In what is a rare occurrence, the Buffalo Bills are favored to win a road game against an AFC East opponent.
According to VegasInsider.com, the Bills currently sit as 3 point favorites over the Miami Dolphins, up from an opening line of 2 1/2. While the Dolphins did impress with their 30-15 thrashing of the Steelers on Sunday, the Bills’ current winning streak shouldn’t give a whole lot of reason to put much faith in Miami’s chances, especially considering how badly the Bills beat the Dolphins twice last season.
Assuming the line holds, it will be the first time the Bills have been favored to win a road game against a divisional foe since Veteran’s Day of 2007, according to Pro Football Reference. The 4-4 Bills headed into Miami to face an 0-8 Dolphins team, but were still only 2 1/2-point favorites. Miami actually held a 10-2 (!) lead going into the fourth quarter, but a Marshawn Lynch touchdown run and two-point conversion tied the game, and a late Rian Lindell field goal gave the Bills a 13-10 win.
If the Bills end up heading into New York as road favorites against the Jets on New Year’s Day, it’ll be the first time they’ve been favored in New Jersey against Gang Green since October of 2003. The 3-2 Bills entered as 1-point favorites over the 0-4 Jets, but Vinny Testaverde’s three touchdowns and seven sacks by the Jets defense gave them a very comfortable 30-3 win.
As for the Patriots? The last time Vegas expected the Bills to win in New England was also the last time the Bills were a playoff team. The 9-5 Bills were giving 3 points to the 7-7 Patriots on December 26, 1999. Thurman Thomas (yes, it’s been that long) ran for 84 yards, but it was Jonathan Linton who scored the game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Steve Christie knocked in the winner in overtime to give the Bills a 13-10 victory, the most recent season where the Bills reached double-digit wins.
Hopefully, this idea of being road favorites against division opponents is something to which the Bills can start becoming acclimated. Of course, what Vegas thinks doesn’t matter unless the team validates it on the field.