Bills vs. Patriots Betting Pick & Odds: How to Play the Lowest Over/Under of Week 16

Bills vs. Patriots Betting Pick & Odds: How to Play the Lowest Over/Under of Week 16 article feature image

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Josh Allen, Tom Brady

  • Our experts preview Saturday's matchup between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots.
  • Find betting odds and predictions for the AFC East showdown in Foxborough below.
  • You'll also find our picks on the spread as well as the over/under -- the lowest of Week 16.

Bills at Patriots Picks, Predictions & Betting Odds

  • Odds: Patriots -6.5

  • Over/Under: 36.5
  • Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NFL Network

Odds as of Thursday morning and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.

When the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots met in Week 4, there were 26 total points scored — hence how this matchup earned the lowest over/under of Week 16.

The Patriots took that first meeting, 16-10, and are 6.5-point favorites for the rematch in Foxborough. So where’s the value on the spread and total?

Our experts preview the AFC East matchup, featuring picks on both.

Bills-Patriots Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Bills

The Bills continue to be in good shape as the season progresses with just offensive lineman Ty Nsekhe (ankle) and defensive lineman Corey Liuget (knee) on their injury report.

Meanwhile, Julian Edelman (knee/shoulder) has been on the Patriots’ injury report every week, but he still hasn’t missed any time. Linebacker Jamie Collins (shoulder) was added to the report on Wednesday, but he did get in a limited practice. He’s worth monitoring considering he grades out as one of Pro Football Focus’ best pass-rushers and linebackers in pass coverage. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of late Wednesday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Biggest Mismatch

Patriots Pass Defense vs. Bills Pass Offense

For the second week in a row, the Bills find themselves matched up with a top-five pass defense in terms of schedule-adjusted efficiency.

John Brown-Josh Allen
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: John Brown, Josh Allen

In a hard fought 17-10 triumph over Pittsburgh (fifth) last week, Josh Allen and Buffalo’s 20th-ranked pass offense were able to muster all of 139 yards on 25 attempts — and that was with John Brown catching seven passes for 99 yards. But Bill Belichick has long been the NFL’s foremost proponent of neutralizing the opposing offense’s top option, so Allen doesn’t figure to be able to rely as heavily on Brown this week and will likely struggle against New England’s top-ranked unit.

Instead, the Bills will have to rely on their own top-five defense, just as they did last week and in a narrow 16-10 loss to the Patriots back in Week 4. This has generally been the formula for the Bills on the road under Sean McDermott, which has led to an 18-6 under record in those spots, according to our Bet Labs data. That includes a perfect 10-0 mark with Allen at quarterback. Chris Raybon

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Patriots -6.5
  • Projected Total: 39.5

I am right in line with the spread for this matchup, but as you can see, my projected total is three points higher than the actual one.

Yes, it’s easy to imagine this being a defensive struggle. And I don’t think anyone would be surprised if we saw a similar result as when these two teams met in Week 4 and the Patriots won 16-10. That’s why the public has been hammering the under to the tune of 65% of tickets and 81% of money (see live public betting data here). If there were no sharp resistance, it’s likely the total would’ve dropped by more than a half point by now, so the market is behaving in a way that doesn’t scare me away from the over.

There are some underlying factors that could make this game higher scoring than we anticipate.

fantasy defense rankings-week 6-2019
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty

Both defenses specialize in shutting down their opponent’s passing game, yet are more prone to the running game. The Bills play a soft zone that specializes in taking away boundary wide receivers and is willing to concede to chunk plays on the ground or underneath. This is something the Patriots are more than capable of game planning to exploit. Belichick is arguably the greatest coach of all-time and excels at attacking the other team’s soft spots. Therefore we should see Edelman and James White targeted heavily to move the ball effectively.

Meanwhile, the Patriots have been prone to quarterbacks who can rely on their scrambling ability once the play breaks down. Allen is one of the better QBs at doing just that. The Patriots play heavy man coverage, which can leave their backs turned to the QB and vulnerable to one like Allen who can run for a big gain.

Lastly, this game is expected to have a league-average pace, which can benefit us when a total is as low as 37.5. Yes, this should be a strong defensive battle, but with a number this low, there are enough factors that lean toward an over given the low number we have to clear.

With the market pushing this line down to 36.5 from the 38.5 opener, now would be the time to pull the trigger. — Sean Koerner

Koerner is 158-119-2 (57%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.

Expert Pick

Matthew Freedman: Bills +6.5

Allen isn’t a great player, but he’s improved in his second season and is good enough in general to keep games close.

The Patriots are struggling on offense, ranking just No. 25 with 5.0 yards per play, and on defense, they could be without starting cornerbacks Jason McCourty (groin) and Jonathan Jones (groin), which is a big problem, because the secondary is the team’s strength.

In his 25 career starts, the Bills are 15-9-1 against the spread (ATS), good for a 20.5% return on investment. On the road, he’s 9-2-1 ATS (53% ROI) and as an underdog, he is 10-4-1 ATS (36% ROI).

As a road dog, he is 7-2-1 ATS (45.2% ROI).

Freedman is 522-393-22 (57%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.

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