The AFC East is such a tough division, which makes it impossible to make Bills vs. Patriots predictions.
All four AFC East teams are over .500, and all four are within two games of each other. Three teams are in the current playoff picture, while the Patriots sit one game out of the seventh spot.
This game is crucial for the Patriots, as every win matters in the final weeks.
However, this game is similarly important for the Bills, who want to reclaim first place from the Dolphins.
So, which team has the edge? And how should bettors attack this matchup?
Bills vs. Patriots odds
Spread: Bills -3.5 (-110) vs. Patriots +3.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Bills (-190) vs. Patriots (+155)
Total: Over 43.5 (-110) | Under 43.5 (-110)
Bills vs. Patriots predictions
Patriots +3.5 (-110) at BetMGM Sportsbook
Sharp money has continuously hit this line since the opener, as the Patriots have dropped from 5.5-point underdogs to 3.5-point underdogs.
I’m ready to tail the sharp bettors and bet on the Patriots, even at the worse number.
The Patriots have a great defense, ranking second in the NFL in Football Outsiders’ Defense DVOA metric. They’re especially good in pass rush, with Matt Judon leading the league in sacks (13) and the whole unit ranking second in overall pressure rate, per Pro Football Reference.
However, the offense has collapsed, with the Patriots sitting at 25th in Offense DVOA and total yards gained. In addition, quarterback Mac Jones ranks 32nd of 38 qualified quarterbacks in Pro Football Focus’ pass grades.
But New England’s offense looked much better last week, producing over 400 yards of total offense, including 382 passing yards from Jones.
The Patriots are in for a much bigger test this week, as the Bills rank third in Defense DVOA. However, Buffalo’s defense has been trending down recently.
Specifically, I’m worried about the secondary, as the Bills rank 29th in dropback Expected Points Added (EPA) per play allowed over the past three weeks, per RBSDM.com. If Jared Goff, Jacoby Brissett and Kirk Cousins can slice up Buffalo’s secondary, Mac Jones can too.
Additionally, Von Miller has been ruled out for this game, providing one fewer pass rusher for Jones to face.
The elite Patriots defense is facing a stiff test, given quarterback Josh Allen leads one of the more effective offenses in the NFL. However, left tackle Dion Dawkins is out, which is a huge loss against an elite New England pass rush.
Moreover, Allen has struggled slightly since his elbow injury in Week 9.
Overall, the Patriots look undervalued in this spot, as they’re trending up against a Buffalo team trending down. The Buffalo injuries are also a big concern.
Finally, it’s always profitable to back divisional underdogs, which have gone 942-879-52 against the spread since 2005, per Bet Labs. If a bettor had placed $100 on every one of those games, they’d be up over $1,400.
I’ll back the Patriots and the 3.5 points on Thursday Night Football.