New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Sunday, 9/30/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV: CBS
Opening Point Spread: New England -6
Current Betting Line: New England -3.5
Opening Total: 50.5
Current Total: 50.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
New England has a great chance of snapping its two-game losing streak due to opening up divisional play, as the franchise is 53-15 in that situation since 2001, which is the best mark in the NFL in that span. The Patriots were unable to hold onto a late nine-point lead in suffering 31-30 loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week as 2.5-point road underdogs. “We just don’t play well when we need to,” stated Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. “We need to start winning close games.” New England has covered its last three opportunities after suffering a loss by three or less points.
The Patriots have been nearly unbeatable against divisional foes with Brady under center, as he’s compiled a 49-12 record in that situation, including an 18-2 mark versus the Bills. New England’s offense played great football against Baltimore in spurts last week, finishing with 33 first downs, which happens to be the second most in team history. Tight end Rob Gronkowski has been held to 156 yards in three games this season, but he could be ready to break out in this spot, collecting two 100-yard games and four touchdowns against the Bills in 2011.
Buffalo has won and covered its last two games since suffering a 48-28 season-opening loss to the New York Jets, while the OVER is 2-1 in those contests. The Bills are hoping to have running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller available, as they are both listed as questionable on the injury report. “I think they both have a legitimate chance,” stated Bills head coach Chan Gailey in practice Friday. Third-string back Tashard Choice ran for 91 yards on 20 carries in last week’s win over Cleveland. Buffalo is 5-4 ATS as a home underdog the last two-plus seasons.
The Bills need quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to build off his 208-yard and three-touchdown performance from last week, as he’s managed to hit wide receiver Stevie Johnson for a touchdown in all three games. On the other side of the ball, Buffalo is hoping that its offseason changes will put pressure on Brady, with all four defensive line starters recording at least a portion of a sack last week.
Sports bettors will likely back the Patriots due to their 8-3 ATS mark in the last 11 meetings, while the Bills are 1-5 ATS versus division opponents.
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