Patriots-Bills MNF Betting Preview: Will Brady’s Dominance of Buffalo Continue?
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Tom Brady, Derek Anderson
Betting odds: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
- Spread: Patriots -13.5
- Over/Under: 44.5
- Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
- TV channel: ESPN
>> All odds as of Sunday evening. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: This line has fluctuated between New England -13 and -14 all week. While 69% of bets are on the Patriots as of writing (see live data here), oddsmakers have been unable to hold this spread at two touchdowns, as sharp bettors have taken a liking to the Bills at that number.
The total has yet to move despite a 74% majority on the over, as those bets are accounting for only 58% of dollars. — Danny Donahue
Trends to know: According to our Bet Labs data, double-digit underdogs have gone 46-26-2 (64%) against the spread in prime-time games since 2003, including 8-3 ATS when facing Tom Brady.
Meanwhile, Brady is 14-2 straight up and 12-4 ATS when playing in Buffalo. — John Ewing
The Bills have scored 14 points or fewer in three consecutive games. Since 2003, teams in this spot have performed well against the first-half spread at home in their next game, going 46-22-2 ATS (+20.2 units).
The Bills have gone under the total in their past five games. Since 2003, teams to go under the total in five straight games and then play at home have seen the over go 85-67-2 (55.9%), profiting bettors 13.7 units. — Abrams
Officiating report: Jerome Boger has officiated 156 games over the past decade (including playoffs). The over is 91-64-1 (58.7%) in those games, making him the most profitable official to the over since 2008.
Boger has officiated one Patriots’ prime-time game over that span: The infamous “We’re on to Cincinnati…” game of 2014 when Brady and Bill Belichick beat the Bengals, 43-17, a week after getting trashed by the Chiefs, 41-14.
Boger has officiated nine Patriots games over the past 10 seasons with the following point totals for New England: 30, 26, 43, 27, 27, 28, 38, 30 and 35. — Abrams
Metrics that matter: The Bills are scoring an abysmal 11.6 points per game this season.
Brady has faced a team averaging fewer than 14 points per game in October or later only six times before. The Patriots are 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS in those games, but have covered by only 0.8 point per game.
This will be New England’s second-highest spread of such games, behind the 20.5-point spread at home against the Colts in 2011. The Patriots won that one, 31-24. — Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Patriots cornerbacks vs. Bills wide receivers
This matchup is simply not fair.
The Bills are starting from-the-street third-string quarterback Derek Anderson, so wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones are already at a disadvantage. And now they have to face the Patriots.
Say what you want about New England’s bend-but-don’t-break style of defense, but the Pats were second in the league with an 85.9 Pro Football Focus coverage grade heading into Week 8.
Benjamin has only one game this season with more than 50 yards receiving. The same is true for Jones. They are the worst receiving duo in the league, and together they have an embarrassing 46.5% catch rate on 71 targets. Now they face a pass defense anchored by cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Jason McCourty, who have combined to allow a catch rate of just 48.7% on 76 targets into their coverage.
Basically, Gilmore and McCourty have turned opposing receivers into statistical versions of Benjamin and Jones. And now they actually get Benjamin and Jones.
If Pats corners continue to perform the way they have so far this season, the Bills will struggle just to cover, much less win. — Matthew Freedman
Which team is healthier? Bills
Quarterback Josh Allen (elbow) could be joined on the sideline by running back LeSean McCoy (concussion). The good news for Buffalo is the Bills are otherwise healthy.
The Patriots continue to list half their starters on the injury report on a weekly basis. They’ve ruled defensive back Eric Rowe (groin) out and running back Sony Michel (knee) is listed as doubtful. Tight end Rob Gronkowski (ankle/back), offensive lineman Marcus Cannon (concussion) and linebacker Dont’a Hightower (knee) also aren’t 100%.
DFS edge: Benjamin will have his BFF Anderson under center again this week. The wide receiver has consistently produced with Anderson, posting 6-92-1, 8-104-0, 5-70-0 and 4-71-0 receiving lines in their four career starts together.
Benjamin certainly fails the eye test, but he’ll continue to offer volume-based value as long as he leads the Bills in target share (18%) and air-yard market share (34%).
Bet to watch: Patriots -14
The Bills are entering Week 2 of the Anderson era, and I don’t think it’ll be any prettier than Week 1, when they were manhandled by Andrew Luck and the Colts.
Even when the Bills have good seasons, the Patriots own them. And this is a down season, even by Buffalo’s standards.
The Patriots offense has found its stride and the defense is underrated. New England should control this game from the opening kick.
Lay the points. — BlackJack Fletcher
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.