Opening Lines: Week 17

The Patriots opened as 12.5-point favorites as they host the Bills in Week 17.

It’s a foregone conclusion that the public is going to back the Bills heavily based on this spread. Buffalo beat New England earlier this year, and they’re coming off a commanding victory over Denver. New England’s defensive strategy the past several weeks has basically centered on sending eleven healthy bodies onto the field and hoping opposing running backs and wide receivers run into them and fall down (and for the most part, it’s actually worked). Why wouldn’t you back the Bills?

For starters, their most recent win over Denver was a bit fluky and driven by turnovers (two pick sixes and four total INTs). The contest was more of a loss by Denver than a win for Buffalo. In their previous seven games, the Bills had zero wins and were outscored by 114 points. For comparison’s sake, the Pats won six of seven and had a +98 point differential in that same time frame. It’s not like we’re comparing LSU and Alabama here. One of the worst things you can do in sportsbetting is weigh the most recent final score too heavily. Any lousy team can look good for one game. It’s rare for a lousy team to achieve sustained success (except maybe the Broncos, but they’re just weird).

The Bills aren’t a pushover, but they can only make this game close if they win the turnover battle by a healthy margin. I’ll take the Patriots to cover.

Other Lines I Like

Colts (+4) @ Jaguars

The Colts have been better with Orlovsky under center (I’m not sure exactly how they could have been worse, but that’s a subject for another day). I can’t envision the Jags winning, ever. It feels like they haven’t won a game since the 30s. Any time I have a chance to bet against Jacksonville and get points, I’ll take it.

Broncos (-3) vs. Chiefs

I’m not buying KC’s late-season resurgence. The Broncos have struggled against opponents that feature a strong, diverse offense and a good pass rush. The Chiefs don’t have either of those things.

Chargers (+3) @ Raiders

The Chargers suck. I get that. However, the Raiders haven’t played well in two months either. Since Week 7, they have a -44 point differential. And somehow, they could make the playoffs and possibly even host a game in the first round. I think I speak for everyone outside of Oakland when I say, blech. I’m betting on karma here.

Panthers (+7.5) @ Saints

A few weeks ago, I said I’d be fading the Panthers a lot in the second half. And now I’ve picked them two weeks in a row. What can I say? Sportsbetting is an inexact science. Carolina is terrifying as a favorite, but they are great as an underdog. They’re even better when they’re playing an opponent with a defense that alternates between inadequate and non-existent.

2011 Record ATS 41-38-4
2010 Record ATS 25-17