Thursday Night Football: Buffalo Bills (8-3) at New England Patriots (6-5)
Opening Spread: Patriots +5.5.
Opening Game Total: 44.5.
Opening Team Totals: Patriots (19.5), Bills (25).
Weather: Outdoors, no current concerns.
The Line Report
- This line opened as Patriots +5.5.
- This line has moved down to Patriots +3.5.
- This total opened at 44.5 points.
- This total remains at 44.5 points.
Patriots: Questionable: RB Damien Harris, WR Jakobi Meyers, LG Isaiah Wynn, C David Andrews, RT Yodny Cajuste, CB Jalen Mills.
Bills: Out: LT Dion Dawkins, Edge Von Miller. Questionable: C Mitch Morse, Edge Greg Rousseau, LB Tremaine Edmunds.
The Patriots Offense vs. the Bills Defense
At full strength, the Patriots offensive line is a top-ten unit. Right now, that group has three players with injury uncertainty. Buffalo is a top-ten-level pass rush when they are at full strength. We know with certainty that Von Miller is out, but we still have to keep an eye on the status of Greg Rousseau. I’m treating this trench matchup as a relative draw, but Buffalo could end up with a slight edge if the Patriots are down multiple starters and Rousseau is in for Buffalo.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Patriots are 6-4-1 against the spread this season.
- The Patriots are 5-6 on overs this season.
- Mac Jones is 13-11-1 against the spread in his career.
- Mac Jones is 12-13 on overs in his career.
- Bill Belichick is 208-144-12 against the spread since 2000 as an NFL head coach.
- Bill Belichick is 185-174-5 on overs since 2000 as an NFL head coach.
- The Patriots are scoring 21.7 points per game, which is 18th in the league.
- New England is 19th in the league in yards passing per game and 23rd in yards rushing.
- Mac Jones is coming off his best game of the season, where he torched the Vikings for 382 yards passing and two touchdowns on Thanksgiving night.
- Per the Edge, Rhamondre Stevenson is 15th in the league in yards rushing and has six or more targets in each of his last five games.
- Jakobi Meyers leads the Patriots with his 22.8% target share and his 33.1% air yards share.
- DeVante Parker has an 11.7% target share and a 26.1% air yards share.
- Nelson Agholor has an 11.1% target share and a 16.2% air yards share.
- While Meyers was in and out of the lineup on Thanksgiving, Agholor was the primary beneficiary.
- Hunter Henry had a spike week against the Vikings on Thanksgiving, catching three-of-five targets for 63 yards receiving and a score. Henry has breached 50 yards receiving in four of his 11 games this season.
- Per TruMedia, Jakobi Meyers has played 170 snaps on the perimeter and 254 in the slot.
- DeVante Parker has played 366 snaps on the perimeter and 47 in the slot.
- Nelson Agholor has played 179 snaps on the perimeter and 93 in the slot.
- The Bills have allowed 18.1 points per game, which is fifth in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Bills have allowed the 20th-most yards rushing per game and the 20th-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Buffalo has given up the ninth-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- Buffalo has given up the ninth-most PPR points per game to perimeter receivers.
- The Bills have allowed the 20th-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
The Bills Offense vs. the Patriots Defense
The Bills have an average offensive line at full strength. They will be down left tackle Dion Dawkins, while center Mitch Morse is trending toward playing. With the absence of Dawkins, I’m treating the Bills line as between average and below average. New England has an ascending fringe top-ten front led by the league’s sack leader in, Matthew Judon. I’m giving the Patriots a mild macro edge in the trenches while Judon has a significant individual matchup.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Bills are 5-6 against the spread this season.
- The Bills are 3-8 on overs this season.
- Josh Allen is 40-28-4 against the spread in his career.
- Josh Allen is 30-40-2 on overs in his career.
- Sean McDermott is 50-37-5 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Sean McDermott is 40-50-2 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Bills are scoring 28.1 points per game, good for second in the league.
- Buffalo is fourth in the league in yards passing per game and eighth in yards rushing.
- Per the Edge, Josh Allen is fourth among quarterbacks in yards rushing with 561.
- Devin Singletary has breached 70 yards rushing in each of his last two games. Singletary has only exceeded that number in one other game this season.
