It’s an inter-conference matchup in Western New York as the Arizona Cardinals (1-1) travel to face the Buffalo Bills (0-2) Sunday afternoon. The game kicks off at 1 pm ET from New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. The game is regionally televised on FOX. The current odds for this contest show the Cardinals as a 3.5 point favorite with the over/under set at 47 points.
Cardinals vs. Bills Vegas Game Preview
Arizona broke into the win column last week with a 40-7 dismantling of the Buccaneers at home. Buffalo had 10 days to prepare for this contest after losing 37-31 at home to the Jets last week on Thursday Night Football. This is the 11th all-time meeting between the two franchises. Buffalo holds a 6-4 advantage in the series and won five of the last six meetings. That includes a 19-16 overtime win on the road on October 14, 2012 in the last meeting.
Free Pick and Betting Spread Prediction: Cardinals -3.5
Arizona came back to life last week after a tough loss to New England. The Cardinals have a slew of weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Arizona averages 380 yards of offense and 31.5 points per game this year. Carson Palmer has his 41 of 67 passes for 575 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions last season. He gets to go against a Buffalo defense that was supposed to be strong against the pass. Instead, the Bills are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 68.7 percent of their throws for 297.5 yards a game and a 106.2 QB rating. Buffalo has yet to pick off a pass, which is surprising given the talent they have in the secondary.
The shifty David Johnson (134 rushing yards, TD, seven catches, 141 yards) is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Arizona also has receivers Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown to do damage in the passing game. If Buffalo can’t generate some heat on Palmer and shut down the run game, the Bills will be staring 0-3 in the face.
Buffalo had their share of big plays last week against the Jets. The Bills scored on touchdown passes of 85 and 71 yards. They added a defensive score on a fumble return. The problem was that the Bills didn’t make enough plays defensively, allowing Ryan Fitzpatrick to look like Dan Marino in his prime. So how did the Bills address the issues since that loss? Well, they fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman. How that was going to solve the team’s defensive lapses is yet to be seen.
The Bills have the league’s third worst passing offense and are 24th in rushing this season. While some can say that Roman’s at fault for that, one has to consider that Buffalo had limited opportunities to do things offensively. Arizona’s defense has five sacks and four interceptions. With Patrick Peterson lurking in the secondary, it will be a challenge to hit big plays. Sammy Watkins is banged up and is questionable here. If he doesn’t go, the Bills lose another major threat in the passing game. There isn’t a major proven commodity after him that Tyrod Taylor can bank on when the Bills need a first down. The Bills average 276.5 yards per game offensively. Buffalo puts up only 75.5 yards a game on the ground and 3.5 yards per carry. Those numbers won’t get it done.
Buffalo is at home but this is a team in complete disarray at this point in time. Firing Roman and bringing in Anthony Lynn as offensive coordinator seems to be a knee jerk reaction. Ryan talked about that if anyone was going to get fired, he would be the first guy to go. That didn’t pan out. Arizona was electric last week as their offense was barely slowed once it got going. Until Buffalo’s defense tightens up and proves that they can make plays, you can’t rely on them. Give the points as Arizona wins their road opener. For more week 3 NFL picks, check here for the weekly rundown!
Arizona is 12-1 ATS in their last 13 road games vs. a team with a losing home record and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games in September. Buffalo is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in September and 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.