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On the line from Vegas: Jaguars have betting edge on Bills

By Tim Graham

You never know who's reading the Press Coverage blog.

While in Lucas Oil Stadium to cover last Sunday's game, I was invited to appear on the Indianapolis Colts' pregame telecast with a couple of co-hosts who might as well have been doing a Buffalo Bills show: retired linemen Joe Staysniak and Will Wolford.

As I put on my headset during the break, Staysniak started quoting Joel Staniszewski's trends from last week's "On the line from Vegas" blog.

On the air, the former Bills draft choices and I discussed Staniszewski's information as legitimate data to preview the upcoming game.

And it turned out to be prophetic. Staniszewski pointed out in this space the Bills have been lousy against the spread after victories (they had beaten the Miami Dolphins), while the Colts have been impressive after defeats (they had lost to the New England Patriots).

The Colts beat the Bills and easily covered the 3-point spread.

This week's trends seem to go against the Bills again. They are 6-point favorites against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Ralph Wilson Stadium. The over/under total is 45 points.

Staniszewski, an oddsmaker for Cantor Gaming in Las Vegas, highlighted these nuggets:

* The Bills are 1-4 against the spread over their last five home games versus teams with losing records.

* The Jaguars are 4-1 against the spread over their last five games versus teams with losing records.

* Although Jacksonville is 2-13 straight up over its past 15 road games, it is 5-0 on the road this year against the spread.

* Buffalo is 0-4 against the spread in its past four games after allowing less than 90 rushing yards the previous game, which is what happened versus Miami and again in Indianapolis.

Of course, these trends are against the spread. The Bills have plenty of room to win straight up without covering.

"As a Bills fan, you don't care whether they win by one or 10 points," said Staniszewski, originally from Sloan. "A win is a win no matter who they're playing against. If the Bills don't cover, that's fine. You just want to see them win.

"Of course, that depends on the fan. You might want to see them lose so they get a better draft pick. We're fairly aware they're not making the playoffs."

For the record, this is only the fifth time the Bills have been favored this season. They are 3-1, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns and Dolphins, but losing to the Tennessee Titans.

The Jaguars have been favored only once this year -- by a point at home over the Cincinnati Bengals, who won by 17.


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 |