- Stefon Diggs is second in the league in receptions (84), third in yards receiving (1110), third in receiving touchdowns (9), sixth in target share (29.6%), and 12th in air yards share (38.2%).
- Gabe Davis has 22 targets over his last three games. Davis is 27th in PPR points per game among wide receivers.
- Isaiah McKenzie had a 96-yard receiving spike week against the Lions last week. Detroit gets crushed by slot receivers consistently.
- After a very encouraging seven-target spike week against the Browns in Week 11, Dawson Knox caught both of his targets for 17 yards receiving against the Lions last week.
- Per TruMedia, Knox has played 253 snaps as an inline tight end, 64 on the perimeter, and 180 in the slot.
- The Patriots have allowed 18.4 points per game, which is sixth in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Patriots have allowed the fifth-fewest yards rushing per game and the 22nd-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- New England has given up the 22nd-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- The Patriots have allowed the 19th-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
- The Patriots have allowed the tenth-most PPR points per game to inline tight ends.
This Is What You’re Betting On in Bills vs. Patriots
This is the first matchup between these two division rivals this season. Last season the Patriots beat the Bills in Buffalo 14-10 in a severe wind game where the Patriots only threw three passes. A few weeks later, the Bills beat the Patriots 33-21 in New England. The Bills trounced the Patriots 47-17 in the Wild Card round in Buffalo. Both of these teams are in the playoff picture and are highly motivated. Neither team is playing on the short week, as they both played on Thanksgiving.
If You’re Betting on the Patriots
A bet on the Patriots is a bet on Bill Belichick’s ability to create strategic advantages, particularly on defense. Josh Allen’s offense has breached 30 points against New England in three of their last five matchups, which were all Patriots losses. If you’re betting on the Patriots, you are betting on New England’s defense having a significantly stronger showing in this contest. Allen has thrown seven interceptions over his last five games, throwing two interceptions in three of those contests. The Patriots defense is fourth in the league in interceptions.
On the other side of the ball, Mac Jones is coming off his best game this season, as he absolutely torched the Vikings secondary on Thanksgiving night. New England’s offensive line held up very well against the Vikings quality front last week. There’s a realistic path to New England’s offensive line holding up against Buffalo, especially since they are without Von Miller this week. If you’re betting on the Patriots, you don’t want to build that bet around the Patriots offense exceeding expectations, but there is at least a path to that outcome. Your biggest concern as a Patriots bettor is that Josh Allen continues to have well above average success against Bill Belichick’s defense, while Mac Jones’ offense simply can’t keep up.
If You’re Betting on the Bills
A bet on the Bills is a bet on Josh Allen elevating an average offense outside of Stefon Diggs. This has been a contrarian take of mine all season, but that reality showed up against the Lions on Thanksgiving. Josh Allen is the Bills offense. This is an interesting spot for Buffalo’s defense, as the Patriots offense can put together a similar offensive effort as the Lions did against Buffalo. Detroit has a better offensive line than the Patriots, but New England’s group is close when they are at full strength. Considering how opponent specific the Patriots are, my biggest concern as a Bills bettor is that Allen turns the ball over a couple of times while the Patriots play a clean game offensively behind a strong running game.
Since neither of these teams is on a short week, I’m not treating this as a standard Thursday Night Football game.
Bills vs. Patriots Pool Picks and Other Bets
Awards Market Ramifications: Josh Allen is an MVP candidate. Stefon Diggs is an Offensive Player of the Year candidate.
Winner/ Confidence Pool: I will be Buffalo heavy in my winner pools, but I will take the Patriots a couple of times in that format as a differentiator option. I will be below consensus on this game in my confidence pool rankings.
Spread Pool: I was interested in the Patriots +5.5 as I thought that line was too high, but Patriots +3.5 is more in line with where I expected this line to be. I will not bet this game against the spread, but I will take New England in pools where I can pick every game.
Survivor Pool: This game should ideally be avoided in survivor pools. Since it’s late in the year, I’d prefer to hold the Bills for their matchup with the Bears in Week 16.
Ryan’s recent betting record:
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 38-22
Props 2022: 39-23
WATCH: Buffalo Bills DE Gregory Rousseau explains why Matthew Judon is so lethal.