New England Patriots (1-0 SU, 0-0-1 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bills (1-0SU, 1-0 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date/Time: Sunday, September 20th, 2015, 1:00 pm EST
Where: Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, N.Y.
TV: CBS, DirecTV 705
by Badger, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NE pick/BUF pick
Over/Under Total: 45
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A battle of two longtime AFC East rivals sitting atop the standings after one week will be featured on CBS in early action on Sunday, when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots go on the road for the first time this season to take on the new-look Buffalo Bills in Ralph Wilson Stadium.
New England and Brady of course kicked off the NFLs 2015 season with a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last Thursday, 28-21. Pittsburgh could not stop the Brady to Rob Gronkowski combination, as Brady hit Gronk for three scores in a game that wasnt as close as the score would indicate.
Buffalo meanwhile opened up the Rex Ryan era as head coach with an upset over Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, 27-14. An already tough Buffalo defense took Ryans new scheme and forced Indy into three turnovers and held Indy to 64 yards rushing en route to a big 24-0 lead to the end of the third quarter. New Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor was efficient (14-of-19, 195 yards, TD) and the offense took care of the football (no sacks, no turnovers) to key the Bills big opening week win.
The Bills win over the Colts was so impressive that it has caused a major point spread line movement in this weeks game against the Patriots. The game originally opened late on Sunday with New England as 1.5-pointfavorites, but the early steam on Buffalo moved the line all the way down to a pick em for Sundays tilt. The over/under total opened at 45 and has yet to show signs of changing just yet.
Without the services of power running back LaGarrette Blount who was suspended for the opener, the Pats seemed to instead spread the field on offense and let Brady go to work. Dion Lewis emerged in Blounts absence, by theres no doubt that Brady is still the master at attacking weaknesses and switching plays at the line. The Buffalo defense is fast, deep and talented and should provide an excellent challenge for Brady just like they did against Luck last week.
What will be interesting to watch this weekend is how Buffalo decides to game plan an attack against the Pats defense. The Pats defense allowed 330 yards passing to Ben Roethlisberger last week, and 134 on the ground too so its not like they cannot get scored upon. The Bills were typical Rex Ryan last week, with 36 running plays called to just 19 passes, so the Pats better get strapped up and ready to take on LeSean McCoy and company in the trenches.
New England had actually won six straight head-to-head meetings with the AFC East rival Bills until last years late December loss in a meaningless game, 17-9. Meaningless because Brady only played about 25 snaps in the game in order to save himself for what ended as a successful Super Bowl run. Historically, the Pats have owned this series at the betting window too, going 21-10-1 ATS going back 32 games including a stellar 9-2 ATS mark in their last 11 meetings in Buffalo. However, the underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last five, so there is a glimmer of hope for Bills backers.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I know the game is in Buffalo and that the Bills are a very good defensive team, but if youre going to give me Brady and the Patriots in a pick em game I got too take Brady and the Pats as a pick. So Im taking New England as a pick in this one.
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