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On the line from Vegas: Back-to-back wins look dubious

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills are coming off an important victory they hope will catapult them into the playoff race.

Las Vegas trends, however, suggest the Bills will struggle to beat the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday in Lucas Oil Stadium.

"The Bills coming off a good performance haven't done very well, and the Colts coming off a poor performance have done well," Las Vegas oddsmaker Joel Staniszewski said.

Staniszewski, a St. Joe's and Buffalo State grad who works for Cantor Gaming in Las Vegas, found several recent trends rather discouraging for the Bills after a victory.

The Bills beat the Miami Dolphins, 19-14, at home last Thursday night. The Colts were soundly walloped by the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass.

The Colts opened as a 3-point favorite over the Bills. The over/under total is 51 points.

All of these trends are against the spread:

* The Bills are 1-5-1 over their past seven games after a straight-up victory.

* Dating back to last season, the Colts are 6-0 over their past six games coming off a straight-up loss.

* The Bills are 2-8-1 over their last 11 games after beating the spread the previous game.

* The Bills are 0-5 over their past five games after allowing less than 15 points the previous game.

* The Bills are 1-5 over their past six games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing the previous game.

"Those are all fairly recent trends within the Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chan Gailey era," Staniszewski said. "These back-to-back inconsistencies are so bad, it's tough to get a gauge.

"Diehard Bills fans are saying, 'Well, the rest of the schedule is weak comparatively, and if the Bills can win out they have a chance to be a wild card.' But even when they play a good game, they're just so inconsistent from week to week."

Staniszewski scrounged to find a positive Bills trend.

They are 4-0 against the spread in their past four Week 12 games.


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 |