NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions For Patriots-Bills: Expert Cases For Betting Either Side of Monday Night Football
Getty Images. Pictured: Patriots QB Mac Jones and Bills QB Josh Allen (left to right)
- NFL odds have shifted to make the Bills 3-point favorites across the market heading into the final hour before kickoff.
- Find out why, based on the latest Patriots-Bills odds, our experts are split on the Monday Night Football spread below.
NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Patriots-Bills
|Patriots ALT Line +3.5 (-131)|
Stuckey: I have significantly upgraded the Patriots in my power ratings since the beginning of the season due the performances of Mac Jones and a revamped defense. However — despite New England and Buffalo looking close to identical on paper (they are separated by two points in point differential) — I still have the Bills rated a few points higher on a neutral field. Consequently, I see value in laying under a field goal at home with Buffalo.
While home-field advantage doesn’t mean as much in divisional games due to familiarity and closer travel, this is still a rookie quarterback making his first primetime start in a truly hostile environment.
There’s also the element of weather to consider. The weather forecast currently calls for winds of 20-30 miles per hour on Monday night at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. We know Josh Allen has plenty of familiarity dealing with similar conditions, having played college football in windy Laramie, Wyo. and then three-plus years in Buffalo.
How will Jones deal with these conditions and environment? We will find out on Monday, but he does throw a ball that seems more susceptible to wind than Allen. I believe the uncertainty and situation here makes Buffalo’s home-field advantage worth a bit more than normal against New England. The windy conditions also make the loss of Tre White less of an issue here.
Yes, the Patriots boast a perfect 5-0 record on the road this season, but those victories came against the Jets, Panthers, Chargers, Texans and Falcons. This will obviously be a much tougher test.
Additionally, the Bills had a few extra days of preparation and rest after playing on Thanksgiving night, while the Patriots played last Sunday. That’s important for one of the best coaching staffs in the league.
This is a good spot to sell the Patriots high for some of the reasons I mentioned above. I’m betting the Bills get it done at home to take over first place in the division. You can still grab Bills -2.5 at Draftkings (check real-time NFL odds here), but I’d play this to -3.
Brandon Anderson: This might be the biggest Monday night game of the season — and the winner could be the AFC favorite by the end of the evening.
The Bills are coming off the bye, but remember, teams like that are just 2-9-1 against the spread (ATS) this season. Buffalo opened as a clear favorite here, and I don’t get it. The Bills are 1-3 against teams currently at .500 or better. And while the advanced metrics love the Bills, it’s mostly because they’re 6-1 in the other games, with every one of those wins by 15-plus and an average margin of victory of 27.5 points.
Buffalo has the highest variance ranking at Football Outsiders, and the softest strength of schedule. That means the Bills have blown out the bad teams but looked entirely different against good competition. And it should be pretty clear by now that the Patriots are good competition — they’ve won and covered six straight, winning by an average of 24.7 points.
The Pats let wins slip away against Miami, Tampa and Dallas, otherwise they might be 9-1. But of course, they didn’t get those wins, and their variance and strength of schedule aren’t much better than the Bills. New England almost certainly isn’t quite as good as it’s looked lately, either. This is a test for both teams.
These teams rank in the top two defensively in DVOA, but New England’s defense is playing better right now. The Pats have a top-five pass rush, per Football Outsiders, and their secondary has really locked things up. You beat the Patriots by running on them, and the Bills don’t have much of a rushing attack. New England has the more balanced offense, though it’s fair to expect rookie Mac Jones to struggle on the road against Buffalo’s elite pass defense, too.
Still, we’ve seen how good Bill Belichick was in games against elite Bucs, Cowboys and Chargers offenses. He takes away the deep ball and the passing game, forcing teams to win underneath, and the Bills haven’t done that consistently.
Belichick thrives in the underdog role, and you better believe he knows Buffalo is favored here. Belichick is 29-14-2 (67%) ATS since 2003, including 24-21 straight up with a 37% ROI. The Patriots also fit that short road dog trend we’ve seen this season, and short road dogs are 20-12 ATS in Monday night games since 2003, winning almost half of them.
This was mine and Raheem Palmer’s Hot Read pick on the podcast, a slam dunk at the former line of +3.5 (check real-time NFL odds here). The public is coming in on New England now, too, and the value isn’t as strong on the other side of the key number — but it’s still there. Both teams are a little unproven against this level of competition, but Belichick isn’t.
I like the Pats a little better, and a lot better right now. If Jones doesn’t blow this in a tough road spot, New England could be another short road dog winner. I’d play this to Pats +2.
Michael Arinze: In their first meeting this season, the Patriots will face the Bills on Monday Night Football. No team is hotter than New England at the moment, considering its six straight wins coming into the game. In contrast, Buffalo has alternated wins and losses in its previous six games. New England has also given up an average of just 6.5 points per game over its last four games.
However, Football Outsiders still lists Buffalo as the top defensive team per its DVOA rankings. The good news for New England fans is that the Patriots are right behind in second place. Offensively, New England is ranked 11th in DVOA while Buffalo is 16th.
If you like the Patriots, there may be some correlation between them as a side and the total. For one, the total opened as high as 45.5, but it’s now plummeted as low as 40.5. With possibly a lower-scoring game now on our hands, each point becomes even more valuable, and that’s where a few extra points in the pocket with the underdog becomes appealing.
The drop in the total is likely due to the weather report, as wind speeds could be as high as 28 mph. That could make the conditions very difficult to throw the football, so it helps to have a solid rushing attack. This is where I give the Patriots the edge over the Bills.
New England is 11th with a run play rate of 44.59%, and that number is up to 49.16% over its last three games. Meanwhile, Buffalo is 20th with a run play rate of 39.58% and 40.59% in its previous three games. Good teams need to run the football in the cold winter months, and I suspect New England won’t have to do much to change its approach compared to Buffalo.
You might be well aware that the Patriots are 29-14-2 (67.4%) against the spread (ATS) as an underdog. However, when catching three or fewer points, they’ve been even better.
In this spot, the Patriots are 16-6-2 (72.7%) ATS, in addition to a 7-1 ATS mark over those last eight games. BetMGM has the best price on the board at +3 (-115). But I want the hook, so I’m buying it up to +3.5 (-135).