New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills NFL Pick, Odds, Prediction 10/12/14
New England Patriots (3-2) at Buffalo Bills (3-2)
NFL Football: Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm (Ralph Wilson Stadium)
The Line: Buffalo Bills +2.5 -- Over/Under: 45 See the Latest Odds
The Buffalo Bills host the New England Patriots for the top spot in the AFC East in a matchup of 3-2 teams.
The New England Patriots quieted the critics temporarily with a 43-17 win over the Bengals on Monday night in week five. The win boosted the Pats to 3-2 on the year in a season where the team has been a bit of a Jekyl and Hyde story with lopsided losses to the Dolphins and Chiefs and a nailbiter win at home over the Raiders. Tom Brady played with the noticeable chip on his shoulder we’ve come to expect last week completing 23/35 passes for a season-high 292 yards with 2 TDs while also moving the chains on a couple signature QB sneaks. The Patriots offense may be on the rise as TE Rob Gronkowski finally had a breakout game in week five catching six balls for 100 yards with a TD after a sluggish start to the year following offseason knee surgery and backup TE Tim Wright also came out of nowhere to grab five balls for 85 yards and a TD. The Patriots running game gashed the Bengals last week for 220 yards last week as Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley both had their biggest games of the season, with Ridley eclipsing 100 yards for the second time.
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The Patriots defense ranks third in the league allowing 196.6 passing yards per game while ranking 17th allowing 119.6 rushing yards per game. The Pats have six interceptions, five fumble recoveries and ten sacks on the year as the team has the playmakers to change the momentum in a game.
The Buffalo Bills are 3-2 entering this contest after executing a surprise come-from-behind victory last week in Detroit, 17-14 on a field goal in the final seconds by Dan Carpenter. The Bills scored all of their points unanswered after enduring an early 14 point deficit, and perhaps more surprising is that journeyman QB Kyle Orton led the effort after barely seeing the field in his last two seasons with the Cowboys. Orton made strong use of rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who leads the team in receiving yards with 284 on 24 catches with two TDs. The Bills will likely look heavily to running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller against the Patriots, with Jackson leading the team in total yards with 429 (201 rushing, 228 receiving) and Spiller receiving the bulk of the carries with 62 attempts for 215 yards while also catching 13 balls for 106 yards and a TD.
The Bills biggest strength is their run defense, which ranks seventh in the league while allowing just 71 yards per game, but that stat should be muted somewhat by the injuries in the Detroit backfield last week and the fact that the Bills faced a banged up Arian Foster in their week four contest against the Texans. The Bills can definitely pressure the quarterback though as they enter this game tied for the league lead in sacks with 17 as DT Marcell Dareus has five and DE Mario Williams has 3.5. Buffalo also has six interceptions on the year with CB Leodis McKelvin leading the team with two.
The Patriots have owned the Bills since 2001 with a record of 24-2 SU but many of those Bills teams were much worse than what Buffalo has assembled this year. Nonetheless, with Brady holding an 8-1 record in his last nine visits to Buffalo I have to take the visitor with the spread less than a field goal.