Buffalo Bills (1-2) at Green Bay Packers (1-1-1)
The Bills pulled off the shocking upset in Minnesota last week, winning 27-6 and becoming the first team since 1995 to win as 16.5+ point underdogs. Despite that win, they are still -14.63% on the season in first down rate differential. Not only did they get blown out by the Ravens and Chargers in the first two weeks of the season, but they also lost the first down battle last week, picking up just 16 first downs to 21 by the Vikings.
They won last week in large part as a result of their +3 turnover margin, forcing fumbles in Minnesota territory on the Vikings’ first two drives and putting them down 17-0 early as a result, but turnover margins are unpredictable on a week-to-week basis. For example, teams with a +3 turnover margin, on average, have a turnover margin of +0.0 the following week. Given their lack of talent, the Bills will probably need to win the turnover battle to be competitive again this week, but the fact that they won the turnover battle last week makes them no more likely to win it this week.
As a result of the Bills win, this line shrunk from 14.5 on the early line last week all the way down to 9.5, which is a major overreaction. The Packers did lose last week in Washington, but the Redskins are an underrated team who I picked to win, so I don’t hold that against them too much. The Packers could easily return home and blowout a Bills team that is still one of the least talented in the league, much like they were blown out in their first two weeks. We’re getting too much line value with the Packers to not bet on them. Teams also have a poor track record historically after big upset wins, going 51-74 ATS since 1989 after a win as 10+ point underdogs.
Green Bay Packers 31 Buffalo Bills 17
Pick against the spread: Green Bay -9.5