12 Nov Pick 1: New England vs. Indianapolis and Miami vs. Buffalo
The Teaser: Pair New England and Miami
Game 1: New England vs. Indianapolis
The Initial Line:
New England +2 away vs. Indianapolis
Add 8.5 points to New England’s line
The Final Line:
New England +10.5
New England had a bye week in week 10 after winning 5 straight games. They look like arguably the best team in the NFL right now, as the offense has put up the 3rd most points in the league. The team is complete on both sides of the ball, ranking first in turnover differential at +12. Indianapolis also had a bye week in week 10 after winning in convincing fashion against New York, 40-24. Andrew Luck has looked like a true MVP this season, leading the league in passing yds (3,085) and is 2nd in TD passes (26). Their offense has put up the most points in the NFL to this point in the season.
This sets up to be a great matchup showcasing 2 of the best teams in the NFL. Both have a very high-powered offense with the ability to score points. However, New England has the better overall pass defense, ranking 14th in the league while Indy sits at 27th. Andrew Luck does have a stellar record at home, as he is 16-4 (80% win %). This should be a great game, but overall New England has the more well-rounded team and should be able to gash Indy’s defense. Also NE has a +12 turnover differential to Indy which has a 0 differential. The edge goes to NE, but since they are on the road we’ll grab them with points comfortably at +10.5.
Game 2: Miami vs. Buffalo
The Initial Line:
Miami -5 home vs. Buffalo
Add 8.5 points to Miami’s line
The Final Line:
Miami let the game slip out of their hands on Sunday, losing on the road to Detroit 20-16. They held the late 16-13 lead, but let Detroit march on their last drive to get a TD with 29 sec left. Miami had 20 first downs but only 228 total yards, as the had 2 different 70 yd drives end in FGs instead of TDs. Buffalo lost in a close contest with Kansas City, falling 17-13 at home. KC outscored Buffalo 14-0 in the 4th quarter, as Jamaal Charles had another great game on the ground with 98 yds and a TD. Buffalo also lost the turnover battle, as they gave up the ball 3 times to KCs 1 fumble. They also failed to convert red zone opportunities into touchdowns by going 0-4. However, Kyle Orton had a solid game, throwing for 259 yds and a TD.
This will be a good divisional matchup on Thursday Night Football this week. Both teams sit at 5-4 and are closely matched on both sides of the ball. They both have a turnover differential of +5 which shows they manage their ball control well. Miami is 7th in rushing but Buffalo is 8th in rush defense. However with a banged up backfield Kyle Orton’s pass attack will see some issues against the 2nd ranked pass defense in the league. While the two teams are among the lowest in converting red zone opportunities into touchdowns (Buffalo is last with 41%, Miami is third to last with 46%), Miami’s defense is far better at stopping opponent touchdowns in the red zone (Miami stops 46%, Buffalo only 39%). Both teams will be hungry for a win, but Miami recently had a blowout home win against San Diego in week 9 37-0 and will have the crowd to support them. I give the edge to Miami here and take them at +3.5 just in case a late Buffalo FG wins it.