BUF-NE Free Pick
Foxboro, MA - In the first of two football games on Monday night, the New England Patriots host the Buffalo Bills in a clash between two teams from the AFC East.
The Patriots have Super Bowl intentions again this year now that quarterback Tom Brady is completely healthy. He looked sharp in preseason, hooking up several times with Randy Moss in what seemed like a repeat of 2007 when the pair lit up scoreboards on their way to leading New England to a 16-0 record.
The Bills hope that the offseason acquisition of Terrell Owens will give their ho-hum offense a spark, although Buffalo will be without running back Marshawn Lynch because he’s serving a suspension. T.O. battled a toe injury all preseason, but is expected to play Monday nigh at Foxboro.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Patriots 11.5-point home favorites against the Bills. The over/under total for this matchup has been established at 47.5.
The last time these two teams squared off was in Buffalo on December 28. The Patriots won that game 13-0 and covered the 5.5-point spread. These teams also faced off in November of last year, with New England coming away with a 20-10 victory while covering the 3.5-point spread.
The Bills should intrigue bettors in this game because their secondary is actually very good. In fact, the entire Buffalo defense screams of potential, although they can never seem to stay healthy as a group.
This game might start off slow, but the Patriots will eventually get into a rhythm. Brady will look to spread the ball around to his excellent receiving corps and if Buffalo can’t generate any pressure, it won’t matter how good the secondary is.
Look for New England to double-team Owens as quarterback Trent Edwards tries to get him the ball early and often. The Bills are going to have a hard time running the ball without Lynch and if they become too one-dimensional, the Patriots will win in a route.
We like New England in this matchup, as well as the under 47.5. While the Pats should score plenty of points, we don’t think the Bills will hold up to their end of the bargain and therefore the total will fall under.
Our NFL Week 1 Free Picks for this matchup are: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS –11.5 and UNDER 47.5.
Buffalo Bills +11.5 Over 47.5
New England Patriots –11.5 Under 47.5
Buffalo is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games on the road
Buffalo is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road
New England is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games when playing at home against Buffalo
New England is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Buffalo
James Hardy, WR, P-U-P List
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Out Until Week 4 (suspension)
Derek Fine, TE, Out Week 1 (hamstring)
Drayton Florence, CB, Out Week 1 (knee)
Spencer Johnson, DT, Probable Week 1 (thigh)
New England Patriots
Mark LeVoir, T, P-U-P List
Matt Slater, WR, Out Week 1 (elbow)
Myron Pryor, DT, Questionable Week 1 (calf)
Dan Connolly, C, Questionable Week 1 (back)
Julian Edelman, WR, Questionable Week 1 (ankle)
Wes Welker, WR, Questionable Week 1 (knee)
Terrence Wheatley, CB, Questionable Week 1 (knee)
Tom Brady, QB, Probable Week 1 (right shoulder)
Bret Lockett, S, Probable Week 1 (chest)
Benjamin Watson, TE, Probable Week 1 (hamstring)
Sammy Morris, RB, Probable Week 1 (finger)
Shawn Springs, CB, Probable Week 1 (knee)
Posted: 9/14/09 3:00PM ET