New England at Buffalo
Sunday, 10 am PT - CBS
CRIS Opener: New England -9 O/U 49
CRIS Current: New England -9 O/U 48
Recommendation: New England
For the second consecutive season, the New England Patriots are, incredibly, an UNDER-valued commodity in the betting markets. Last year, despite their ‘public’ nature and their Super Bowl winning caliber roster, the wiseguys faded New England (and lost fading New England) week after week. The Pats finished the season with a truly remarkable 15-3-1 ATS record, including an 8-1 ATS mark on the highway.
It’s been more of the same here in 2017. The Patriots statistical profile hasn’t been pretty from Day 1, when New England got slapped around on their home field against Kansas City. Their full, season long numbers show a mediocre ballclub that allows 6.1 yards per play on defense (tied with Tampa for dead last in the NFL), unable to stop the run (4.9 yards per carry allowed, also tied for last in the NFL) and mediocre against the pass.
Those numbers are flat out lying, and that’s what the public sees that the wiseguys are missing. Since Week 5, the Patriots have allowed the fewest points in the NFL – the #1 points allowed defense. Remember, wiseguys are looking at this defense like it’s among the worst in the league. That’s a pretty sharp disparity! It shows why money comes in against the Patriots almost every week. And it shows why that money continues to lose, with New England 100% perfect ATS since mid-October.
The Bills are an easy team to handicap this year when we consider one factor. Buffalo is 6-1 SU, 5-1-1 ATS when they win the turnover battle. They are 0-4 SU, 1-3 ATS when turnovers were even or the Bills had a negative turnover margin. That’s another VERY sharp dichotomy, which doesn’t bode well for Buffalo in this matchup. Because the Patriots do one thing better than any other team in the NFL – they don’t turn the ball over.
In 2014, the Patriots ranked #1 in the NFL in fewest turnovers committed on offense. In 2015, the Patriots ranked #1 in the NFL in fewest turnovers committed on offense. In 2016, the Patriots ranked #1 in the NFL in fewest turnovers committed on offense. And here we are entering Week 13 of the campaign, and New England is, once again, ranked #1 for the fewest turnovers committed in the NFL. Given the Bills SU and ATS stats above, the Pats ability to avoid turnovers is clearly a problem for the home underdog.
New England won here 41-25 last year, 40-32 the year before and 37-22 the year before; a very one sided series in recent seasons. At 6-5, the Bills have been outyarded, out-first downed and outgained by 0.6 yards per play for the season – they have, quite simply, lived off their turnover margin. But this is one game where the Bills cannot be expected to win the turnover battle; bad news for Bills fans and backers.