New Orleans Saints (6-2 SU, 6-2 ATS, 4-4 O/U) vs. Buffalo Bills (5-3 SU, 5-2-1 ATS, 4-4 O/U)
NFL: Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. EST
The Line: New Orleans Saints -2. Total: 46.
The New Orleans Saints have won six games in a row heading into a road date with the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday afternoon. New Orleans started the season 0-2 but has since reeled off victories over Carolina, Miami, Detroit, Green Bay, Chicago, and Tampa Bay. The Bills saw a two-game winning streak come to an end with a loss to the Jets last Thursday.
Six in a row
The Saints were once 0-2. Now they are 6-2. That’s right; New Orleans has reeled off six victories in succession, most recently hammering NFC South rival Tampa Bay 30-10. With that, the Saints became the third team in the Super Bowl era to win six in a row following an 0-2 start. The other two–the 1993 Cowboys and 2007 Giants–went on to win the title. In last Sunday’s contest, rookie running back Alvin Kamara scored two touchdowns and accounted for a career-high 152 yards from scrimmage. Quarterback Drew Brees continued his fine form by completing 22 of 27 passes for 263 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He has 13 TDs compared to only four INTs this season. Brees and company, however, are not satisfied.
“We’re still striving to play our best, and I don’t think we’ve achieved that yet,” the veteran explained. “We’re continuing to make strides in the right direction. There’s still a lot of things we can do better. The road only gets tougher.”
Must pressure the quarterback
Buffalo’s defense has taken a hit in recent weeks, to the extent that it is wallowing down at No. 20 in the overall NFL rankings and No. 26 against the pass. The Bills are giving up 25-.3 yards per game through the air, which does not bode well heading into a matchup with Brees. It will not help the home team’s cause that New Orleans is the best in the league at protecting its quarterback, having allowed a mere eight sacks through eight contests. Buffalo, meanwhile, is 26th in the NFL with 14 sacks. The Bills have only three sacks in their last three games, and once again had just one (courtesy of defensive tackle Cedric Thornton) in last Thursday’s 34-21 loss to the Jets.
“Most teams come into it with the idea of being able to get pressure to him,” defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said of Brees. “I know going into Sunday’s game there had only been seven sacks; they were leading the league in fewest sacks allowed. It’s a plan, but he gets the ball out so fast that you may not necessarily sack him. You have to find ways to at least pressure him. It’s going to be important. He’s a future Hall of Fame quarterback and you don’t want it to be seven-on-seven for him.”
The New Orleans Saints are:
- 19-7 ATS in their last 26 overall
- 12-2 ATS in their last 14 road games
- 39-17-1 ATS in their last 57 games against teams with winning records
The Buffalo Bills are:
- 12-26-2 ATS in their last 40 home games against teams with winning road records
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven games after allowing more than 150 rushing yards in their previous game
- 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss
The Saints are 3-0 in their last three on the road since losing their first game of the season away from home at Minnesota. In road victories over Carolina and Miami, Brees combined for five touchdowns and no interceptions. Buffalo is enjoying a long week, but a recent double-digit loss to the Jets of all teams is cause for great concern. New Orleans is 19-7 ATS in its last 26 overall, 12-2 ATS in its last 14 on the road, 39-17-1 ATS in its last 57 against winning opponents, 7-0 ATS in its last seven on the road against opponents with winning home records, and 7-0 ATS in their last seven following a win. The Bills are 12-26-2 ATS in their last 40 at home against opponents with winning road records, 2-5 ATS in their last seven after allowing more than 150 rushing yards in their previous outing, 1-3-1 ATS in their last five following an ATS loss, and 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings between the two teams. Don’t be surprised if those trends continue.
Pick: New Orleans Saints -2
New Orleans’ defense has been a pleasant surprise, although the team did get some bad news this past weekend. Cornerback Delvin Breaux suffered a setback in his recovery from a broken leg and could miss another three to six weeks. Fortunately for the Saints, their offense is in cruise control and that should continue against a Buffalo defense that has struggled to rush the passer of late. The over is 4-1 in the Saints’ last five against winning opponents, 5-0 in their last five after gaining more than 350 yards in their previous outing, 6-2 in their last eight after passing for more than 250 yards in their previous outing, and 8-2 in their last 10 in Week 10. It is also 14-6 in the Bills’ last 20 overall, 14-3 in their last 17 at home, 7-2 in their last nine against winning opponents, 8-2 in their last 10 following a loss, 14-3 in their last 17 on turf, and 5-1 in their last six after allowing more than 150 rushing yards in their previous outing. Look for this one to go over the total.