New Orleans Saints (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bills (1-1 SU, 2-0
ATS), 4:05 p.m. EST, Sunday, September 27, 2009, Ralph Wilson
Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y., TV: FOX
by Badger of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Saints -6/Bills +6
The New Orleans Saints and quarterback Drew Brees take their air show
up the East Coast again this weekend when they travel to face Terrell
Owens and the new-look Buffalo Bills Sunday afternoon in Ralph Wilson
The Saints put the show on full display once again last weekend in Philly, stomping the McNabb-less Eagles, 48-22. Brees threw for over
300 yards and three scores, and the running game (133 yds., 2 TD) and
defense (INT returned for TD) both did their fair share in the Saints
latest weekly display of offensive firepower.
Buffalo is also playing some excellent football in the early going,
rebounding from Monday Nights should-a-been giveaway to the Patriots
very nicely with another solid all-around game in Sundays 33-20
victory over Tampa Bay at home. Just like in the Patriots game, the
Bills jumped out to a big lead over the Buccaneers on Sunday, 17-0,
but this time two early 4th-quarter scores (including a T.O. score)
helped the Bills put the victory in the books.
Oddsmakers originally opened the game with the point spread too low,
making the Saints modest 4-point favorites to start before back-
peddling and moving the number up to Saints minus 6-points within the
first few hours at the window. Most of the sportsbooks still list the Saints at minus 6, but there are a few 6.5s already creeping up so keep an eye out for continued line movement in this
game during the week.
The over/under total opened at 52 and is still on the board at most
books, but both the Mirage and Hard Rock in Las Vegas are up to 52.5
to try and keep the public honest about the under.
This could be one of the most exciting games to watch on DirecTV this
season, since both offenses are in perpetual attack mode.
The Saints are No. 1 in total yards (468 ypg) and scoring (46.5 ppg)
after two weeks, all based around a passing game with Brees that is
2nd in the league at 323 yards per game. The good news is the Saints
backfield will finally be at full strength this week too, with last
years breakout Pierre Thomas listed as probable. Mike Bell has had
two 100-yard games in his absence, so its not like theyve missed
him all that much anyway.
The Bills and their no-huddle offense under emergency coordinator
Alex Van Pelt has been a pleasant surprise, rolling up 357 yards per
game (14th) while ranking 6th in the NFL in scoring at 28.5 points
per game. Even without running back Marshawn Lynch and a reshuffled
offensive line, the Bills are still 6th in the league in rushing
yards at 154 per game, so expect the Bills to manage the clock and
keep Brees off the field with the running game.
Defensively this game will depend on how well the Saints stop the
aforementioned Bills running game. Currently they are 5th in the
league allowing just 59 yards a game, but lets not forget that the
Saints defense is usually playing dime with a double-digit lead on
the scoreboard (at least the first two weeks its been like that). The
Bills defense is currently ranked 31st in pass defense allowing 332
yards per game, so it could turn into a shootout quickly for the Saints.
You have to go back to 2005 to find the last regular season game
between these two, a 19-7 victory for the Saints in the Superdome.
The last one in Buffalo was in 2001, a 24-6 victory by the Saints.
All told the Saints are both 3-2 SU and 3-2 ATS in the head-to-head
series with the Bills. However, they are 2-0 ATS in the last two
games overall and they also covered both times the game was played on
the road in Buffalo. That follows the recent betting trend of taking
the Saints on the road, since they are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five
away from the Bayou.
Badgers Pick: My gut tells me this is one of those games that wont
go anything like expected. Brees is going to struggle, although I
dont see how, and the Bills will continue to defy logic by playing
really good against tough teams. Ill take the home dog and the
points, which may go up higher as the week goes on. Take Buffalo plus