better, so it’s so tempting to take all of the road favorites. I’m not afraid to do take a road favorite; in fact, my pick of the week is Miami -3.5 in Washington, but that’s fine because Miami is underrated and that’s just too low of a line. Teams like Philadelphia (projected for 10 wins) would seem to be an easy choice as mere 3 point favorites on the road over Atlanta (projected for 5 wins). The same is true with Carolina (8 wins) as 3.5 point favorites over Jacksonville (3 wins), Minnesota (9 wins) as 2.5 point favorites over San Francisco (4 wins), Cincinnati (9 wins) as 3 point favorites over Oakland (3 wins), and so on.
I don’t want to pick all of the road favorites though and, while this is the toughest game of the week for me, I’m fading the public and taking the home underdog on principle as essentially a tiebreaker in this game for him. I have the Colts winning 12 games and the Bills 6 and I’d probably take the Colts as 2.5 point favorites, but I’m going with the Bills with the line at 3. The Colts might finish with the best record in the AFC, but that’s largely because of their schedule. There are at least 3 or 4 teams better than them in the AFC, Denver, Baltimore, Miami, and maybe New England, especially with Arthur Jones out for the season. They should be able to win this game, part of their easy schedule, but I’m taking the points for a no confidence pick.
Indianapolis Colts 22 Buffalo Bills 20
Pick against the spread: Buffalo +3