Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears will take on the ‘new-look’ Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field in a Week 1 battle that looks like one of the more value-packed picks on the opening slate docket. Click here to view more NFL week 1 odds.
NFL Week 1 Betting Spread & Predictions – Bears Vs. Bills
Preview: Chicago (8-8 SU,4-11-1 ATS) went 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS this preseason, but looked pretty bad in dropping each of their last two preseason games while allowing at least 33 points in each contest and failing to score more than 13.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 30, 2014
Buffalo (6-10 SU,8-8 ATS) didn’t look good in dropping each of their last three preseason games and failing to score more than 16 points in any affair. The good news for the Bills is that their defense looked very competent in limiting their opponents to 23 points or less in three of those contests.
Analysis: I’ll get right to the point by saying that I like Chicago to win this game and narrowly cover the spread, mostly because Buffalo and second-year quarterback E.J. Manuel haven’t looked particularly overwhelming this preseason and I expect them to struggle a bit more early in the season than later on.
Buffalo could be without gifted rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins in this contest and that will limit E.J. Manuel’s opportunities to connect on big plays if he’s not available. The Bills have now reached outside of the organization twice in a week to address the backup quarterback spot. First, the Bills signed Jordan Palmer last Tuesday. He was released after a rough outing against the Detroit Lions, and Kyle Orton was signed on Saturday.
Orton: "My role on this team is a backup. Job No. 1 is to help EJ"
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) September 1, 2014
Chicago head coach Marc Trestman is a great offensive mind and the Bears have plenty of talent at the skill position with two excellent starting wide receivers, one of the game’s most versatile dual threat running backs and a strong-armed quarterback.
“We’ve got a talented room. We’ve got a group of guys that are together. They’ve worked very, very hard. Their expectations should be very high as we move into the season but at the same time we’ve got a lot of work to do on a daily basis,” Trestman said.
Chicago is playing at home and despite their horrific 1-8-1 ATS mark in its last 10 home games, I like the Bears to get the win and comfy ATS cover.
Buffalo is just 3-6 ATS in its last nine games and 1-4 ATS in its last five road games while the Home team has gone 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 meetings.