Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, November 22, 2015 at 4:00 PM
It’s very difficult to run the table over 16 games in the NFL. Not only do the top teams invariably run into each other at some point. But, ANYBODY can rise up over 60 minutes and outplay a perceived power. We saw that last Monday night when the Houston Texans launched themselves back into the playoff picture with an upset of the then undefeated Cincinnati Bengals as a double digit underdog. Can the Buffalo Bills put a blemish on the undefeated record of the New England Patriots?
That seems a bit tougher because New England is better than Cincinnati! But, there are quite a few extra intangibles in the mix…
*Buffalo has revenge from an early-season loss to the Pats
*New England may have trouble getting up a second time for the same team.
*Buffalo has extra rest and preparation time off a Thursday night win at the NY Jets
*New England may be worn down a bit from a 27-26 road thriller over the NY Giants
*New England visits Denver next week in a game that’s been hyped for weeks
That’s part of why New England is only laying a touchdown over Buffalo. The market is trying to factor in those angles. Let’s see what the raw numbers in JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats have to say about this Monday’s matchup…
Won-Lost Records (Strength of Schedule)
Buffalo: 5-4 (#21 schedule according to Sagarin)
New England: 9-0 (#24 schedule according to Sagarin)
The teams have played comparable schedules…so there’s no mystery here. New England is the better team…and has been coasting enough vs. its schedule that you can pencil them in as #1 in the NFL even if the challenge has been slightly below average. Buffalo is at least a legitimate .500 team if they had played a league average schedule. That makes them Wildcard caliber in the crowded AFC.
Buffalo: 5.5 on offense, 5.4 on defense
New England: 6.2 on offense, 5.3 on defense
These are consistent with the theme. New England isn’t a pretender, and Buffalo is decent. It’s worth noting that the Patriots are playing better defense this year than is generally realized. That’s helped them post a great +0.9 per play differential. Even with opponents often in extended garbage time, the stop unit is allowing just 5.3 YPP. Buffalo has the better reputation…but not the better stats.
New England: +6
Decent for both. New England is often better than this nine games into a season. But, it’s a positive rather than a HUGE positive. Nothing wrong with that when everything else is going so well. Buffalo’s done a good job of avoiding high impact miscues with a first-time starter at quarterback. Sound fundamentals.
Buffalo: 5-4 ATS
New England: 5-3-1 ATS
Oddsmakers have underrated both of these teams…which is harder to do with New England. The Patriots are generally priced to perfection. But, the best of Bill Belichick’s teams are so dynamic that they surge past high expectations. What we’ve seen so far is consistent with championship caliber Pats teams of the past. This isn’t the best Pats team ever…but it’s in that class and is well above the rest of the NFL to this point in the season. Buffalo snuck above break even with that win at NYJ last week.
Current Line: New England by 7, total of 48.5
You may be seeing -7 or -7.5 at game time depending on how the pubic bets on Monday. JIM HURLEY will make sure you get the right play (side or total) because his full team of experts is leaving no stone unturned. We’ve crunched the numbers…we’ve covered all the angles…and our state-of-the-art computer simulation program has played the game out thousands of times.
You can always purchase the best plays money can buy right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours Monday. We have great rates that take you through the college football national championship and the NFL’s Super Bowl.
Back with you midweek for more football analysis. Here’s what’s on tap in the coming days…
Midweek: NFL TV Preview…Chicago at Green Bay (Thanksgiving night)
Friday-Saturday: College Football TV Preview…Notre Dame at Stanford
Sunday: NFL TV Preview…New England at Denver
Monday: NFL TV Preview…Baltimore at Cleveland
It’s going to be a hearty holiday week. Start your Thanksgiving Feast a few days early Monday Night with a BIG, JUICY WINNER from JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!
Be sure to follow:
Jim Hurley on twitter @vsm_hurley
Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters