2011 NFL Picks: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, 9/11/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Kansas City -6.5
Current Betting Line:  Kansas City -5.5
Opening Total:  42.5
Current Total:  40
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Kansas City WR Dwayne Bowe is a threat to catch a touchdown pass each week

Buffalo has seen its win total drop in three straight years and hasn’t reached the postseason since the 1999 campaign.  Quite a drought for a proud franchise and will be looking to start the season off with a win for the second time in six years.  The Bills went through a preseason with no quarterback controversy, as Ryan Fitzpatrick is the guy under center, coming off a campaign that saw him throw for 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns with 15 interceptions.  “I feel like I’m always going to have to go out and prove myself,” Fitzpatrick commented during the offseason.  Buffalo is 12-12 ATS as an underdog the last two years.

The Bills also possess a solid running back duo in Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, as the two combined for 1,210 yards a year ago.  Buffalo has high hopes on Spiller especially, as he enters his second season after being picked in the first-round of the 2010 NFL draft.  The contest is likely to be determined in the trenches defensively, as the team allowed nearly 170 yards rushing a year ago, including eight games of 200 or more yards.  Buffalo’s defensive line has added some girth and its linebacker core is relatively healthy coming into 2011.

Kansas City opens up at Arrowhead Stadium and head coach Todd Haley is happy to put the preseason behind him.  “This will be a great opener for us,” stated Haley.  I’m excited to be at Arrowhead in front of our fans.”  The third-year coach has turned around the franchise, posting a 10-6 record in 2010 and making a trip to the playoffs, which was a vast improvement from the 4-12 mark the team suffered through just two years ago.  Kansas City is 7-10 ATS at home and 0-2 ATS versus AFC East teams the last two years.

The Chiefs will once again rely on a punishing run game to dominate opponents, as the squad led the league in the category a year ago.  Kansas City ran for 2,627 yards total, including 1,463 at today’s venue.  Quarterback Matt Cassel begins his third year under center since being acquired from New England and has a pair of play makers beside him.  Running back Jamaal Charles finished last year with 1,467 rushing yards and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe led the NFL with 15 touchdown receptions.

Bettors will likely back the Bills due to their 5-1 ATS mark in Kansas City, while the Chiefs are 4-11-1 ATS as a favorite.

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