The season is upon us, and Sean McDermott has his Week 1 man. It’s been a long-fought battle for the starting QB spot. The drama has been almost as good as an afternoon soap opera. But it is finally over. AJ McCarron is off to Oakland for a fifth-round pick next season, and Nathan Peterman has the starting job for now.
Despite the falling line —the Bills opened as just three-point underdogs but are now 7-point dogs— we should still have faith that the boys from Buffalo will still hit M&T Bank Stadium hard and at least cover the point spread. As an aside, if you are at all thinking about wagering on the game, it’s essential to do due diligence before placing any bets online, you can start with this Bovada review as we are using their odds in this article.
A Giant Chip Rest On Peterman’s Shoulder
We might as well get this part out of the way … Yes, Nathan Peterman was on track to breaking a record with his five-interception half against the Chargers in his first ever start last season. But that is exactly what it was, his first ever start. Peterman is more experienced now, and he has shown incredible poise through this latest training camp and preseason. He might just end up with the nickname, Saltpeterman because he likely has a chip on his shoulder that is a powerder keg ready to explode against opposing defenses. Ok. So Saltpeterman is a horrible nickname, but you get my drift. He is ready to prove himself.
The Buffalo Secondary
The Ravens pass the ball 56.36% of the time. The Bills have some defensive weaknesses, but the secondary is not one of them. Ranked 7th overall, the Bills can slow down a pass-happy Baltimore offense and limit Ravens scoring potential. Tre’Davious White has a 91.6 grade, and Both Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer are rated over 87. A couple of turnovers could change the momentum of the game, and these are just the guys to make that happen.
Baltimore Doesn’t Cover Well at Home
The Baltimore Ravens are just 42.9% covering the spread as a home favorite. While the Bills come in as road underdogs at 57.1%. This means there is a high likelihood of a close game, and close games are winnable games.
The Score Should Stay Low
The projected combined score for both the Bills and the Ravens is 40.5 points. But it should be lower than that. The Bills away games, they have gone under the posted total 66.7% of the time. And in as away underdogs, that number jumps to 71.4%. When we factor in the Ravens breaking the posted total at just 50% of the time while at home, the trends point towards a lower scoring game. If the score is low, then it means the defense is doing their job for the most part, and the Bills will remain within kicking distance of the win.
A History of Close Games
Over the last eight times, the Bills have met the Ravens, they have walked away victorious four of them and even the losses been extremely close. The last time out, the Ravens won 13-7, but before that, the Bills won 23-20. Before that, the Ravens won 37-34, and the Bills took the game before that 19-14. So far they have pretty much traded wins throughout their series. So, technically, it’s Buffalo’s turn to win.
Being hampered by offensive line injuries could make winning in a hostile environment difficult, but given the history, it shouldn’t shock us if the Bills upset the Ravens in Week 1. No matter what, it will be a closer game than the so-called experts are saying.