The Bills took awhile to name E.J. Manuel as Sunday's starting quarterback, but whether it was Manuel or Jeff Tuel, we knew Buffalo would be starting a rookie. The Patriots were likely going to be favored by oddsmakers regardless of who was under center and the experts agree.
New England was a unanimous selection among the eight CBS Sports NFL analysts. Even when those eight made their pick against the 9-1/2-point spread, all eight still went with New England. John Breech predicted New England to win by two touchdowns, 31-17. NFL senior columnist Pete Prisco predicted an even wider margin of victory for New England, as he has the Patriots winning 37-17.
Other pundits agree, including those at ESPN, where Mike Golic, Ron Jaworski, Seth Wickersham and Tom Jackson all picked New England.
The Patriots being a unanimous selection shouldn't come as too big of a surprise. New England is fresh off a 12-4 season, while the Bills finished 6-10. The fact that a rookie coming off knee injury will start for the Bills makes it even more likely for analysts to side with the Patriots.
New England opened as a five-point favorite, but the line has moved as high as 11 points, according to OddsShark.