Las Vegas sports books usually need the favorite to win the game, but not cover the point spread. But that won’t be the case in today’s “Monday Night Football” matchup between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills.
The wiseguys are on the Bills getting 7 points from the Patriots while the public has loaded up on teasers and money-line parlays on New England just to win the game.
“We’re kind of in a precarious position here,” MGM Resorts sports book director Jay Rood said. “We’re in the unenviable position of needing either the Patriots to blow them out or to have the Bills win. If it falls within seven, that’s not a good result for us. The best-case scenario is the Bills win.”
New England (9-0) dominated the first meeting of the season in Buffalo (6-4) in Week 2, building a 37-13 lead through three quarters before holding on for a 40-32 win to temporarily silence blustery Bills coach Rex Ryan.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw for 466 yards and three touchdowns in the first meeting to improve to 24-3 vs. Buffalo in his career, but New England has since lost two key offensive weapons in running back Dion Lewis and receiver Julian Edelman.
Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor was picked off three times in the first meeting but has since shown promise and led Buffalo to back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
“I think the Bills are talented enough to hang in there close,” Rood said. “If we have a close game going into the fourth quarter, Rex is just unpredictable enough to do something crazy that might actually get him the win.
“The Patriots have shown that tough teams that play good defense do give them a little issue.”
New England is fourth in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing an average of 18.8 points per game, while Buffalo is 17th (23 ppg).
The Pats are favored by 7 at all but one place in Las Vegas as Treasure Island has them laying 7½. The total ranges between 46½ and 47½.
“They’ve played the under with us. We’re at 47 and the rest of the world is at 47½,” Rood said. “Most of the sharp bets have been on the under. We opened it at 48½. I think everybody might have a little bit of under money on this game.
“The general consensus is the Bills will do whatever they can to keep it down. If they get in a shootout, the game is over.”
Underdogs are 9-2 against the spread on “Monday Night Football” this season and the under also has gone 9-2 on Monday nights.
As things typically tend to work out for the books, we’re left with the choice of a Bills win or Patriots cover. We’ll go with the latter here as New England again beats Buffalo, 31-20.