Matchup: Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts
Date/Time: August 11th, 1:30 PM ET
Television: Local TV
Spread: Colts -3.5
A team chock full of second-year players will take on a team heading in an entirely new direction on Sunday to wrap up the first week of NFL preseason betting action. The Buffalo Bills are traveling to Lucas Oil Stadium to take on the Indianapolis Colts.
This is going to be a tough team to gauge in the preseason for sure. The Bills have a brand new head coach in Doug Marrone, and they have a new quarterback that is going to be getting reps here in QB EJ Manuel. It’s largely not much different from what the Colts went through last season, which is what makes this quite the interesting game. Manuel is likely going to end up starting on Sunday thanks to the fact that QB Kevin Kolb is still battling a minor knee injury caused by a freak accident early in training camp. Manuel could be asked to play extended time as well, knowing that third string QB Jeff Tuel is also a rookie. We can’t imagine that Tuel is going to play more than a half of football in all likelihood, but unless the team brings in another arm or unless Manuel is going to play a full half, something is going to have to give. Buffalo still has a suspect defense though, and the team in the preseason last year finished an atrocious 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS.
Don’t figure that we know all about Head Coach Chuck Pagano either. Pagano left the mass majority of his offense in to play virtually the whole first half in the first preseason game last year, and this line sort of insinuates that he is going to do the same thing this time around. However, we are going to question that quite a bit. Pagano knew that he had a young offense with a lot of rookies, not the least of which was QB Andrew Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Now that Luck, RB Vick Ballard, WR TY Hilton, and the rest of the Colts have had a year together, Pagano might be a little more inclined to let his backups work. That said, we have a lot of confidence in QB Matt Hasselbeck as the first man off of the bench. It’s third stringer QB Chandler Harnish that has us concerned, as we don’t know if he really has the tools to make it in the NFL or not, even playing against third string defenses.
Manuel might not be a stud right out of the blocks like some of the rookies were last year, but he is going to be a lot more of a success story than Harnish will for sure. We’ll take our chances that Manuel plays deeper into the game than Luck does and puts up a respectable pro debut. We want the points on our side.
Buffalo Bills @ Indianapolis Colts Pick: Buffalo Bills +3.5
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.