Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots Pick

The New England Patriots will be happy to have 2007 MVP Tom Brady back at the helm as they kick off their 2009 regular season at home against the Buffalo Bills in the first half of ESPN’s opening Monday Night Football doubleheader. Brady missed almost all of last season after throwing a league record 50 TD passes the previous season. Monday’s game also marks the regular season debut of Terrell Owens with the Bills.

New England is now a 11 point favorite with a total of 47.5 at bookmaker.

The Patriots will be trying to set an NFL record with their 12th straight win over the Bills. No NFL team in history has beaten another team 12 straight times. The Patriots have a powerful offense led by Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker but they have some defensive issues since a number of their veterans are gone. It will now be up to the young players like Jerod Mayo to carry the New England defense. “We have a lot of good leaders on our team and especially on the defensive side of the ball,” head coach Bill Belichick said. “No doubt about it, it’s different, but I think it’s good.”

The Bills are hoping that that addition of Owens will jump start their offense. Owens didn’t play much in the preseason and the Buffalo offense was so bad that the Bills fired offensive coordinator Turk Schonert. The Bills will be missing running back Marshawn Lynch who is suspended for the first three games of the season.

The last time the Bills defeated the Patriots was in the first game of the 2003 season. Since that time they have lost 11 straight by an average of 20.5 points per game.

Here are the NFL betting stats for Monday’s game. The Bills are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in Week 1. The Bills are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in September. The Bills are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. the AFC East. The Bills are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 meetings in New England.

The Patriots are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Monday games. The Patriots are 36-16-1 ATS in their last 53 vs. the AFC East. The Patriots are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 games as a home favorite.

The Under is 4-1-1 in the Bills last 6 vs. the AFC East. The Over is 5-2 in the Bills last 7 road games. The Over is 6-1 in the Patriots last 7 games overall. The Under is 9-1 in the last 10 meetings between the Bills and Patriots.

Pick: Take the over

Great white sharks migrating down coast NATURE: Route takes them through Santa Monica Bay to Baja California, studies show.

Daily News (Los Angeles, CA) August 9, 2010 For years, a running joke among swimmers and surfers frequenting Los Angeles County beaches has been that they had more to fear from a mild sunburn or parking ticket than a possible encounter with a hungry shark. website great white sharks

But no one is laughing in New England, where a recent string of great white shark sightings have prompted beach closures.

Or in San Diego, where a swimmer was attacked and killed by a white shark in April 2008.

But in waters off local beaches, white shark sightings are relatively rare. Or are they?

Experts, pointing to relatively new tracking technology, say the massive creatures are migrating down the coast to Baja California, through Santa Monica Bay.

Waters off Los Angeles County beaches are also a congregating place for their offspring.

“There is a known occurrence in the summer of juvenile great white sharks in Santa Monica Bay,” said Steve Blair, an assistant curator with the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.

Blair said he was unaware of any shark attacks on humans in the area and it’s difficult to pinpoint specific migration tendencies among white sharks – including why they tend to linger off local coastal waters.

“They’re hard to study because they’re so large – you can’t handle them or catch them easily,” Blair said. “And they’re really not that common.” The species has been protected in California waters since 1994, according to the California Department of Fish and Game.

Experts say white sharks, which were added to international endangered species lists in 2004, like to feast on fish and seals, rather than oceangoers as depicted in the 1975 film “Jaws.” Most attacks on humans, they say, stem from curiosity or mistaken identity – sharks mistaking a wet suit-clad surfer for a seal, for example.

Revelations about the white shark’s migration down the Southern California coast have been made possible through the efforts of researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium who have been tagging white sharks off Ventura and Los Angeles beaches and monitoring their movement.

Based on tracking data, sharks are swimming through waters from Santa Barbara south to Mexico, said Ken Peterson, a Monterey Bay Aquarium spokesman.

Since the program began in 2002, about 38 juvenile white sharks have been tagged off Southern California coastal beaches. this web site great white sharks

Waters off Will Rogers State Beach and Malibu have historically been known to attract white sharks, Blair said.

“There are certain areas they’re attracted to,” he said. “Any areas that include large populations of seals and sea lions.” Sightings have also been reported near San Onofre State Beach in northern San Diego County, Huntington Beach, the Channel Islands and throughout the Central and Northern California coast, including the Farallon Islands off San Francisco.

Despite the sightings, attacks on humans are rare.

But websites dedicated to forecasting surf are rife with user- submitted notices of alleged shark sightings throughout the Santa Monica Bay.

“They’re frequently incorrect,” Blair said. “Sharks are commonly misidentified.” douglas.morino@dailybreeze.com

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