NFL Line Watch: Don’t wait for Colts to become field goal faves

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Each week during the pro football season, Covers Expert Art Aronson of AAA Sports
looks at the NFL odds and tells you which spread to bet now, which one
to bet later and and which total to watch as the week plays out.

Spread to bet now

Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills (+2.5)

The Bills apparently are going to be the first team in NFL history to try to win a game without a quarterback, going with Tyrod Taylor and basically telling the world that Buffalo will be running the ball 70 percent of the time and hoping its defense gets it done. It’s no surprise, then, that they are home dogs in the opener.

The Colt defense hasn’t undergone a major upgrade and was merely mediocre last season, but it won’t have to be overpowering in this one. Assuming even an average effort from Indianapolis’ offense, the Colts should be able to cover 2.5. Good idea to get in before it becomes a field-goal line.

Spread to wait on

Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons (+2.5)

The line in this one has bounced around from a pick ‘em to Philadelphia -3, depending on where you shop, and the feeling is that it will not go off at 2.5 on the early Monday night kickoff. Atlanta basically devoted its draft to defense after several dreadful performances last season, but the upgrades may need a month or more to get comfortable.

The Falcons also have a new coaching staff, which was mandated after the team lost 22 of its last 32 games. In Philadelphia, Chip Kelly is constantly adapting and not afraid to trade away stars. He now has a new QB (Sam Bradford) running the show as last year’s starter, Mark Sanchez, is relegated to No. 2.

Total to watch

Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots (52)

The angry Patriots waged war on the NFL in the wake of SpyGate in 2007, running up a total of 589 points against 16 befuddled opponents as oddsmakers struggled to produce totals high enough. Could it happen again post-Deflategate?

There may be high numbers again, but it might not be the result of a Patriots offense that enters the year banged up at the WR position. New England’s defense appears back in bend-don’t-break mode after letting most of its 2014 secondary walk away, and there are questions whether at 37 years old, Tom Brady can again make up for it on the other end. Both the Steelers and Pats were OK (9-7) teams at playing Over the total last year.


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