Arizona Cardinals (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bills (0-2 SU, 0-2 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date/Time: Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 1:00 PM EST
Where: New Era Field, Buffalo, NY
by Keith, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ARI -4/BUF+4
Over/Under Total: 47
On the Week Four docket, a cross-conference clash between the AFC’s Buffalo Bills and the NFC’s Arizona Cardinals at New Era Field in Buffalo, New York with a 1:00 PM scheduled kick-off. The game is set to be aired on CBS with regional coverage. The Bills enter off a bitter and heart-breaking defeat to AFC East rival New York Jets 37-31 at home, last Thursday. Arizona comes in off a bounce back win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 40-7 in the desert, after falling to New England in Week One.
In the early going, we have seen a heavy public lean on the Cardinals who come in hot after a huge win against Tampa Bay at home. The Cards will now have to take the Northeast and face against a Buffalo Bills club that roared back from a 10-point deficit against the Jets only to fall in the final stages of their intradivision collision.
The Cardinals offense has more or less been electric. The Cardinals are averaging over 30 points per game and Carson Palmer has already accumulated nearly 600 yards through the air in 2 games. The traditional weapons of the Arizona attack are also proliferating their usual productive numbers. Most notably Larry Fitzgerald, who many analysts have since written off as past their peak. Arizona features a highly touted running back in David Johnson but he has yet to live up to the potential that many forecasted him with. Additionally, the Cardinals feature one of the better defensive backs in all of the NFL in their secondary, Patrick Petersen. Petersen is not just a cornerback that harasses wide receivers, he is a return threat as well. An unwritten narrative that must be taken in to consideration is the match-up is not the clash of quarterbacks but how effectively each team’s sack masters performs. Both Markus Golden of Arizona and Jerry Hughes of Buffalo each own 2.0 sacks on the season. The question remains which player will be more of a disruptive force and ultimately inhibit the play of the opposing team quarterback.
Despite starting off 0-2, there is still value in taking the Bills with some points. Buffalo has some playmakers in their ranks, most notably Lesean McCoy and now emerging star Mike Gillislee on their depth chart. In addition there is also possession wide receiver Marquise Goodwin who has emerged as an excellent secondary option to premiere talent Sammy Watkins in the early stages of the 2016-17 season. Typically, the big issue with Buffalo’s offense is the quarterback position, but this to has been rectified with the play of Tyrod Taylor. Taylor was a revelation in his outing against the Jets, as he went for 297 yards through the air, 3 touchdowns and just 1 pick. Despite starting off 0-2, this is the same Buffalo team that a year ago was making a run for the playoffs at 8-8. Buffalo has played a better football since coach Rex Ryan has taken over and this fixture is a prime opportunity for Buffalo to show how good they truly are. Furthermore, the Bills are desperate for a win and given the fact 0-3 would put them pretty much out of contention in the early going, the location of this contest would be optimal to help Buffalo find a win.
We saw the Cardinals enjoy a similar public lean in the first week of the season when they were at home playing host to the Patriots. Not only did the Cardinals fail to cover, they lost outright as a rookie quarterback dissected the Cardinals defense in the victory. The narrative was simple, the Patriots are without Tom Brady how the can win? Well the Patriots have answered that question with an exclamation point as they are off to a 2-0 start. The Bills are notoriously fierce at home, especially when the winter conditions begin to roll in. Fortunately for Arizona they do not have to contend with that variable, but they still have to do deal with some emerging weapons on the Bills offense. Buffalo will keep this one close.
KEITH’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: BUFFALO +4
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