Greg Dempson’s free pick for Week 2 looks at the Buffalo Bills’ home opener vs. Carolina
The Panthers and Bills were both charged with tough tasks in the first week of the season, taking on a pair of playoff contenders. Home field helped the cause but it wasn’t enough as Buffalo lost to New England and Carolina was edged 12-7 but the Seattle Seahawks.
In Week 2 the Panthers are a 3-point favorite as they head out for their first road test and QB Cam Newton will be looking for a big day vs. a Buffalo secondary who are missing a couple of key pieces. Free safety Jairus Byrd (foot) is doubtful, second-year corner Stephon Gilmore (wrist) is out speedster Ron Brooks is back on the shelf after breaking his foot against the Pats.
Buffalo allowed New England to convert 11 of 20 third downs in the opener while going just four for 13. Time of possession (22:17) was the Bills’ lowest in two seasons and when faced with a chance to seal the upset in the fourth were unable to move the football. The Bills ranked 31st in fourth quarter scoring last season (4.4 PPG) and it appears to be an on-going problem.
[quote_text color=”#000000″ text_color=”#ffffff”]Since 1995, the Panthers are 51-29 ATS after allowing 14 or less points[/quote_text]
Carolina’s game was never in doubt of going over the total and they almost had an upset before turning the ball over in the red zone. Against the Bills defense, expect Newton to find a lot more room than he did with the Seahawks and there are a couple angles I’ve highlighted backing the road favorite to cover.
– Since 1995, the Panthers are 9-1 ATS after playing a game where less than 20 total points were scored
– When the line is within three points of ‘Pick em’, play AGAINST the home team after they allowed 5.5 or less passing yards per attempt if they are facing a team who gained 5.5 or less passing yards per attempt
In the past 10 years this last system has produced a 41-14 ATS record for the road squad and it sets up my free 2.5 unit play for Week 2.
Pick: Take the Panthers