The Buffalo Bills look to travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens in this week one contest. The Ryan brothers are back together! Instead of making ridiculous claims about winning the Super Bowl or destroying Tom Brady, the Ryan brothers seem to actually be focused on how they made a name for themselves… coaching!
Rex Ryan made his name in Baltimore when he was the defensive coordinator for the Ravens. He was passed over for the Raven’s head coaching job for Jon Harbaugh, so this adds a little coaching fuel to the football fire.
In terms of yardage allowed, the Ravens defense only surrendered 337.4 yards per Game in the 2015-2016 regular season. That would rank them as the 8th best defense in the NFL. However, we’re not playing fantasy football here; the Ravens GAve up 25.1 points per Game which ranks them as the 9th worst in the only defensive category that truly matters.
Many will tell you, men lie, women lie, numbers don’t… well in this case yards per Game lie to you. The Ravens simply aren’t a very good team and a 5-11 record showed their true colors.
The huge contract landed by Joe FlACCo and the infamous puNCh seen ’round the world delivered by Ray Rice has lead to a downfall in the Raven’s ability to win football Games. Let’s be honest, Steve Smith is a great football player, but he isn’t getting any younger.
The Buffalo Bills turned in a disappointing 8-8 season last year. This is a team that has a ton of talent on both the offensive and defensive side. So one might wonder, why are they returning mediocre results? It takes time to adjust to a new system and new coaching philosophy. I’m not touting the Ryans as coaching phenomes, but they are good coaches with a lot of talent around them… much more offensive talent than Rex had in New York and look what he did with those teams.
Early lines favor Baltimore to win with a spread of 3. I honestly cannot tell you why Baltimore is favored in this Game other than it’s at home. The eye test tells me that Baltimore is not as good of a team on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball relative to the Bills. So what does this mean? It means that Baltimore allegedly has a 59.4% chance to win this Game against the Bills.
Well let’s go to my Elo model… I see the Bills as the 3 point favorite; ACCording to my Elo ratings (unadjusted for weather, home field advantage, and injuries as we do not know about injuries quite yet), the Bills have a 59.4% chance to win this Game.
For those that believe in home field advantage, I’ve factored in a 2.6 point advantage and that pushes the spread to roughly 0, essentially calling this Game a toss up. I ,however, do not believe in home field advantages for teams that do not have at least 6 wins at home from the previous season. The Ravens didn’t even have 6 wins total last season, so I’m taking the Bills, but I think it’s a tight contest… so my prediction is the Bills win straight up without covering the spread. Bottom line is, there’s some value with the underdog Bills in this one. Bills +3