Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints Pick – Buffalo (-225)
The Thanksgiving NFL action wraps up with a nonconference battle between the Buffalo Bills and the hosting New Orleans Saints. Both teams have struggled in recent weeks and will be hungry for a victory to right their respective ships.
Each team is battling for playoff positioning, with the Bills having fallen out of first in the AFC East and the Saints trying to cling to wild card hopes. It all goes down on Thursday night, with kickoff scheduled for 8:20 PM at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
We don’t see these two teams play very often, which is natural as they’re from different conferences. They haven’t played since the Saints drubbed the Bills 47-10 back in 2017. On the whole, this series, which began in 1973, stands at 7-4 in favor of the Saints.
Buffalo was anointed by most experts as the team to beat in the AFC after starting the season 4-1. But they’ve since lost three of their last five games, with both their vaunted offense and their much-improved defense struggling. As a result, they now trail New England by a half-game in the AFC East.
The Saints have faced a similar disconnect between how they started the season and what has transpired lately. They stood at 5-2 after defeating Tampa Bay with Trevor Siemian subbing for injured starting quarterback Jameis Winston. But Siemian hasn’t the same success as a starter, as New Orleans has dropped three straight.
Opening Odds and Line Movement for Game
People haven’t been too bullish on the Saints this week, at least those betting on the game. The point spread started at 4 points but jumped all the way to 6 1/2 earlier this week. It has since come back down to 5 1/2, but that’s still a point-and-a-half in the Bills direction from earlier this week.
The over/under line has been dropping as well after starting at 47. Perhaps the increasing unlikelihood of Alvin Kamara suiting up is putting the downward pressure on it. It dropped as low as 45 before bouncing back up another half-point.
Head to Head Betting Trends
The Saints have won the last five games they’ve played against Buffalo, dating back to 2001
New Orleans also covered the spread in every one of those five wins in a row over Buffalo
The last two times that Buffalo defeated New Orleans were both on the Saints home field
The average margin of victory for the Saints in the five-game winning streak over Buffalo is a little more than 19 points per game
The last two games in the Bills-Saints series both went over the projected points total
Buffalo Bills Betting Trends
After starting the year 4-1 against the spread, Buffalo is just 1-3-1 in their last five games in terms of covering
In their last 20 games dating back to last year, Buffalo has covered the spread 65 percent of the time
In the Bills last 14 road games, the over has been the correct wager 71 percent of the time
The Bills have covered the spread in their last seven nonconference games in a row
Buffalo has covered the spread in 65 percent of their road games since the start of the 2019 season
The Bills have covered the spread in 73 percent of their road games over the past three seasons of play
Buffalo is 4 games above .500 against the spread as a favorite since 2019
Going back to 1993, the Bills have covered the spread only 29 percent of the time in games against the NFC South
New Orleans Saints Betting Trends
Saints games have gone over the number four games in a row and six of the last seven
Three of the four games New Orleans has played at home this season have gone over the number
New Orleans has won 67 percent of its last 12 home games
They’ve gone 14-3 in nonconference games over the past several seasons
As an underdog since 2019, the Saints have covered the spread 82 percent of the time
The Saints have covered the spread in just 45 percent of their home games since 2019
New Orleans has only played one Thursday game since the start of the 2019 season, winning that game and covering the spread
The Saints have only played one game against an AFC East opponent over the past three years, but they won that game and covered the spread
Free Bet and Game Prediction:
With Alvin Kamara likely set to miss another game and Jameis Winston out for the season, the Saints don’t have an identity on offense. Mark Ingram isn’t the threat catching passes out of the backfield that Kamara is (and Ingram is also banged up.) And Trevor Siemian isn’t the type of guy who can just come out winging on offense and make something happen.
That’s why it wouldn’t be completely shocking to see Taysom Hill getting meaningful snaps at quarterback in this game. His running threat would pressure the Bills defense in a way that Siemian couldn’t. And his passing ability isn’t demonstrably worse than Siemian’s anyway.
Injuries to the Saints’ two starting tackles is also harming their offense. The Bills defense is coming off a game where they were torn up by Jonathan Taylor in every which way. But there just isn’t a threat on the New Orleans side that can do that kind of damage, meaning they should be able to play aggressively as they did early in the season.
The Bills defense has been good this year—but they got *bullied* by Indy, which raises questions about how they match up with New England’s big boy run game. pic.twitter.com/W8uZTHMCeI
The Bills offense has staggered in the last month or so, as teams have devoted themselves to stopping the big play from Josh Allen and company. That has meant a lot of shell coverage and daring the Bills to run the ball. And Buffalo hasn’t shown the inclination to just tee off and rely on the ground.
This would be a good week to test that strategy. New Orleans’ defense is coming off a game where they struggled to handle the Eagles running game. Allen could fill the Jalen Hurts as a possible option threat to keep the Saints honest, allowing whoever is in the game for the Bills at running back to find big holes.
That, in turn, should open things up again for Allen in the air. Although Marshon Lattimore can hang with Stefon Diggs, the other Bills wideouts, and tight end Dawson Knox, should be able to win their matchups quite consistently. Buffalo should get back on track in this one, winning and covering the spread in the process.
Moneylines: Buffalo Bills -225, New Orleans Saints +195
Spread: Buffalo Bills -5.5 (-110), New Orleans Saints +5.5 (-110)
Over/Under: 45.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Prediction: Buffalo Bills 31, New Orleans Saints 18
Jim Beviglia joined Gamblingsites.org as a staff writer in 2018, parlaying his years of freelance writing into contributions on a number of different topics. He handles the sport of horse racing for GamblingSites.org and the intersection between the worlds of cryptocurrency and online gambling in a weekly blog.
For his full-time job, Jim handles the television and track announcing duties at a h ...
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