By Tim Graham
We had a good run, didn't we?
We lasted until Week 15 before we finally encountered a Buffalo Bills game Las Vegas oddsmaker Joel Staniszewski advises folks to steer clear of.
"From a betting standpoint, you probably should stay away," Staniszewski said of Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks in Toronto. "It's tough to get a gauge on this matchup."
The Seahawks are five-point favorites. The over/under total is 42.5 points.
Staniszewski, an oddsmaker for Cantor Gaming in Las Vegas, noted the trends for both teams are at odds with each other.
"We're at that point in the season where average to below-average teams are going to have trends for and against what you should bet," Staniszewski said. "It's hard to really get a lock on a team this late in a season unless it involves a really good team like the Patriots or a really bad team like the Chiefs or Jaguars.
"Who's trend do you buy here? From a bettor's standpoint, this is a game you would shy away from."
Some against-the-spread trends for Buffalo:
- * 4-1 their past five games after a straight-up loss.
- * 4-1 their past five games after gaining less than 90 rushing yards.
- * 4-0 their past four games versus Seattle (but most recent game in 2008).
Some against-the-spread trends for Seattle:
- * 4-1 their past five games after a straight-up win.
- * 4-1 their past five games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing.
- * 0-4 their past four games as a road favorite.
Staniszewski added one consideration that could sway a bettor who insists upon getting action on the Seahawks-Bills game.
"When the Bills play one great game, they're due to have a bad game the next one," said Staniszewski, repeating a trend that has been outlined in this space before. "Seattle recently has done well after playing a great game."
As for playing in Toronto, it still counts as home-field advantage from an oddsmaking standpoint.
A game in London would be a true neutral site, but Las Vegas considers Toronto a home field for the Bills, similar to when a college plays not in their home stadium but nearby (Ohio State in Cleveland Browns Stadium, for example).
"Yes, it's a home game," Staniszewski said. "Yes, you're going to have more Bills fans there than Seahawks fans, but you also will have people who are just going to an event."
The Bills are 1-3 straight up in Toronto, and all of the games have gone under. Staniszewski doesn't view either as a trend because of a small sample size and the fact the matchups have been clunkers.