NFL Picks: Shade Bills at Home vs. Colts in Week 1

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 8:01 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 9, 2015 8:01 PM UTC

The Indianapolis Colts take on Rex Ryan’s revamped Buffalo Bills in week 1 of NFL betting. Before you place your bets check out our analysis complete with NFL picks.

Indianapolis Colts Hefty Faves
The Indianapolis Colts are one of the Super Bowl 50 favourites on the NFL odds board in preseason futures betting. So it comes as no surprise that they are trading as the favourites in week 1 NFL betting, with a tender of 2.5-points against the spread and the -140 NFL odds favourites to win outright. The total is meanwhile trading at  45-points, depending on your preferred sportsbook.

In spite of this rather optimistic outlook across sports betting platforms, the Colts are sure to be tested by a stout Buffalo Bills defense, now under the guidance of defensive guru Rex Ryan, make no mistake. If anything this matchup is going to be telling for both teams, but, mainly, one would think, the Indianapolis Colts and their merit as one of the AFC favourites to win it all.

Indianapolis Colts are coming off a stellar 2014-2015 season, in which they upset the Denver Broncos to reach the AFC Championship game. Granted they were left somewhat deflated by the New England Patriots in a 45-7 loss. Then whinged about deflated balls, which thrust a cloud over the entire NFL organisation and caused quite a bit of a stir amongst officials, players and fans as each weighed in on the scandal in great, exhausting length throughout the entire offseason and preseason.

It’s a new term now and they’ve made some offensive acquisitions to help bolster their team that have gained the approval of many NFL betting experts and fans alike. Andrew Luck is growing from strength to strength in each season. Entering his fourth year as the shot caller in Indianapolis, he’s proving a worthy heir apparent to Peyton Manning.

Colts’ offense was a force to contend with last season as they finished 11-5 SU and entered the playoffs. However, they were found lacking on the run, ranking a lowly 27th in the league in DVOA rankings. Enter veterans Frank Gore and Andre Johnson in the offseason, a pair of consistent perennial quadruple-yard producers on average that are sure to traipse up to 1000 yards or more in their new kit. Running back Gore finished with 1106 yards rushing and four touchdowns and wide receiver Johnson finished with 936 yards receiving and three touchdowns last season.

If there is one area where the Colts could be found wanting though is on defense. They are by no means the stoutest on that side of the ball and, curiously, they made very little changes to it in the offseason. It remains to be seen whether they can hold their own on that side of the ball and compliment their fast-paced offense.


Buffalo Bills Home Dogs
Buffalo Bills defense is renowned and has earned the respect of just about every single team in the league. With Rex Ryan adding his defensive touches to it this season, it reckons to have another sold year by all accounts. Where the NFL public has been critical of the Bills is on offense. After Ryan’s bold decision to go with Tyrod Taylor as his starter instead of EJ Manuel, they seem to have lost some of their shine in the eyes of many.

Tyrod Taylor might be a so-called Super Bowl winning quarterback by default, thanks to his association with the 2012 champions Baltimore Raven, but he’s essentially an unproven quarterback in a starting role. In four seasons with the Ravens and never a starter his stats combined are as follows: 19-of-36 and 199 yards, no touchdowns and two picks. It’s evident why in a game where precedent rules sceptics are making themselves heard. Yet, for what it’s worth, the 26-year-old looked rather good in the preseason.

Obviously, the regular season is an entirely different ball game and his performance in the preseason can be rendered a moot point quickly. If Rex Ryan and the Bills need confirmation, then this is the perfect matchup for the untried quarterback, pitting his skills in juxtaposition with one of the best emerging quarterbacks in the game, Andrew Luck – a sure-fire Hall of Famer when his career is said and done. If Taylor can hold his own in this game, it will be quite something. And he’s sure to get a lot of help from a Bills defense that finished first overall in pass defense according to DVOA charts.


NFL Betting Verdict:
By and large, the popular NFL pick in this game is one that has the Colts at the heart of it. They are the choice NFL pick to cover at -2.5 points (77% according to Vegas Insider) and, in turn, the choice NFL pick to win SU with a 64% share of the market. Which is understandable given their credentials. But does that make them a lock NFL pick across the board? Might the bookies be underestimating the Bills at the expense of the fancied Colts?

Keep in mind, it’s week 1 of the NFL betting season and the Colts are on the road; meaning, anything can happen. That and the overwhelming lean towards the Colts from bookmakers to bettors is enough to have us want to go against the grain, fade the Colts and shade the Bills for the upset.


NFL Picks: Bills +2.5 (+101) at Heritage

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