For much of the last two decades, the final two games of the regular season for the New England Patriots have been more or less a victory lap against woeful AFC East competition.
That hasn’t been the case this year, though. And when the Bills travel to Gillette Stadium for the Week 16 edition of “Monday Night Football,” it will be Buffalo who is wrapping up its AFC East title campaign.
The 11-3 Bills currently possess the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoff picture, but with a win over the 6-8 Patriots, Buffalo would jump the Pittsburgh Steelers and enter Week 17 as the No. 2 seed in the conference. The Kansas City Chiefs have claimed the top overall seed, and thus home field advantage.
Here’s a betting preview ahead of Patriots-Bills on Monday:
(-7) Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
Buffalo’s revamped offense led by quarterback Josh Allen has allowed the Bills to put up plenty of points. Buffalo has scored 24 or more points in seven straight games while scoring 44 or more in two of those. It’s allowed Buffalo to have plenty of success against the line, as the Bills have hit the over in 10 of their 14 games this season, including six of seven away games.
Buffalo is an above average 9-5 against the spread this season, having compiled a 4-3 ATS clip in away games. Let’s just say they’ve fared much better against the spread than the Patriots have.
New England is 6-8 ATS on the season, but have been a bit better while at home. The Patriots are 4-2 ATS at Gillette Stadium, but have beat the line in just one of six home games. Throughout the season, New England has hit the over in just four of 14 games.
(via FanDuel Sportsbook)
First-half line, total
Buffalo -4, 23.5
First touchdown scorer
Stefon Diggs +650
Cam Newton +650
Josh Allen +850
Cole Beasley +950
Devin Singletary +1100
Damien Harris +1100
Sony Michel +1100
James White +1700
Josh Allen over/under 276.5
Cam Newton over/under 168.5
Zack Moss over/under 40.5
Cam newton over/under 39.5
Devin Singletary over/under 35.5
Josh Allen over/under 29.5
Stefon Diggs over/under 83.5
Jakobi Meyers over/under 50.5
Cole Beasley over/under 50.5
Damiere Byrd over/under 37.5
N’Keal Harry over/under 23.5
PICK: Buffalo -7
The Bills enter Week 16 as one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Buffalo has won seven of its last eight and the only loss came on an incredible Hail Mary against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. During that stretch, the Bills have beat the AFC North champion Steelers, NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks, and yes, the Patriots back in Week 8. They’re playing extremely well. They’re playing like one of the best teams in the entire league, and Week 16 still matters to them.
Meanwhile, the Patriots, well, are not. They have lost three of their last five and have done so in one-sided fashion each of the last two weeks against the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Rams. New England is one dimensional on offense, and its defense, who will be without cornerback Stephon Gilmore, is not as dominant as it was last season. The Patriots are 11th in yards allowed per game and have been hindered by a brutal run defense.
The Patriots’ strength is their secondary, which could match up well with the Bills’ strength being its receivers, but with Cam Newton reportedly set to start Week 16, we just can’t see New England keeping up with the Bills offense.
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