Buffalo Bills (6-4) at New Orleans Saints (5-5)
The Saints are 5-5, but they aren’t anywhere near as good as their record in their current injury situation, arguably the worst in the league. Already without their top wide receiver Michael Thomas for the whole season, the Saints’ offense lost starting quarterback Jameis Winston for the season a few weeks ago and will also be without feature back Alvin Kamara, stud right tackle Ryan Ramcyzk, and possibly talented left tackle Armstead. Armstead could return from a two-game absence, after returning to limited practices this week, but the Saints’ defense will now be without talented edge defender Marcus Davenport, who missed four games earlier this season with a different injury and now is out again.
Unfortunately, we aren’t getting the same line value betting against the Saints as we have been in recent weeks, as this line has shifted from favoring the Bills by 4.5 on the early line last week to favoring the Bills by 6 this week, despite the Bills getting blown out in an upset loss to the Colts last week. The Saints were also blown out last week, but that was a less surprising result and, with both teams having disappointing weeks last week I would have expected this line to stay put. My calculated line is exactly where this line is, favoring the Bills by 6, and, without any obvious situational trends involved in this game, that makes this one a very tough call. I am still taking the Bills for pick ‘em purposes, but I don’t have any confidence in them and a push might be the most likely result.
Update: Despite Terron Armstead being active, this line has moved up to a full touchdown. The Saints won’t have running back Mark Ingram, a surprise inactive, but Armstead being confirmed as active is bigger injury news. This game still isn’t bettable, but I like the Saints at +7 more than I liked the Bills at -6.
Buffalo Bills 23 New Orleans Saints 17
Pick against the spread: New Orleans +7