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On the line from Vegas: Trends look raggedy for Bills

By Tim Graham

A week ago on the Press Coverage blog, Las Vegas oddsmaker Joel Staniszewski relayed an NFL trend that proved prophetic.

Staniszewski is a Buffalo State grad who works for Las Vegas Sports Consultants, one of the world's most prominent line-setting operations. Last week, he noted teams that started a season 0-2 were 80-57-1 in Week Three against the spread -- a wager-healthy .584 win percentage. The win percentage increased to .642 for 0-2 underdogs.

And what happened Sunday?

Four out of five 0-2 underdogs won straight up, with the lone exception being the Cleveland Browns at home against the Buffalo Bills. The New Orleans Saints were the only 0-2 favorites to lose, but they played the 0-2 Kansas City Chiefs.

"I'm an oddsmaker, but first and foremost I'm a Bills fan," Staniszewski said Thursday from Las Vegas. "Any time a trend works out and the Bills win their game, it's the best week possible.

"What can be better than that?"

Staniszewski certainly wouldn't mind watching his Bills defeat the New England Patriots on Sunday, but the trends aren't encouraging.

"Everyone knows the history of the Bills and the Pats," Staniszewski said. "So it historically doesn't look good.

"Over their last 20 games, the Bills are 2-18 straight up. They are 1-6-1 against the spread their last eight home games. Previous to last year, they were 0-6-1 against the spread at home. Over their last 21 games within the AFC East, the Bills are 4-17 against the spread."

The Patriots opened as a 3 1/2-point favorite. Early money on the Patriots moved the line to 4 points. The over-under total opened at 51 1/2 points and shifted slightly to 52 points.

"The last 13 games within the AFC East, the game involving New England has gone over the total 12 times," Staniszewski said.

Staniszewski noted the uncertainty surrounding Bills running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller hasn't had a huge impact on the numbers so far.


On the line from Vegas
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |