The New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills have already played two hard-fought games this season, splitting the series 1-1. Who will take the crown on Wild Card Weekend? Let’s take a look at Saturday’s Patriots vs. Bills game, the latest NFL odds, and our prediction.
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills odds, prediction
- Spread: Bills -4.5 (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Moneyline: Bills -200, Patriots +170
- Over/Under: 44.5
It’s hard to look past the two games these teams played against each other in the regular season. In the first contest, the Patriots infamously threw the ball only 3 times in the entire game. No, Mac Jones wasn’t injured. The Patriots simply ran the ball on Buffalo all day — 46 times to be precise.
The weather was atrocious that night, with high winds a serious factor. New England simply chose not to expose itself to the elements. They will return to that same stadium this weekend.
Do the Patriots adopt a similar strategy this time around? I doubt it. They do have one of the most effective run games in the league thanks to the combination of Damien Harris and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson. Jones has proven himself this year, and he needs to have one of his better games. Buffalo is not an easy defense by any stretch.
The Bills figured it out
The Bills didn’t run the ball enough last year. They became predictable in the playoffs and crashed out as a result. The run game has been a problem at times in 2021 as well, but in the last four weeks, Buffalo has found another gear.
Devin Singletary has scored 5 touchdowns in his last four games. Prior to that, he’d scored 6 touchdowns in nearly three years of NFL action. Of course, the Bills were facing relatively soft defenses — the Panthers, Falcons, and Jets — in three of those four games. The fourth team was the Patriots, against whom Singletary totaled only 39 yards.
The Bills also like to use Josh Allen and his big frame to gain yardage on the ground. Allen dominated the Patriots in Week 16, icing the game all by himself with a determined run for a first down. When he’s on form, Allen can put the Bills on his back and lead them to victory. The Patriots will need to disrupt him heavily to stay in this one.
Patriots vs. Bills betting trends
The betting results from the first two games between the Patriots and Bills were polar opposites. In the first contest, Buffalo lost against the spread, and the game cashed the under with a total of 24 points. In the second matchup, Buffalo covered the spread, and the game cashed the over. That’s football.
So what happens on Saturday?
Buffalo has not lost against the spread in four games, and they’ve scored at least 27 points in all of their last five.
The Patriots, on the other hand, have started to leak points in recent weeks. They gave up 33 to both the Dolphins and Bills, and 27 against the Colts. They lost all three of those games, and the overs cashed in all three contests, as well.
Patriots vs. Bills prediction
My concern is what happens if the Bills hit the 30-point mark we know they’re capable of. Can the Patriots keep up? Even when New England ran the ball 46 times, they scored 14 points. They’ve struggled all year against teams who can take the run away from them.
For that reason, I think the Bills pull away in this one. I like Jones and the Patriots’ running backs, but I don’t think they can keep up with Buffalo. If New England can control this game without chasing points, they may win. But if the Bills get ahead and the Patriots need to pick up 14+ points, New England will have a problem.
Patriots vs. Bills Prediction: Bills 27, Patriots 14