Early Patriots vs. Bills Prediction, Pick: Can Mac Jones beat Josh Allen on Wild Card Weekend?

The New England Patriots will battle the Buffalo Bills on Wild Card Weekend -- here's our Patriots vs. Bills pick and prediction.

The New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills are divisional rivals that will meet on Wild Card Weekend. They’ll face off for the third time after splitting their first two games of the season. Oddly enough, they each won as the road team. Which team will take the rubber match? Here are the NFL odds, along with my pick and Patriots vs. Bills prediction.

New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills pick, prediction | Wild Card Weekend

  • Spread: Bills -4 (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
  • Moneyline: Patriots +170, Bills -200
  • Over/Under: 42.5

New England’s rushing offense vs. Buffalo’s run defense

The Bills’ defense has found plenty of success throughout the 2021 season. They feature the best pass defense in the NFL, allowing league-low averages in yards per attempt and yards per game. It’s clear that the Patriots won’t want to rely on their rookie quarterback to win this particular matchup.

Instead, New England will continue to attack on the ground. Buffalo has found success in that aspect as well. They’re allowing 4.2 yards per carry and 109.8 yards per game this season, ranking 10th and 13th, respectively. With that said, the Patriots have found rushing success in their earlier matchups.

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In Week 13, there was terrible weather in Buffalo, and Mac Jones attempted only 3 passes. Damien Harris ran for 111 yards and 1 touchdown on 10 carries before suffering an injury. Rhamondre Stevenson entered and added 78 yards on 24 carries in a 14-10 victory.

Harris returned in Week 16, rushing for 103 yards and 3 touchdowns on 18 carries. The difference throughout the 33-21 loss is that Jones attempted 32 passes, resulting in 2 interceptions. The Patriots will need to rely on their defense and run game to control the clock on offense to win this game.

Patriots vs. Bills betting trends

Both of these teams have found success against the spread (ATS) throughout the 2021 season. New England boasts a 10-7 ATS record, covering by an average of 6.2 points per game. However, they’ve only covered in one of their last four contests. Buffalo brings a 9-6-2 ATS record into this game. They’re covering by an average of 3.2 points per game. The Bills have also covered in three of their last four games.

These teams are close to neutral in terms of the game total, but they are on opposite sides. The Patriots have hit the over in 52.9% of their outings, while the Bills have found the under in 52.9% of theirs.

Patriots vs. Bills prediction

This is one of my favorite playoff matchups. Divisional games are always weird because the franchises know each other so well. The one key factor in this game is offensive upside.

The Bills have the capability to win battles with their defense, but they can also score 40+ points with Josh Allen. He has the ability to take over the game in a way that Jones can’t at this point.

Nevertheless, if New England can limit the number of opportunities for Jones to make mistakes via their run game, they are live dogs. Their defense is good enough to keep it close if the offense can limit turnovers.

I expect this game to be a hard-fought victory for the winner, and I’d prefer to take points with the underdogs and grab the under.

Patriots vs. Bills Prediction: Bills 20, Patriots 17

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