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On the line from Vegas: Cardinals are covering at home

By Tim Graham

Joel Staniszewski is on a hot streak he'd prefer would come to an end.

The Las Vegas oddsmaker from Sloan has shared some prescient trends with the Press Coverage blog, and if his data proves prophetic again this week, then Buffalo Bills will have lost their third straight game.

The opening line had the Arizona Cardinals by 4 points with an over/under of 43 points. Early money (although there hasn't been much of it) has been on the Cardinals and the over, moving the spread to 5 points and the total to 43.5 points.

Staniszewski, of Las Vegas Sports Consultants, shared two trends for this week. One looks really bad for the Bills, the other mildly hopeful.

First, the negative: In the Cardinals' past 13 home games, they're 11-2 straight up and 9-4 against the spread.

But then there's this: Since 2002, underdogs coming off a loss of 21 points or more are 173-138-7 against the spread, a .556 win percentage.

"That's not a huge win percentage," Staniszewski said, "but when you factor in the juice, winning 55.6 percent is profitable."

And that's where Staniszewski, a lifelong Bills fan, sees a ray of sunshine. Four teams went into Week Six in that situation: the Bills, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders.

If the trend holds up, then two of those teams should cover the spread. The Titans already did so Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"The trend shows that at least the Bills have a chance," Staniszewski said. "Arizona's wins have been a little questionable. Their record is a bit of an anomaly. Their record is inflated.

"Covering the spread doesn't help Bills fans. If they cover and lose, it doesn't do you much good. But it's something."


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 |