Tyrod Taylor has joined the long list of injured starting quarterbacks. His absence would help the UNDER for Sunday's game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals.
Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 14: 18-11 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 12-18 Total
Another one bites the dust, hey hey. Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was a surprise addition to the injured list this week; Taylor reportedly sprained his MCL during last week's 14-13 win over the Tennessee Titans (–1 at home), although there's some skepticism over the legitimacy of this injury. Perhaps Rex Ryan is just playing mind games with this Sunday's opponents, the Cincinnati Bengals. Will Taylor play, or will EJ Manuel take his place?
It makes a big difference. The total for Sunday's matchup (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) opened at 44.5 on our NFL odds board, then dropped swiftly to as low as 42 points at press time, with heavy support for the UNDER on our consensus reports. Taylor has been one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL through five weeks. Manuel has been a bust since getting drafted in 2013. Is there still room for us to jump on this bandwagon?
Sure, but not for a large bet. Getting UNDER 42 will require some assistance, even if Manuel is at the controls. That assistance could come in the form of liquid sunshine; the weather forecast at press time calls for a 50-percent chance of rain over Ralph Wilson Stadium, and temperatures dipping toward 40 degrees at kick-off. Time to break out the mukluks.
The injury reports also appear favorable for an UNDER play. WR Sammy Watkins (calf) is lobbying to play this week, but Ryan hasn't announced a decision, of course. RB Karlos Williams (concussion) is almost certainly not playing. Potential breakout TE Charles Clay (calf) is questionable after putting in a limited practice on Thursday. And RB LeSean McCoy has been gimpy all year with a bad hamstring. Buffalo's last two games sailed below their posted totals, even with Taylor in charge. Seems like a simple NFL pick to make.
DVOA in Cincinnati
Oh, Cincinnati, there you go spoiling things again. The Bengals have the OVER at 4-1 this year, and last Sunday, they got it done against the Seattle Seahawks in a 27-24 overtime victory (OVER 44.5). That performance moved Cincy's offense up to No. 2 on the DVOA charts at Football Outsiders. By the way, the last time the Bengals played in Buffalo was two years ago in Week 6. Final score: Cincinnati 27, Buffalo 24 in overtime (OVER 41). And yes, it rained that day, too.
Delightful. At least it was Thad Lewis at quarterback for the Bills – he was an improvement when he subbed for the injured Manuel, although not by a wide margin. We'll take our chances with the UNDER, and keep our fingers crossed that Ryan goes with Manuel this week. Feel free to wait until closer to kick-off to see who starts. The crossing of fingers may or may not correlate with higher returns on investment.
Free NFL Pick: Take UNDER 42.5 (–104) at Marathon