NFL Picks: Patriots vs. Bills Week 1 Early Picks

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 7:23 PM UTC

Wednesday, May. 22, 2013 7:23 PM UTC

The Buffalo Bills had trouble holding onto the football against the New England Patriots last season, but that may change with a new head coach on the sidelines in 2013.

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Let’s take a closer look at the NFL odds for this Week 1 matchup in the AFC East division on Sunday, Sept. 8, with the opening kickoff from Ralph Wilson Stadium scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS. 


Reaching a conference championship game is a successful season for most NFL franchises, but that’s certainly not the case for New England with head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. 

The New England Patriots suffered a 28-13 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens as eight-point home favorites in last season’s AFC title game, as Brady completing 29 of 54 passes for 320 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. 

A new direction  

After suffering through another losing season, Buffalo has replaced former head coach Chan Gailey with Doug Marrone, who comes in after spending the last four years at Syracuse. 

Marrone has previous experience working in the NFL, including three incredible seasons as the offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints (2006-08), which should help him in making the transition. 


NFL handicappers will definitely be interested in laying the number when looking over the betting odds, considering the Patriots are 19-8-1 against the spread (ATS) in the last 28 overall meetings in this series, including an 8-1 mark in their last nine trips to Buffalo. 

New England won both regular-season meetings a season ago, as its offense combined to score 89 points, which led directly to the OVER cashing in both contests. 

Buffalo turned the ball over nine times against New England last year, which will likely lead to a conservative game plan from Marrone in the season opener. 

Offensive game plan

The Buffalo Bills will likely be led on offensive by either Kevin Kolb or EJ Manuel at the quarterback position, which represents a huge mismatch at the position when going up against the likes of Brady. 

Buffalo would be best suited to get the ball in the hands of its talented backfield, as Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are capable of carrying the load against a suspect New England defense. 

The franchise ran for a combined 260 yards against the Patriots in 2012.


Early Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their early Week 1 NFL picks, as the Bills defense should take a step forward after being a major disappointment a season ago, while the Patriots may struggle in the early going with former wide receiver Wes Welker now in Denver. 

NFL Pick:  Under 53

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