The Buffalo Bills did a lot more than appease their rabid fan base with that 35-17 knockout of the Chiefs last Sunday. Combined with their 48-28 loss to the Jets on opening day, they also convinced a lot of bettors that they just might be a decent over play this season.
By a 7-5 margin, bettors like the Bills and the Browns to go over even a seemingly aggressive number of 44.5 (or 44, depending on your book).
But two Covers Experts, Sean Murphy and Ben Burns, both say that it might be a good idea to let the cement dry more before hitting the over too hard on Buffalo.
“I think (44.5) is a little heavy,” said Burns, adding that “44 is a very important number.”
Murphy also cautious going over on the game, especially considering the dynamics of the game.
“Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t looked all that sharp,” says Murphy. “C.J. Spiller has been shouldering most of the load, but how long can he keep that up?"
Defensively, I think Buffalo will get better, and this game looks like a good opportunity against a rather one-dimensional Browns offense.”
One thing is for certain – Buffalo knows that its chances of hanging around past Thanksgiving in the AFC East are dependent on improving a defense that is ranked 25th in the league through two games and has been equally mediocre against the run and the pass.
The Bills have gotten off to a couple of decent starts over the past half-decade before fading. They began 3-0 before fading to 6-10 last season and in 2008 they were 4-0 and 5-1 on the way to a 7-9 disappointment.
This year they think they have more depth to compensate for inevitable injuries, and a quarterback (Ryan Fitzpatrick) who has shown he can move the chains. As for challenging the Patriots in the East, neither Murphy nor Burns think they can hang with New England, but if things break right could give New York a go for second place and an outside shot at a wild card.
But it starts with tightening up that defense, which makes over plays right now risky business.