SRS Ratings Make Bills the Pick vs. Patriots in Week 6

Jason Lake

Thursday, October 9, 2014 6:03 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 6:03 PM UTC

Technically, the Buffalo Bills opened as a pick ‘em on the NFL odds board for Sunday’s game against the visiting New England Patriots. It sure didn’t take long for that spread to move to New England –3.

Jason’s Record After Week 5: 19-16 ATS, 5-7-1 Totals

Profit: plus-0.1 units

Life on the bleeding edge is never boring. You get to work with new technologies and new ideas, many of which blow up in your face. But the ones that stick – that’s where the gold is at. Early adopters who survive with their faces intact get to reap tremendous rewards, while the rest of the pack gets to eat whatever crumbs fall off the table.

So let’s take a moment to recognize those intrepid online sportsbooks who choose to publish their NFL odds before anyone else has entered the marketplace. BetOnline was right there last Sunday afternoon with the first line for the upcoming game between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills, making New England a pick ‘em on the road even before the Pats had played their Sunday nighter against the Cincinnati Bengals. Whoops.


Middle Earth
As you probably witnessed, the Patriots murdered the Bengals (–2.5 away) 43-17 to improve to 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS on the season. All of a sudden, it was as if their lousy September had never happened. And then all those Johnny-come-latelys opened the Patriots as 3-point faves when they published their NFL betting lines.

Don’t worry about the early birds getting exposed, though. They adjusted their football odds tout de suite Sunday night, making New England a 3.5-point chalk before moving back to –3 early Monday morning. Action will be balanced. There might be some sharp bettors who got to play the middle in this matchup, taking the Patriots PK and the Bills +3.5, but they’ll be in the minority. Especially with our consensus reports showing about 60 percent support for New England as a 3-point chalk.

Then again, shaper bettors tend to have deeper pockets, and as we go to press, it’s the Bills (3-2 SU and ATS) who are pulling in 60.19 percent of the action for this Sunday’s AFC East matchup (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX). The average bet on Buffalo is $70, over twice as big as New England’s $34, and our expanded consensus shows three $1,000-plus bets on the Bills compared to one for the Pats. Money talks.


Let It Bleed
What does the money say? It’s telling us to bet on Buffalo. We were on the Bills last week as Kyle Orton made his debut against the Detroit Lions; if you happened to be watching the Red Zone Channel at the time, you may have heard the host completely rip into Orton and the Bills. Nobody takes Captain Neckbeard seriously. Well, how ya like him now? Orton did enough to get the job done (plus-9 Total DYAR) as Buffalo won 17-14 as a 4.5-point road dog.

This week, the Bills come home to Ralph Wilson Stadium to play their first official game under new ownership, and they’re getting three points against one of the most public teams in the league. The Patriots did make some good adjustments against Cincinnati, moving back to a two-tight end formation and running the ball like mad against the worst rush defense in the NFL. However, the Bills rank third against the run, and they’re also fifth in efficiency versus tight ends.

We’ve been here before: New England gets off to a slow start, everyone wonders if this is the end of Tom Brady as we know him, and then the Patriots figure it out and win the division. That could be the case again this year. But we’ll believe it when we see it. Meanwhile, the Bills (plus-6.1 SRS: Simple Rating Sytem: is a rating that considers average point differential as well as the strenth of schedule. This type of rating is done in points above/below average.) rank higher than the Pats (plus-2.8 SRS) at Pro Football Reference after five weeks. We’ll stay on the bleeding edge for this game.


The Five Stars
Injuries/Suspensions/Travel/Rest: NE
Defense/Special Teams: BUF
Coaching: NE
Market Bias: BUF
Betting Line Value: BUF

Verdict: 1-star pick on BUF

Free NFL Pick: Bet 1.4 units on the Bills +3 (–105) at Bovada

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