The Indianapolis Colts had a poor preseason in going 1-3 SU and ATS while the Buffalo Bills looked pretty damn good in going 2-2 SU and ATS under first-year head coach Rex Ryan.
When they face-off in NFL week 1 betting action, the Colts are 2.5-point favorites. The game kicks off on CBS this Sunday, Sept 13th. Cord-cutters can stream the game via CBSsports.com
Matchup: Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills
Date: Sunday, Sept 13th, 2015
Start Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Buffalo, New York
Stadium: Ralph Wilson Stadium
Spread: Colts -2.5
Game Total: 46
TV Info: CBS
Stream: CBS Sports
Radio: Indianapolis Vs Buffalo
Still, the Colts are favored to win this matchup outright after reaching the AFC title game a year ago, though 62.0 percent of simulations have the Bills covering the spread.
The Bills will be led by first-time starter Tyrod Taylor at quarterback after the former backup to Joe Flacco in Baltimore won an intense preseason competition against teammates E.J. Manuel and veteran Matt Cassel.
Projections for this matchup have Taylor completing just 19 of 34 passes for 213 yards with a 1.01 percent chance of throwing an interception. These same projections have Colts quarterback Andrew Luck completing 24 of 39 passes for 282 yards with a 1.13 percent chance of tossing a pick.
While I’m tempted to go with the more cohesive Colts to win this game outright and narrowly cover the spread, I’ve got a funny feeling that Tyrod Taylor is going to open even more eyes than he did in the preseason and go with the simulations that say the Bills will win and cover.
I know Andrew Luck has gone 34-19-1 against the spread to cash in at a blistering 64.2 percent rate, second only to Russell Wilson over the past three seasons, but I liked the way Buffalo overpowered Pittsburgh in their Week 3 preseason matchup and I believe they’re going to pull off the stunner in this one.
Indianapolis has issues along both its lines after releasing veteran nose tackle Josh Chapman and backup defensive tackles Montori Hughes, and Kelcy Quarles, not to mention the revolving door they’ve used at guard and center this preseason.
Game Analysis: I loved the way Tyrod Taylor played this preseason and I believe he could very well turn into a Russell Wilson-like signal-caller for the Bills in 2015 if he continues. I like Taylor to beat the ‘superior’ Colts in this one by using his legs to extend plays and pick up much-needed rushing yards.
Believe it or not, the Colts are 1-6 ATS in their last seven regular season openers while Buffalo has gone 8-2 ATS in their last 10 openers and 5-1 ATS over their last six games of the 2014 season.
Buffalo will have an elite defense this coming season and an offense that I believe will be a lot better than anyone ever expected.
The home team in this AFC rivalry is 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 meetings, giving some credence to my belief the Bills will cover the spread by getting the outright win. My final score prediction is Indianapolis 21, Buffalo 23.