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Week 1 was an absolute mess for the Bills. They’ll need to move on quickly though as they face to very winnable games over the next two weeks, starting with a home date with the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend.

Don’t be fooled: the 48-28 score-line is flattering to Buffalo. That’s just how bad it really was.

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Neither Buffalo or Minnesota could grab a win in the first week of preseason. Now they take to the field to play one another in week two.

As for the NFL odds for this matchup, the Vikings opened as one-point favorites but now the betting spread is at 2.5. The total can be found at 37.

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The New Jersey Devils suffered a major loss when Zach Parise signed with the Minnesota Wild. Even so, it’s onwards and upwards for the Devils as they will simply have to find a replacement.

So who are the most important Devils with Parise now departed? Here’s a look at three keys to the team’s success in the 2012-13 season:

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The Bills are coming into 2012 with a bit of optimism. Even though they lost nine of their last eleven games in 2011, they have added a lot of talent both through free agency and the draft. They won’t be anywhere near the Patriots for 2012, but a playoff berth may not be as far out of reach as some think.

Buffalo comes in the NFL odds at +5000 to win the Super Bowl, and +2300 to win the AFC. Although neither of these will likely happen, they could very well be a .500 football team by the year’s end.

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The New York Jets are one of the NFL’s enigmas. They trash-talk as if they’ve won a handful of Super Bowl rings yet they’re track record shows they haven’t registered a title during the Rex Ryan era.

NFL odds makers know that the Jets are talented enough to win it all in the 2012-13 season but can they put aside the off-field issues and perform up to their expectations on the field?

Here are the three most important players for the Jets upcoming season and not surprisingly – since the defense has been doggone good under Rex Ryan – they are all on the offensive side of the ball.

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The New York Yankees have been treading water lately, as they play through some injuries and possibly a degree of complacency. Now New York, after just completing a nine-game homestand, takes its act on the road, starting with four games in Detroit vs. the Tigers beginning today. Finding themselves as heavy dogs in the series opener, will the Yankees find their way into our MLB picks tonight, or will Justin Verlander hand them another loss?

Setting the Scene

New York just took two of three games from Seattle over the weekend, winning a rubber match Sunday 6-2. But that just got the Yanks to 4-5 for their just-completed homestand, and they’re 11-11 since the All-Star break.

So the Yankees lead in the AL East sits at 6.5 games over second-place Baltimore heading into this week, and they’re tied with Texas for the best record in the American League.

Detroit, meanwhile, just swept three games at home from Cleveland, outscoring the Indians 26-11. The Tigers completed the sweep Sunday by rallying for five runs in the bottom of the tenth with two outs and nobody on, the winning runs scoring on a two-run homer by Miguel Cabrera, for a 10-8 victory.

So Detroit, which has won 14 of its last 15 home games, trails first-place Chicago by a game and a half in the AL Central. But the Tigers have also taken over one of the two AL Wild-Card spots from the Angels.

The Pitching Matchups

The Yankees will send Ivan Nova (10-5, 4.53) to the mound for Monday’s series opener, Phil Hughes (11-8, 3.96) Tuesday, CC Sabathia (11-3, 3.53) Wednesday and Hiroki Kuroda (10-8, 3.19) Thursday.

The Tigers will counter with reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander (11-7, 2.63), Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.65), newly acquired Anibal Sanchez (1-1, 4.50) and Doug Fister (6-7, 3.52).

As of Monday morning most online sportsbooks were listing Detroit and Big V as favorites of around -165 for Monday night’s game, with an ‘over/under’ of eight.

New York has won both its games vs. Verlander this season. Also, the Yanks lead the season series with Detroit four games to two.

Free MLB Picks

The Yankees have had some success against Verlander, and they’re getting a decent price for Monday’s game. The other three pitching matchups for this series look pretty even. We’d lean toward the underdog, whoever it is, for each of these four games. 

As the calendar flips to August, the mood of back to school is upon us. One NFL team has already gone back to school as the Buffalo Bills have returned to St. Fisher College for their 2012 training camp.  

Since 2000, St. Fisher College has been the home of the Bills training camp and it is widely considered to be one of the best venues in the NFL for the rigorous regular season preparations. A long term agreement was reached last season and the Bills will be spending plenty more summers on the campus. A new grass field helped woo the Bills to extend their stay.

While there are some warm sentiments about the Bills and their training venue, make no mistakes about it: this is a business trip. The NFL odds makers have listed the Bills at 58-1 to win Super Bowl XLVII, which means that they have plenty of work to do.

Chief among the concerns at training camp will be the performance of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The franchise quarterback started the 2011-12 season very well – as did the Bills – and he was handed a contract extension. Almost immediately, he fell flat on his face as the Bills would finish the year with eight losses in their last nine games while Fitzpatrick threw a whopping 16 interceptions in the process. If Fitzpatrick can return to the form that earned him a six-year, $59 million contract extension, the Bills offense should be in good hands.

That’s critical because the Bills put most of their offseason focus into boosting the defense. The Bills landed prized free agent Mario Williams and spent their first-round draft on cornerback Stephon Gilmore, so that element of the team is expected to be better. But the Bills know they aren’t going anywhere this season unless Fitzpatrick proves to be capable quarterback he appeared to be early last season.

With training camp going at full steam, now might be a good time to wade through all the hype and review just what the Jets have been up to this off-season, what’s in store for them on opening weekend and some Week 1 NFL odds.

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Training camp’s approaching and the Bills are hoping to be one of the surprise teams this season. The NFL odds may not be in their favor considering the New England Patriots are in their division, but could some shrewd offseason moves bring Buffalo back to relevance?

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Will having to deal with pricey stadium renovations have any effect on Buffalo in the NFL odds this coming season?

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