The Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans met last October at Nissan Stadium. The Bills were riding a season opening four game victory streak and the Titans were looking for their fourth win of 2020. Tennessee had opened with three narrow victories before a Week Four bye.
The Bills were favored, and the Titans blasted them in a Tuesday night encounter that had been rescheduled by Covid concerns. The Titans 42-16 triumph last season still stands as the most lopsided loss the Bills have suffered since Josh Allen took over at quarterback three years ago.
Wouldn’t you think the Bills would come back to the Music City tonight and gain some revenge for that throttling loss last year?
There is a problem with that reasoning; the Bills are not in a revenge mode.
Buffalo has been anointed by many as the best team in the National Football League. They have crushed their last four opponents with a pair of shutouts and win margins of 35, 22, 40 and 18 points. That last one, the game they won by 18, was last Sunday night’s triumph over the defending AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs, 38-20.
That was the team the Bills wanted revenge on … the Kansas City squad that ended their 2020 campaign with a loss in the AFC Championship Game. And the Bills got it, in convincing fashion, which leads to this question; are the Bills likely for another lopsided road win or might this be a spot for a letdown?
Neither Buffalo nor Tennessee are threatened by their division competition, they play out of two of the weakest in the League. In the AFC East, the Bills are grouped with the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and New York Jets, three teams that don’t now and will likely not have a winning record by season end.
Tennessee plays in the AFC South, and the team thought to be their major competition, the Indianapolis Colts, picked up only their second win of the season yesterday over another weak division opponent, the Houston Texans. The fourth team grouped with the Titans is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who picked up their first win of the season yesterday in London.
Neither Buffalo or Tennessee pick up any motivational juices from a competitive division race.
This week, the betting public laid into five picks they figured were certain to win. Wagering patterns with more than 76% on one side for teams favored on the road. Those five teams were the Los Angeles Rams over the New York Giants; Green Bay Packers over the Chicago Bears; Kansas City Chiefs over the Washington Redskins; Dallas Cowboys over the New England Patriots; Buffalo Bills over the Tennessee Titans.
Four of the public’s favorite games have already been played, and the public won all four.
Tonight, they have the Bills.
Buffalo is going from a bet-on road underdog before their convincing win over the Chiefs, to a bet-on road favorite coming off that emotional triumph. It can not be argued that the Bills didn’t handle the Chiefs with more ease than most expected. After all, the Chiefs were favored by a field goal on the spread and lost the game by 18 points.
When a team prepares for a game with as much significance and challenge as Buffalo did for Kansas City, and then have that conquest come easier than expected, there is a natural human condition that has athletes’ preparation be less for their next game.
For the Bills, that’s tonight.
Qoxhi Picks: Tennessee Titans (+6) over Buffalo Bills