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Must-win Bills favored in Monday Night Football odds

When you talk about ‘must-win games’ or games where a team on the playoff bubble will really work hard and excel, you are talking about one of the great NHL handicapping myths.

The must-win team is rarely more likely to win or cover than the doesn’t-care team, because the flip side of the theory is that the opponent will play loose and stress-free and turn in a big performance.

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills -5 O/U 41.5

This game is an important one for the Bills, as they are 5-4 and still in the AFC playoff picture. But having lost four of five - including three straight to AFC East opponents – the Bills are in trouble even if they win here.

The Browns were 10-6 last year and this year are one of the most disappointing teams in the league.

Last week, the Browns lost to the Denver Broncos 34-30 and failed to cover the 3-point spread. The total soared way OVER the 46.5 total. And the Bills lost to the New England Patriots 20-10 as the Pats covered the spread.

Bills RB Marshawn Lynch (512 yds 6 TD) has not had the best year, but tonight he will be facing the Browns and their 25th ranked defense, which is especially weak defending the run.

Browns QB Brady Quinn will be making his second start of the season tonight and he had a legit game last week in the loss to the Broncos, but that was against a weak Denver defense. The Bills defense ranks 13th in the league and they are especially strong defending the pass.

The Bills defense will hound Quinn and try to rattle him and Browns RB Jamaal Lewis has to have a good game running the ball to give Quinn some room to operate.

The total has gone Under in 6 of Cleveland’s last 7 games on the road. The Browns are 17-7 ATS in their last 24 games. The Bills are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games at home.

OddsBlogger NFL Monday Night Pick:

Even though the Bills are reeling they have a much better defense than the Browns and they will be facing an inexperienced QB. Bills QB Trent Edwards has to start playing better and facing a weak Browns defense is the perfect chance to do so.

The Bills have had three tough games in a row against teams in their division and if they lose this game their post-season hopes dim considerably. Look for the Bills to get back in the win column and stop the bleeding winning a defensive game tonight and covering the spread.

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