After stringing together two home wins over Buccaneers and Raiders, the Bills got outplayed by the Jets at Met Life Stadium in last week’s Thursday Night Football matchup, 21:34. The offense that averaged 32 points in two previous games was shut down and QB Tyrod Taylor just couldn’t find an answer for the Jets’ D. Saints on the other side are riding a six-game winning streak. Just a reminder, they started the season with two defeats by the Vikings and the Patriots but then shifted to the next gear and paved the way for the current 6-2 record. The team is coming off from a home victory over a divisional rival Tampa Bay.
The Bills are 5-2-1 against the spread this season (3-0-1 at home) and they are 4-4 in Over/Under while the Saints are 5-3 against the spread (3-1 on the road) and 4-4 in Over/Under. Total points for Sunday’s matchup are set at 46 and bookies are giving a slight advantage to the New Orleans Saints at -2. Very interesting showdown is ahead so let’s check some basic info about the teams’ form so far into the year.
The Bills are entering the period of very tough matchups with this home duel against the Saints as they are about to square off on the road with Los Angeles Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs in next two weeks. AFC East looks to be reserved for the Patriots again but one of the wild-card spots might be up for grabs if the Bills can sustain good form and quality performances. Their main contenders for one of the post-season spots will be the divisional rivals, Dolphins, who are already losing pace and Oakland Raiders who are surprisingly low-ranked after the first half of the season. Hopefully, the Bills will finally be able to end that nefarious 13-years streak of not advancing to the NFL playoffs.
On the stat sheet, the team is averaging 303.8 total yards in offense (186.9 passing yards and 116.9 rushing yards) per game and 4.7 yards per play. Offensively they rank 26th in the league (30th in passing and 11th in rushing). On the other side of the field, they allow 344.6 total yards (250.2 passing yards and 94.4 rushing yards) to their opponents and 5.3 yards per play. Their overall defense is ranked 21st in the league (26th in passing yards allowed and 8th in rushing yards allowed) while they also allow 18.6 points per game (5th in the NFL).
Individually, QB Tyrod Taylor is leading the offense with 1628 total yards, 10 TDs and two picks while running back LeSean McCoy tops the team in rushing with 546 yards and three scores so far. TE Charles Clay and WR Jordan Matthews top the receiving corps with 258 and 239 yards and three scores combined and now they’ll receive some help in this segment with the arrival of Kelvin Benjamin from the Panthers. On defense, linebackers Lorenzo Alexander and Ramon Humber lead the team in total tackles with 33 and 32 while DE Jerry Hughes collected team-high three sacks. Alexander also has three forced fumbles and two sacks.
Zay Jones (knee), E.J. Gaines (hamstring) and Ramon Humber (shoulder) are all listed as questionable for Week 10 while Charles Clay (knee) is listed as probable.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
The stunt the Saints pulled with the signing of Adrian Peterson proved to be a flop very early as desperation on both sides grew from the beginning of the season, clearly making an impact on the entire locker-room. As soon as the team sent the veteran running back towards the Cardinals, the Saints kind off synced on and the positive results started coming. Drew Brees is in his 16th season in the NFL but he’s leading this offense like he’s 28 not 38 years old as they rank second in the league in total yards per game and fourth in passing yards per game.
Statistically, the team is averaging 392.5 total yards in offense (269.8 passing yards and 122.8 rushing yards) per match and 6.1 yards per play. Defensively, they allow 326.6 total yards per game (210.5 passing yards and 116.1 rushing yards) to their opponents and 5.3 yards per play. Their defense ranks 15th in total yards allowed and 9th in points allowed per matchup (19.4).
Drew Brees has 2214 passing yards, 13 TDs and four interceptions so far while running back duo Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara lead the team’s ground attack with 541 and 311 yards and seven scores combined. Michael Thomas is Brees’ top target with 50 catches, 545 yards and two TDs while Ted Ginn has 29 catches, 480 yards (17.1 yards per reception) and three scores. Safety Kenny Vaccaro and linebacker A.J. Klein top the team in tackles with 29 and 28 collected while Alex Okafor has team-high 3.5 sacks recorded. Vaccaro also has three interceptions and one recovered fumble.
The Saints have eleven guys on the I-R currently and last week, guard Larry Warford suffered an abdominal strain that is likely going to keep him out of action for several weeks. One of the best defensive players of the year, safety Kenny Vaccaro is listed as questionable against the Bills because of a groin injury. Tackle Terron Armstead (chest) is also questionable for Sunday.
Bills vs. Saints Betting Lines
This will be a very interesting and important matchup, especially for the Bills who will have a very tough schedule during November and if they want to remain the main contenders for the wild-card spot in the AFC, this is a must win. On the other side, the Saints look pretty relaxed at the moment with one game advantage over the Panthers in the NFC South and it looks like they’re cruising their way to the postseason. The game in Buffalo will be one of the biggest tests so far into the season, having in mind the Bills’ defensive possibilities but I think that they’re up to it and that’s why I’ll pick them as my favorites here. When it comes to the total number of points, 46 look a bit much and I would go with under.
My Pick: New Orleans Saints -2 (-110)
Totals: Under 46 (-110)
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