by Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page
Last Week 3-2 Yearly Record 49-33-2
Last Year Weekly Record 12-6-3, Overall Record 72-50-3
Mr. Over/Under: Seattle -1.5 over Philadelphia
Bill’s fans, of which I am, your team has been on a downward trend the last 4-weeks, beating only a poor Pittsburgh team that lost it’s last 3 games. This year the Bill’s got better receivers, better linemen, and better running backs, yet Josh Allen still has problems with handling the blitz, reading defenses, can’t find open receivers and is not very accurate. The only reason most everyone thinks Allen has improved is because the rest of the team got better. He’ll probably fumble again this Saturday which means, if you must bet this game, take the under.
However the game I like is in Philadelphia. Last week I took the Eagles over the Giants, but this week I like Seattle over Philly. Seattle has the better quarterback and were 7-1 on the road this year. Philly still has some key injured players on offense while Seattle has added Marshawn Lynch to their offense. With such a low point spread, I’ll take Seattle –1.5.
Man in Stripes: Saints -7 over Vikings
The Saints, aka Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton, seem to be on a mission this year. Their last 2 postseason losses have been gut wrenching, including the Minneapolis Miracle against the Vikes 2 years ago. The Saints are red hot, 4-1 ATS in their last 5, 28-10 ATS in their last 38 home games vs teams with winning records..Their offense is explosive with Brees, Michael Thomas and Co. averaging 36 pts a game over the last 7. I’m not sold on Kirk Cousins in the post season, on the road, Saints defense is MUCH improved this year. Dalvin Cook is back, but how healthy is he?? Vikes only 4-14 ATS last 18 vs teams with winning record. Payback is a you know what, and the Saints win this game going away. I’ll lay the 7.5 in the Big Easy, and watch the Saints on their first step to the Super Bowl.
Mono: Buffalo +2.5 over Houston and Butler over Creighton CBB
I love the Bills in this spot. No respect all year. It’s time to show the Bills are here for the foreseeable future. Hopkins is scary but I love the position Tre White is in to show he is an elite corner. The biggest test for the Bills defense will be to shutdown the deep ball. Buffalo needs to find a way to produce 24 points. Houston hasn’t been great stopping the run and they lost starting safety Gibson in the season finale. This opens up the deep ball for John Brown. The Bills have won games all year they weren’t supposed to. This is the Bills chance to make a statement.
Year after year the Big East gives us entertaining basketball. It’s a conference run by isolation players. A team like Seton Hall has Myles Powell that can give you 25 every night. Butler and Creighton do it different. They rely on more than one player. Creighton has a terrific backcourt duo of Alexander and Bullock. In Bulter’s backcourt it’s the one-man show of Kamar Baldwin. He’s surrounded by shooters. Both teams have fared well in non-conference play and both opened up Big East play with a win. Butler is the better team especially with home court advantage. This should be a low line and Butler will cover as a small favorite at home.
Brutal: Tulane -6.5 over Southern Miss
Southern Miss running back is sitting it out for the draft. They don’t have depth behind him. Tulane has much more depth than Southern Miss. Both teams come in on losing streaks. But looking at the schedules, Tulane three losses were against much higher competition. Tulane’s QB accounted for 26 touchdowns this year. He passed for 14 and ran for another 12. This is the year of the versatile QB. Southern Miss QB Jack Abraham threw 6 interceptions the last two games. With both teams having players sit we will go with the team with the much better depth.
Bob Gaughan: New England -4 over Tennessee
I feel like this rooting for the IRS. I, like everyone else will be hope that this is the end of the New England dynasty. But my brain says this is a bargain. The strength of Tennessee is running the football. Stopping the run is the strength of the New England defense. People talk about the disaster New England had against Miami last week but they forget two weeks ago they had a near perfect game against Buffalo. I will take Tom Brady over Ryan Tannehill every time in the playoffs. I just can’t believe the spread is only four points. Give me the evil empire.