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AFC East: Week 2 Preview

After victory in Week 1, the Miami Dolphins will look to defeat the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

After victory in Week 1, the Miami Dolphins will look to defeat the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

The New England Patriots (2-0) picked up a 13-10 win over the New York Jets (1-1) on Thursday night to kick start Week 2 in the NFL. The game itself was ultimately forgettable, although descriptions of the may have set an internet record for the use of the word ‘sloppy’, but the Patriots’ narrow win means they now pace the AFC East, something they’ve become accustomed to in recent times.

Sunday sees two more games in the division. The Miami Dolphins will look to keep pace with the Patriots while the Buffalo Bills are hoping for a first win of the season. Read on for the BettingSports.com preview of both games.

Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills

Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, NY, 1:00 p.m. ET

E.J. Manuel leads the Bills against the Panthers.

E.J. Manuel leads the Bills against the Panthers.

Buffalo (0-1, 0-0 home) came close to upsetting the Patriots in Week 1, holding a lead late in the game before succumbing to a Stephen Gostkowski field goal with five seconds left on the clock. Whether the 23-21 defeat was more a damning reflection of the Bills’ woes or Patriot inadequacies remains to be seen. We might have a better idea after Sunday’s game in Orchard Park.

The Carolina Panthers (0-1, 0-0 road) were also on the losing end last weekend, falling 12-7 at home to the Seattle Seahawks. With talk of dissention in the ranks and a tough schedule ahead, the Panthers look to be in for a long season. That season could get a whole lot longer with a loss to Buffalo.

Rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel was praised for his opening-game performance. The former Florida State man threw for 150 yards on 18 of 27 passing, tallying a pair of touchdowns in the process. He’ll be up against Cam Newton, a player that knows all about impressive rookie seasons, on Sunday. The Buffalo News put together an interesting piece this week observing that this will be the first time two black quarterbacks have met in Buffalo Bills history.

The Bills as a team fumbled the ball three times last week, losing two. They’ll be looking to be a little more sure-of-hand when the Panthers arrive in town.

Carolina (-150) opened as favorite over Buffalo (+130) on the moneyline despite the Bills playing at home. Buffalo is 4-1 all-time against Carolina, including a 2-1 record at the Ralph. The Bills were victorious in the last meeting between the sides (Oct. 2009).

The spread opened at, and remains at 3. The Bills covered the spread in a Week 1 loss while the Panthers failed to win or cover. The over/under sits at 44. Both teams saw the total go under in their season-opener, a trend that appears to be consuming the AFC East this season. Dating back to last season, the total has gone under in four of Buffalo’s last five games and four of six played in Orchard Park.


Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN, 1:00 p.m. ET

Colts' back Vick Ballard is out for the season.

Colts’ back Vick Ballard is out for the season.

Miami (1-0, 1-0 road) opened the season with a 23-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns in a game that was expected to be a lot closer than it actually finished. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill built on a solid rookie season by completing 24 of 38 passes for 272 yards and a touchdown. While Tannehill, who also threw an interception, looked solid, the Dolphins’ running game looked woefully inadequate, gaining just 20 yards on 23 carries. That’s something that head coach Joe Philbin will need to address going forward.

The Indianapolis Colts (1-0, 1-0 home) narrowly avoided an upset at the hands of the Oakland Raiders last Sunday. It took (another) fourth quarter comeback by Andrew Luck, which culminated in the second-year man scoring a 19-yard TD, for the Colts to squeeze by the Raiders at Lucas Oil Stadium. They’ll need to better going forward.

Coach Chuck Pagano and the Colts got bad news this week when running back Vick Ballard was injured in practice. The starting back tore an ACL and will miss the rest of the season. Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown are expected to carry the workload going forward.

Miami (-130) opened as the underdog with Indianapolis (-150) favored on the moneyline. The Dolphins are 46-25 all-time against the Colts, dating back to the latter’s time in Baltimore, but don’t let history fool you; the Colts have taken four straight from the Fins, including the last two played in Indianapolis.

The spread opened at 1.5 in favor of the Colts but there’s some shopping around to be done on this one. Bovada currently has it at 3 while BetOnline has it at 1. Miami covered the spread in last week’s win over Tampa Bay, while Indianapolis failed to cover in a surprisingly close game against Oakland.

The over/under opened at 43 and has shifts one-half point north. Both teams saw the total go under in their season-opener. The under continues to look the smart bet when you consider each of the last five Colts games has seen the total go under as have 11 of Miami’s last 13.




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