Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:30 PM EST. Odds subject to change.
Buffalo -7½ over Denver
7:30 PM EST. This game is worth a study of the market first and foremost, before we even discuss what these two teams have done recently. The Bills are getting desperate and the oddsmakers know it. After losing in humbling fashion to the Bengals, a budding rival that's rounding into playoff-form, the Bills likely had a lot of introspection this week leading up to this contest. At one point they had a players-only meeting, usually an indication of a "call to arms" for a team that knows it needs to improve if they hope to achieve their goal of a shot at the Lombardi Trophy this season. This checks out as a good spot for them to feel better about themsevles. Sure, the Broncos have looked better. They've won two straight, they've shown a semblance of defense, and Russell Wilson is playing cleaner football. Besides a clunker at Arrowhead in Week 6, Denver has scored 24 ppg in their last 4 contests, too. All this said, it doesn't mean they can't be completely blown out on Monday night, and the sportsbooks know that. When we see a spread of 7 with a hook, that's usually what oddsmakers are indicating-- there's a growing probability that this is a domination ready to happen. We're inclined to agree.
Despite how up and down the Buffalo offense has been, they've only scored 20 ppg in their last five matchups, they still have the best player in this game. Josh Allen holds up an offense that isn't as talented as many thought it would be. Stefon Diggs is a real-deal #1 wide receiver, we all know that, but the Bills' run-game is extremely inconsistent and Allen's pass-catchers don't always get great separation. Gabe Davis has had a relatively quiet year, only 48 receiving yards per game, and as a unit the Bills have really shallow depth at the wide-receiver position.
The good news for the Bills is that this is likely a perfect matchup. Their defense is still injured, but the Broncos' offense is hardly intimidating. They rely on a productive running attack, but that should prove very difficult against a gifted and fired up Bills' D-line. On the other side, only the Chiefs are better than the Bills at protecting their QB, and the Broncos are one of the worst teams at producing sacks (27th). Josh Allen should have plenty of time to take over this game, whether he has a productive rushing attack to support him or not, and it helps that Buffalo is so good at home. The last time the Bills lost a game at Orchard Park was exactly one year ago today, an OT thriller against the Vikings last season. Their average margin of victory over the last year of victories in front of their home crowd? 11.2 points per game. Buffalo hasn't covered against the spread in five straight games. They're due, and they're set-up for success Monday night.
Buffalo -7½ +104 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.08)