Crazy NFL betting trend has you thinking twice about Patriots in Week 2

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A Super Bowl title paints a rather large target on a team’s back, which could be why reigning champs have been a bad bet in their first road game of the new season over the past 30 years of NFL action.

Since 1985, defending Super Bowl winners are just 9-21 ATS (15-15 SU, 14-15-1 O/U) when playing the role of visitors for the first time – covering just 30 percent of the time. Over the past 10 seasons, defending champs are only 2-8 ATS (5-5 SU, 5-4-1 O/U) in their opening road game of the regular season.

Last year, the Seattle Seahawks lost 30-21 to the San Diego Chargers as 4.5-point road favorites in Week 2. In 2013, the Baltimore Ravens were trucked by the Denver Broncos 49-27 as 7.5-point road underdogs in the Week 1 opener.

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, the reigning 2014 NFL champions, brace for a hostile environment at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Week 2 of the schedule, with this AFC East matchup currently installed as a pick’em following the Bills’ dominant performance against the Indianapolis Colts at home in Week 1.

This line opened with the Patriots as 1-point road favorites at CG Technology sportsbooks in Las Vegas this April and New England has been a cash cow versus Buffalo in the past, going 21-10-1 ATS in their previous 32 meetings including a 9-2 ATS mark in their last 11 games in New York. However, the Bills are coming off a huge victory against the Colts, winning 27-14 as 1-point home underdogs and have a new swagger and confidence thanks to head coach Rex Ryan.

The Pats have been against this road trend three previous times, having lost 27-17 at Carolina as 3-point favorites in 2005, but won 23-12 at Arizona as 7.5-point chalk the previous season and 44-17 at the Jets as 1-point underdogs in 2002.

Sunday’s total is set at 45 points. The Patriots and Bills have 6-2 Over/Under in their last eight head-to-head meetings.


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