Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cleveland Browns Vs. Buffalo Bills: BUF -2.5 (-120) (Pinnacle)

Market Watch

The look-ahead line was Bills -3 (+100). It reopened at -2 after the weekend, and we've seen it inch back closer to -3 early in the week. It's currently -2.5 (-120), but I see no reason why it won't go back to -3. Usually when a spread stays at -2.5, it's because the other team is considered the better of the two. I don't think that's the case here at all. 60% of the bets are on Buffalo thus far.

Bottom Line

Like most of Buffalo's matchups, the defenses are expected to rule the day. The thing about that is it's typically the Bills defense that matches up more favorably, and it's no different again this week.

Regrettably, I passed on Buffalo last week, but there was just no way to know how they would respond after a chaotic week of preparation and location changes. This week they will be back at the (not-so-cozy) confines of Ralph Wilson Stadium, and I expect that to be a nice advantage after all they've gone through in Buffalo.

Statistically, the Bills defense is simply dominant at the moment. They have far and away the best DL in football, and it will be a polar opposite challenge than the Browns faced in Atlanta. On top of that, the Bills defense is first in the NFL on 3rd/4th downs, while the Browns rank 30th. Overall, the Bills D ranks third as a unit. What it all adds up to is a very long day for Hoyer and company.

It won't be all sunshine and rainbows though. As we know, Buffalo's offense isn't anything to be excited about, and they aren't going to have any advantages on Sunday's unless they face a piss-poor defense.  The Browns are safely a top 15 unit on that side of the ball, but they are nowhere as dominant as Buffalo's.  The good news is all we have to ask for is a safe and steady game-plan that can move the chains, capitalize on field position, and not lose the game. Despite some speed-bumps, that's what Orton usually delivers.

I'll ride the Bills, and I'd still take it if it moved to -3.

NFL Pick: BUF -2.5.

Read moreWeek 13 picks.