The Daily Sweat: Line is moving toward Patriots, and maybe that means value on Bills

The Buffalo Bills entered the season as Super Bowl favorites and through eight weeks of the regular season, there was no reason to question that.

The Bills were 6-1 after a win over the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 30. They had a few dominant wins and a really impressive victory at the Kansas City Chiefs. This was supposed to be the Bills' season, and it was shaping up that way.

The NFL changes fast. Four weeks later the Bills aren't even Super Bowl favorites anymore. That's the Chiefs, after the Bills have lost two of four and their last win, over the Detroit Lions, didn't come until the final play of the game.

The Bills are 4-point favorites Thursday night against the New England Patriots at BetMGM. The line was -5.5 early in the week, moved to -4 and then to -3.5 on Wednesday afternoon. It is back at Bills -4 as of Thursday morning. The current line might seem a little low based on our preseason expectations of the Bills, but it probably fits the Buffalo team from the past month. Certainly the bettors who were pushing the line toward the Patriots think so.

The Patriots have had a solid 6-5 start to the season. They're in the playoff race despite being in fourth place of the AFC East. The offense came alive a bit last week, when Mac Jones had 382 yards in a 33-26 loss at the Minnesota Vikings. It was their second time this season gaining more than 400 yards in a game.

This seems like a good test for the Bills. They'll be relatively healthy, though without pass rusher Von Miller and tackle Dion Dawkins. The Patriots aren't a pushover by any means but it's a team a Super Bowl contender should beat. Covering the spread would be nice as well.

Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills are road favorites at the Patriots. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills are road favorites at the Patriots. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Here's the first look at the sports betting slate for Thursday:

World Cup continues with group play

Two more groups will figure out which four teams advance to the knockout stage on Wednesday. Yahoo Sportsbook's Nick Bromberg has full betting previews for Canada-Morocco, Croatia-Belgium, Japan-Spain and Germany-Costa Rica.

Light night in the NBA, NHL has 11 games

It's a strangely quiet night in the NBA. The only game is the Dallas Mavericks at the Detroit Pistons. Dallas is a 7.5-point favorite. For those not into the NFL — right, like that happens — there are 11 NHL games on the schedule. There's a pretty fun Vegas Golden Knights-Pittsburgh Penguins game. Pittsburgh is a -115 favorite. The surprising Seattle Kraken, winners of six in a row, face the Washington Capitals. Seattle is -135.

Some good college hoops

There are some strong college basketball games on Thursday including some Pac-12 action already. The best game could be Creighton at Texas. Texas is off to a great start this season but Creighton has looked good at times too. Texas is a 7.5-point favorite, which seems a bit high.

What's the best bet?

I was surprised by the Bills-Patriots line move through the week. I don't trust the Patriots offense against a good Bills defense. The Bills have won four of the last five in the series, including a playoff win, and the only Patriots' win came in the infamous wind game when they passed three times. The Bills last three wins were by 29, 12 and 30 points. Why was the line moving so much? I'm not really sure. I'll take Buffalo.