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Buffalo Bills @ New Orleans Saints - Week 12

 
 
 
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BUF NO
Buffalo Bills (6-4) at New Orleans Saints (5-5)

Week 12’s contest between the Buffalo Bills and the New Orleans Saints brings two strong defenses to the forefront. Both offenses will have their work cut out for them as they try to march down the field, and it's possible we see fewer points up on the scoreboard than either team is used to.
 
The Bills have allowed just 302 yards per game this year, ranking #1-best in the league. Their biggest strength has been their pass defense, which ranks #1-best in football in terms of efficiency; Buffalo has held opposing quarterbacks to just 6.54 yards per target. As a result, opposing offenses have passed for just 206 total yards per game. They have been very effective in stopping wide receivers, holding them to just 128 yards per game -- good for #2-best in the NFL. This represents an especially favorable matchup, as Saints wide receivers have ranked just #27 by the same metric. The Bills are great at getting to the quarterback, as their defensive ends rank #10-best when it comes to rushing the passer.

The Saints have held opposing offenses to just 354 yards per game this year, ranking #10-best in the league. They've found success largely through their run defense, which ranks #1-best in football in terms of efficiency; New Orleans has held opposing rushers to just 3.50 yards per carry. Consequently, opposing offenses have rushed for just 90 total yards per game. New Orleans's most effective run-stopping unit has been their linebackers, which ranks #2 in football in this regard.

It's worth noting that, while New Orleans's defense has been stellar, Buffalo's offense has also been great. They rank #4 in the NFL in yards per game with 408. This pitting of strength-vs.-strength should make for an interesting dynamic.
 
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski - Getty Images
 
 
The Saints have lost 3 consecutive games, while the Bills have lost 1 in a row. This is a short week for both teams, and each will have to make due with fewer days to rest and prepare for the game. Coaches and players like routine, so the disruption of a short week may lead to a wider range of outcomes and less efficiency on both sides of the ball. This will be a back-to-back road game for the Bills. The extra travel won't help the Bills, and this could slightly upgrade the Saints home field advantage.
 
There has been some line movement on the Game Total toward the Under. It opened 48.0 before it was bet down to 45.0. The betting handle for this Game Total is notable, because there is reverse line movement. The Over is receiving the majority of the betting handle, however the Game Total has shifted down 3.0 points. Approximately 67% of the bets and 62% of the Cash has been wagered on the Over. This may indicate some smart money was wagered on the Under as Sportsbooks often move lines based on sharp action and not raw betting handles.
 
PROJECTION:
Buffalo Bills - 23.85
New Orleans Saints - 18.94

Win Probability:
BUF 67% / NO 33%
 
 
 
 
 
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