Patriots vs Bills Best Bets: Our 3 Favorite Thursday Night Football Picks
- The Patriots are 3.5-point home underdogs against the Bills on Thursday Night Football.
- New England is in last place in the AFC East despite having an over-.500 record.
- Check out our staff's three favorite Patriots vs. Bills picks below.
Patriots vs Bills Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Patriots vs Bills Picks
Brandon Anderson: It’s still hard to know what to make of this Buffalo team. The Bills were a juggernaut in September and October, but they looked rather ordinary in November, losing to Zach Wilson and Kirk Cousins and beating Jacoby Brissett and Jared Goff by one score.
The numbers tell us Buffalo is still very good but no longer elite. Over the past six weeks, the Bills defense has fallen outside of the top five in DVOA and the defense is barely top 10 and sliding. The defense just can’t get healthy. Right as Tre White finally returned, now the team loses stud pass rusher Von Miller. That’s a huge loss, Buffalo’s one true defensive star.
New England is the better defense right now, but Buffalo’s attack is still better by a huge margin. The question is whether it’s enough better to be sizable favorites, and this line feels too high with Josh Allen still making killer mistakes each week and now facing an elite pass rush.
We know how Bill Belichick plays these underdog games against high-powered attacks. Expect the usual underdog script. The Pats should run the ball early and often, shortening the game and keeping Allen on the sidelines, and they’ll surely look to take the big plays away and force Buffalo to prove itself on long sustained drives against a great D.
The Bills have been a poor first quarter team, so New England has a chance to establish itself early and get on the front foot. A game script in New England’s favor leans under, and we know how good unders have been in primetime games, especially on Thursday nights. Bills unders are 8-3 this fall too.
Belichick has a remarkable record after a loss when he’s anything short of a touchdown favorite at 41-10-1, a whopping 80% ATS all-time, covering by 7.1 points per game. I like the Pats, and I’m playing them with the under as a correlated parlay around +272. If New England does cover, it’s likely because they kept it low-scoring and close.
The line is at Patriots +3.5 as of 3 p.m. ET, but I’d prefer to play to alternate line of +4.5, which I bet earlier in the week.
Dylan Wilkerson: Any time I get the chance to back Belichick as an underdog at home, I am going to take it, even against the 8-3 Buffalo Bills.
Defense is going to be key for both of these teams if they want to win this game, and it seems that the Patriots have the edge on that side of the ball. New England is successfully getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks on nearly 30% of dropbacks while blitzing just 25% of the time. By getting pressure on Allen and keeping their backs in coverage, the Pats could make Thursday Night difficult for the banged up Bills QB.
This pressure results in a good sack rate per dropback for the Patriots. They are currently forcing a sack on 9.3% of QB dropbacks. New England does this by remaining disciplined, and as a unit it has committed a league-low 361 defensive penalty yards this season.
It is hard to argue that the Bills defense is not one of the best in the league, but the absence of Von Miller will cause the Bills defensive unit to regress. We saw on Thanksgiving that Mac Jones is capable of moving the ball, and I expect him to build on that momentum in the air with Damien Harris missing for this game.
Defense is the great equalizer for underdogs. I will be taking Belichick to keep things close at Gillette.
Bet Thursday Night Football at FanDuel
Tony Sartori: First things first: As of Wednesday evening, Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers is questionable for this game with a shoulder injury. A limited participant at practice all week, the expectation is that Meyers will be active and play. If he does not play, this prop bet would be simply voided.
Meyers’ receiving yardage prop sits at 49.5 at BetRivers, which is too low for Mac Jones’ favorite target. Entering this game, Meyers leads all Patriots in targets with 62. Making the most of his usage, he has recorded at least 52 receiving yards in seven of his nine games this year.
The reason for the low total is that the Bills undoubtedly have one of the most stacked defenses in football. However, their pass defense has surprisingly not lived up to expectations, ranking just 19th in the league in opposing passing yards per game. Part of the reason for this is injuries, but Buffalo is still allowing top receivers to beat them as guys continue to return.
Let’s take a look at how opposing No. 1 receivers have fared against the Bills recently:
- Week 12, Amon-Ra St. Brown: 122 receiving yards
- Week 11, Amari Cooper: 113 receiving yards
- Week 10, Justin Jefferson: 193 receiving yards
- Week 9, Garrett Wilson: 92 receiving yards
Is Meyers as good as that group of receivers? No.
Is he 40-50 yards worse? I would wager not.
It works in our favor that the Patriots are ‘dogs in this game, because if Meyers is just short of his yardage mark late game, he could get over the total with some garbage yards if they are throwing while trailing late.
I would play this total up to 51.5.