NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Why Experts Already Bet Patriots To Cover Spread vs. Bills For Week 13
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Patriots RB Damien Harris
Don’t look now, but the Patriots are back atop the AFC East heading into next week’s Monday Night Football showdown with the Bills. Despite the recent hot streak, though, New England still finds itself as high as a 3.5-point underdog in Buffalo.
Find out why our experts are taking the points with the Pats now.
NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions
Brandon Anderson: The New England Patriots are absolutely rolling.
The Pats have won and covered six straight — and most of those games aren’t even close. They dispatched of the potential 1-seed Titans, 36-13, with ease on Sunday. They destroyed the Browns, 45-7, a couple weeks ago. They shut out the Falcons and nearly did the same to the Panthers and Jets.
The Patriots are covering by 20.6 points over this stretch. They’re just obliterating teams.
And still, somehow, they’re underdogs against the Bills, and not barely, either. Buffalo is still -3.5 at BetRivers as of Monday morning, which is crazy. The Bills have blown out the bad teams but lost to the three best on their schedule, and the Patriots are far better than any team the Bills have played yet. This is also a particularly bad matchup since New England’s pass defense is so dominant and Buffalo is the pass-heaviest team in the league.
The way to hang with the Pats is to run on them, and the Bills can’t do that.
I’m not sure the Bills should be favored here at all, let alone by a field goal. We know how good short road dogs have been all season, and short road dogs in Monday night division games are also 20-12 (63%) against the spread (ATS) and 15-16 straight-up.
Bill Belichick has a winning record straight-up as an underdog with a 37% ROI, and his Pats have covered 67% of the time as dogs since 2003, according to our Action Labs data.
This game has huge implications for the AFC East and overall playoff picture. The Bills are coming out of the bye and have surely waited all season for this game and a chance to really show the world they’re the class of the division now, but I’m still trusting the other Bill until proven otherwise.
I’ll back Belichick as an underdog here at any number, but I love the value at +3 or +3.5 if you can still grab it (check real-time NFL odds here).
Raheem Palmer: The Patriots are the NFL’s hottest team, winning six straight games by an average of 24.6 points and now find themselves in first place of the AFC East headed into a showdown with the Bills.
While most people will see this as a step up in class for the Patriots, the Bills are just 3-4 when facing teams other than the Dolphins, Jets and Texans. The Bills’ last win came against Trevor Siemian, who never really gave the Saints a chance, going 17-of-29 for just 163 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Although many will see the Bills as the superior team, it’s them who will be stepping up in class this week against Mac Jones and the Patriots. And based on how the Bills have fared against better competition outside of the Chiefs, this feels like a good spot to back the Patriots.
The Patriots have forced a whopping 17 turnovers over their six-win streak and it’s tough to imagine a scenario in which they don’t force any here as Josh Allen has been turning the ball over at will recently with seven interceptions over his last four games. While the Jets and Saints weren’t able to capitalize on those turnovers, the Jaguars and Colts were, and we can expect the Patriots to do the same.
The Patriots are second in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA behind the Bills, but the Achilles heel is the Pats’ run defense that gave up 270 yards on the ground to a Titans team without Derrick Henry. Unfortunately for the Bills, they aren’t very good at running the ball, so Allen will have to beat a tough Patriots defense that ranks top-five in dropback EPA/play and Dropback Success Rate.
The Bills have one of the league’s best defense by every metric, but they’ll take a major hit without their No. 1 cornerback Tre’Davious White, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, White allowed a 50.8% completion percentage and 58.9% passer rating to opposing quarterbacks and hasn’t allowed a touchdown. Given his absence and the step up in competition for the Bills, the Patriots are well on their way to putting their stamp on the AFC East only one year removed from the departure of Tom Brady.
Back the Patriots at +3 or better as that number likely won’t be there by game time.