What is the top-to-bottom point distance in the NFL? The game on Monday night with the Patriots and Bills (ESPN, 8:15 pm) gives you a great snapshot.
New England spent most of the week as a 14-point favorite. With a standard three home advantage points, that would mean the Patriots are 17 points better on a neutral field.
We ran our valued "market" power ratings in Sunday "tip". At that time New England was one point worse than the Rams. Buffalo is ranked as the worst team in the NFL because improved rookie quarterback Josh Allen still does not play. The Bills rated a field goal higher than Allen was healthy. With Derek Anderson or Nathan Peterman at QB? Ug.
It is helpful for new weatherers to know and respect the scale from top to bottom as it prevents overreaction to perceived mismatches. "They will kill them" is "they will win by at least three touchdowns" to "this favorite can call the score" after a few beers. Although NFL blowouts happen, they are far from automatic, unless there are large turnover differences or special team touchdowns.
Among the reasons:
- Even the worst players have NFL caliber starters.
- Favorites are focused on winning, not covering.
- Superior teams can be great on running.
- Elite teams can have flat efforts as big favorites.
Buffalo was + 1
Can Buffalo shock New England?
Still unable to play with Allen, this seems much less likely. New England's offensive really started after a lazy start. A few weeks ago we told you that VSiN likes to collect points and allow them on drives of 60 meters or more. These are great indicators of true quality because you can not give in to those skills in these areas. Let's run offensive numbers for each Patriots game. You'll see that they found their typical Bill Belichick-Tom Brady form after the Detroit debacle.
Patriots points on long rides:
vs. Texans, 17
at Jaguars, 10
at Lions, 0
Vs. Dolphins, 24
vs. Colts, 28
vs. Chiefs, 27
at Bears, 24
This is four games in a row at 24 or more. Through seven games, Buffalo's numbers per game are 0-14-14-0-0-0-0. No points on drives of 60 yards or more for a month!
It will be Buffalo's defense and New England's focus as a huge favorite to determine who covers the big route this week on Monday night.