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On the line from Vegas: Bills are favored on the road?


The Buffalo Bills have been a maddening wager to figure out all year.

Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars presents perhaps the most dissonant case yet.

"It's tough to say which Bills team is going to show up," Las Vegas handicapper and Buffalo State grad Joel Staniszewski said. "It's tough to bet against them because I don't want to bet against them, but it's also hard to bet on them.

"From a betting standpoint as a Bills fan, you're better just to stay away from them."

The slumping Bills actually are 2.5-point favorites at EverBank Field despite the Jaguars playing well and covering lately.

The Bills have lost five of their past six games. The Jaguars started the year 0-8 and were being discussed as one of the worst teams in NFL history. They have won four of their past five games and three in a row.

"The Bills started off great against the spread and have just fallen off the cliff," Staniszewski said. "Whereas the Jaguars started off bad and have turned it around."

For those who want to go against Staniszewski's advice and insist on some Bills-Jags action, here are some trends to consider:

* Buffalo is 5-1 against the spread in the past six games as a road favorite since 2007.

* Buffalo is 7-3 against the spread over its past 10 games against Jacksonville.

Interesting, but not as relevant as recent history:

* Buffalo is 1-5 against the spread over its past six games.

* Buffalo is 1-7 against the spread over its past eight road games.

* Buffalo is 5-0 against the spread after gaining less than 250 yards the previous game.

* Jacksonville is 4-1 against the spread over its past five games.

* Jacksonville has covered four straight games as the underdog.

That said, the teams are even based on the venue:

* Buffalo is 1-5 on the road straight up (1-6 if you count the Toronto "home" game).

* Jacksonville is 1-5 at home straight up (1-4 if you omit the London "home" game).

Staniszewski explained a majority of the money in Nevada this week has been wagered on the Jaguars.


"From a betting standpoint, it looks like Jacksonville is the play," Staniszewski said. "But it's hard to get a strong feel for it.

"You're pitting two 4-9 teams against each other. Granted, the Bills are on the downside of the 4-9, and the Jaguars are on the upside. But records indicate you have two evenly matched teams."

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About the reporters

Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.