Normally you go to Disney World after winning the Super Bowl. The Bills are going to Cincinnati.
Buffalo deserves to celebrate after beating big, bad New England for the first time in 16 tries and doing so in stunning fashion: overcoming a 21-0 deficit, intercepting glamour boy Tom Brady a record four times.
But will there be a hangover?
“That was essentially their Super Bowl in the AFC East, plus they have a game on deck with Philly,” Caesars Palace sportsbook supervisor Todd Fuhrman told Covers.com on Monday. “You talk about a situational spot that doesn’t favor Buffalo? This sets up as a prime flat spot for them.”
Caesars opened the Bills at -3 (-120) and at that price, Fuhrman said, “we fully anticipate the Bengals are a side the house is going to need Sunday. I think the public will come in hand over fist on Buffalo having seen what they did against the Pats.”
Early indications support that: 81 percent of Covers.com Consensus bettors are siding with Buffalo.
Fuhrman can see the line going to 3.5, but he feared too much wise-guy action on Cincy if he opened it that high.
After the historic 34-31 win, Bills corner Drayton Florence insisted his team expected the outcome.
"It's time for those past Buffalo Bill memories to fade away," said Florence, who intercepted a tipped ball in the fourth quarter and returned it 27 yards for a TD. "This is a new era, a new day. ... Everybody outside of this room is calling this an upset, but in this locker room, this is what we expected."
If that’s true, then perhaps there won’t be a major letdown.
Interestingly, teams that beat the Patriots in 2009 and 2010 went 6-1 straight up (SU) and 5-2 against the spread (ATS) in their next games. So there was no letdown, perhaps a confidence jolt instead.
On the flip side, the Bills are 1-5 SU and ATS after facing the Patriots, Covers Expert Marc Lawrence noted.
The Bills were 5-point dogs at Cincy last year when they outscored the Bengals 35-0 after halftime to win 49-31. The Bills also would have been underdogs this year had they played in Week 1 instead of Week 4, according to Lawrence.
Now the Bills are getting their due.
Oddsmaker Pete Korner recommended a line of 3.5 in Buffalo-Cincy.
“We went over the magic 3 number,” Korner said. “A lot of their magic was at home. Now you’re on the road, and even if you are playing an inferior team, Cincinnati hasn’t been that bad. And when you’re on the road, things happen.”
The Bills are 2-1 ATS, 3-0 SU and 3-0 O/U. They’re 3-0 ATS in the second half, when they morph into a scoring machine.
The posted total of 44 could rise. Buffalo’s three games have soared over the total by an average of 17.7 points.
BIGGEST SPREAD OF THE WEEK
Denver at Green Bay (-13, 47.5)
The Packers could be a bit flat after beating their archrivals at Soldier Field. But the Broncos are making their second straight trip east.
Green Bay is 13-4 ATS in non-conference games since 2007.
SMALLEST SPREADS OF THE WEEK
New York Giants at Arizona (1, 44.5), Minnesota at Kansas City (1, 40), Tennessee at Cleveland (-1, 37.5)
The Giants are 14-6 ATS as road favorites since 2006.
The Chiefs showed some fight Sunday, losing 20-17 at San Diego for their first ATS win in their last nine games, including preseason. Minnesota has the dubious distinction of being the best of the NFL’s five winless teams. If the Lions had not gotten away with holding defensive end Jared Allen multiple times, they might be 2-1 and the VIkes 1-2.
BIGGEST TOTAL OF THE WEEK
New England at Oakland (4.5, 53.5)
You basically can’t set a Pats total too high. New England has a 13-1 O/U mark in their last 14 regular-season and playoff games. All of Oakland’s games this season have gone over, too.
Fuhrman said the Patriots are causing him to post some of the highest NFL totals he’s ever posted. Sunday’s game against Buffalo went off at 54 at Caesars.
SMALLEST TOTAL OF THE WEEK
Tennessee at Cleveland (-1, 37.5)
The Titans just lost wideout Kenny Britt, and running back Chris Johnson looks hesitant after missing most of training camp. He’s not hitting holes with his trademark burst.
Cleveland has scored 17 points in two of its three games.
“I really believe Tennessee played above their heads against Baltimore,” Fuhrman said. “They mustered 17 points against a bad Denver defense on Sunday and 14 points against the Jaguars in the opener.”
Both defenses have played better than expected. The Titans rank first in total defense (261 yards per game), and the Browns ninth (316 ypg).