Buffalo Bills (0-1SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Green Bay Packers (1-0 SU, 1-0
ATS), Week 2 NFL, 1:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, September 19, 2010, Lambeau
Field, Green Bay, Wis., TV: CBS
by Badger of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Buf +13/GB -13
Theres nowhere to go but up for the Buffalo Bills this season, but
their week two NFL matchup is a tough one against the Green Bay
Packers at legendary Lambeau Field this Sunday.
The Bills are fresh off a key AFC East battle against the Miami
Dolphins in their opener last Sunday, a battle that they stumbled and
bumbled through and wound up on the short end of a 15-10 score. With
only 166 total yards of offense in the opener the Bills were stuck in
neutral against the Dolphins, something they likely wont be able to
afford to do if they hope to spring the upset against the heavily
favored Packers this weekend.
Meanwhile, the Packers were able to hold on against an energize
Philadelphia Eagles team inspired by the running of Michael Vick for
a crucial 27-20 victory in their season debut. Green Bay seemed to be
in full control in the game until the fourth quarter when the Eagles
scored 10 points late to make things interesting, something theyll
try and avoid this week against the Bills in the home opener at Lambeau.
The folks out in Las Vegas opened the game with the Packers as huge
13-point favorites on the odds board, but that number tends to be
inflated from time to time because of all of the public (square)
money that rides the Packers each week. True to form, the public
seems to be all over Green Bay again this week as the point spread
has jumped to 13.5 at a few offshore sportsbooks and even as high as
a two-touchdown 14 points at a few of the bigger books like BoDog, all due to the early action at the window.
The over/under total opened at 43.5 at a majority of the sportsbooks, and while that number has held at most of them there are a few that
have either lowered it the hook to 43, or even a full point to 42.5
as the Bills offense (or lack of) seems to be scaring everyone away
from the over.
On offense, these two are on opposite sides of the spectrum, with
Green Bay possessing one of the most dangerous and prolific and
Buffalo one of the most suspect in the league.
Even after a day where the Packers put 27 points on the board and
came close to 300 yards of total offense (299), quarterback Aaron
Rodgers was unhappy and called his own performance terrible in post-
game interviews. Rodgers did throw for 188 yards but his accuracy was
off (19-of-31) and he threw two interceptions in the wet conditions
Perhaps the biggest news from the Packers on offense is the loss of
their top running back, Ryan Grant. Grant had 45 yards on 8 carries
going in the Philly game until he tore ligaments in his ankle on a
big run and is now lost for the rest of the season. Brandon Jackson
filled in well after his loss (63 yards on 18 carries) and third-
string fullback John Kuhn also added a touchdown run, but the loss of
Grant could force the Packers to throw the ball more than they
originally planned this season.
Buffalos offense was just plain bad in their opener. With 50 yards
rushing on 17 carries (2.9 ypc) the running game never was given a
chance to work, which forced QB Trent Edwards into obvious passing
situations and led to three sacks by the Dolphins. It didnt help
much that the Miami offense kept Edwards and the Bills off the field
with twice as much time of possession, but the Bills didnt hold up
their end of the bargain by moving the chains often enough.
Defensively both teams seem to have the personnel to stop the other
team on a consistent basis, so it should come down to execution.
Green Bay grounded the Eagles running game with only 47 yards
allowed, until Vick came in at QB and scrambled out of the pocket for
over 103 yards in mop-up time. The pass defense looked at mid-season
form, limiting the Eagles downfield attack and sacking them five times.
The Bills have a young secondary led by safety Donte Whitner and
Terrence McGee at corner that stood up well against the Dolphins in
week one, but theyll have their hands full with Rodgers and his crew
of Greg Jennings-Donald Driver-Jermichael Finley on the outside.
Buffalo might also have to play without linebacker Paul Posluszny,
who is listed as doubtful after hurting his surgically repaired knee
in the opener.
The Bills and Packers have met more in preseason over the past few years then in the regular season, so trends and histories are a
little tough to find. The last game on the field that counted between
these two was back in 2006, a game the Bills won 24-10 at home in
Buffalo despite only earning 184 yards of total offense. Two Brett
Favre interceptions crushed the Packers in that game in 06, and
allowed the Bills to cover the 3.5-point spread they were favored by
going into the contest.
All told the Bills hold a 5-2 SU advantage over the Packers in the head-to-head matchups dating back to the 1988 season. Buffalo also
owns a 6-1 ATS advantage in those same seven games, with the over
wager earning a slight 4-3 edge in the series.
Green Bay does own an 8-1-1 ATS record in their last 10 games overall
going back into last season, and they are a solid 10-3 ATS in
September games. But the Bills play well on the road (8-3 ATS in L11
roadies) and are an impressive 12-3 ATS in week two games over the
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im not going to try and chase 13 points to take the
Packers here, even though they should win big and cover again.
Buffalo might not be able to find any offense this week either, and
the Packers might have a hard time running the ball this week without
Grant, but obvious observations like that dont always pay at the
window. Im going the other way here, taking the over of 43.