Bills-Patriots Betting Preview: Pats Don’t Lose 3 in a Row, But Will They Cover?
Bill Pavely, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Tom Brady
Betting odds: Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
- Spread: Patriots -13.5
- Over/Under: 44.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
>> All odds as of Friday afternoon. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: As you’d expect, most bettors are backing New England despite the big spread. At the time of writing 63% of bets are on the Pats, though 53% of the money is on Buffalo. This could be a classic sharps vs. squares game.
Trends to Know: New England has lost back-to-back games for the second time this season. Since 2001, when Tom Brady became the full-time starter, the Patriots are 8-3 against the spread when on a losing streak of at least two games. The Pats haven’t lost three consecutive games since 2002. — John Ewing
The Patriots scored just 10 points against the Steelers in Week 15. It was the third time this season New England has scored 10 points in a game.
Playoff picture: The Patriots lost their stranglehold on the AFC’s No. 2 seed last week after losing to the Steelers. Houston is now in the driver’s seat, but the Texans have a tough matchup at Philly looming.
If Houston loses and the Patriots win as big favorites, New England will again move back into the No. 2 seed, thanks to its Week 1 win over the Texans. — Scott T. Miller
Biggest mismatch: Penalties
The Bills have seen 7.9 penalties for 67.1 yards per game be accepted against them, the second- and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. The Patriots, on the other hand, have committed just 6.0 penalties (tied for sixth) for 47.5 yards per game (third).
Penalties won’t always be a huge deciding factor in every game, but a correlation nevertheless exists between average point differential and both penalties (-0.13 correlation coefficient through Week 15 of this season) and penalty yards (-0.17).
Already a huge underdog, Sean McDermott’s squad can’t afford to spot Bill Belichick any unearned advantages if it wants keep the game within striking distance. — Chris Raybon
DFS edge: Josh Allen has literally been a high-end QB1 since returning from injury in Week 12, as he joins Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson as the only quarterbacks averaging at least 20 fantasy points per game during that stretch.
Mahomes and Watson obviously offer a safer floor in their higher-scoring offenses, but Allen’s downfield mindset and athleticism has made him one of fantasy’s most-entertaining and productive quarterbacks. Overall, Allen ranks first in average target depth (12.03 yards) and second in rushing yards (506) among all quarterbacks.
The second point is especially relevant: If we only accounted for rushing production, Allen would be the league’s RB5 between Weeks 12 and 15 behind only Derrick Henry, Joe Mixon, Phillip Lindsay and Saquon Barkley.
Bill Belichick vs. a rookie quarterback is scary, but the Patriots are one of just 10 defenses that have allowed at least 250 rushing yards to quarterbacks this season. Allen’s $5,800 price tag comes with a strong 86% Bargain Rating and GPP-friendly 83% Leverage Rating in our FantasyLabs Models. — Ian Hartitz
Which team is healthier? Bills
The Patriots would’ve won this category had I wrote this on Thursday morning instead of the late afternoon. Alas, Josh Gordon (personal) is suspended, Rob Gronkowski (ankle, back) is suddenly limited in practice again, and running back Cordarrelle Patterson (illness) missed practice.
They’re facing a Bills team expected to welcome back LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and Chris Ivory (shoulder). Buffalo’s only real question marks are kicker Stephen Hauschka (hip) and defensive tackle Kyle Williams (back).
Bet to watch: Patriots -13.5
The Buffalo Bills could be in for a brutal beatdown in Foxborough this weekend. By now, most folks know that the Patriots generally cover after a loss.
Since 2003, they are 38-13 ATS following a loss, covering by more than seven points on average. However, most people probably don’t know how they bounce back following a poor offensive showing.
And as Evan said earlier, after games in which they’ve scored 10 points or fewer, they are 11-0 straight up and 10-1 ATS, covering by over 14 points on average. — Mark Gallant
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.