The New England Patriots will take on the Buffalo Bills in a crucial AFC East showdown. It's time to continue our NFL odds series and make a Patriots-Bills prediction and pick.
This is easily the most important game of the season for both of these teams. New England just managed to wrestle away first place in the division from Buffalo, and now they have to defend it. The Patriots are only a half-game ahead of their rival, making this game even more important. Neither of these teams have a particularly easy schedule to end the season, so this is essentially a must-win game on national television. NFL football doesn't get much better than this.
For more insight on the Patriots-Bills matchup in Week 13, listen below:
Here are the Patriots-Bills odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NFL Odds: Patriots-Bills Odds
New England Patriots: +2.5 (-112)
Buffalo Bills: -2.5 (-108)
Over: 40.5 (-120)
Under: 40.5 (-102)
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Why The Patriots Could Cover The Spread
A huge part of New England's recent success has been their fantastic defense. It's already been a full month since the Patriots allowed more than 13 points, a ridiculous stat that shows just how good this defense has really been. Head coach Bill Belichick's unit is only allowing 200 passing yards per game, the third-best number in the entire NFL. The Bills have been one of the streakier offensive teams in the league, and now they have to face an elite defense in what will likely be either a rain or snow game.
As they head into this game, the Patriots have been one of the best teams in the league at covering spreads. New England is currently 8-4 ATS on the season, which is good for fourth-best in the league. Surprisingly, the Patriots are also 4-1 against the spread when they play on the road. Playing a slightly overrated Bills team could mean that Buffalo is getting a little bit too much credit in this spot.
Why The Bills Could Cover The Spread
While New England is the third-best pass defense in the NFL, the Bills are currently ranked as the second. Buffalo has been elite in every way on defense, as they also rank as a top-ten run defense. This is one of the toughest overall defenses in the league, and it's fair to say that rookie quarterback Mac Jones hasn't faced a team of this caliber yet. That, combined with the fact that Jones will be leading his team on the road in a playoff environment push this matchup in favor of the Buffalo defense.
Besides some problems with inconsistency, the Buffalo offense has been absolutely incredible. Quarterback Josh Allen is clearly a top five signal-caller in the NFL, and the talent around him is astounding. The Bills just dropped 31 points on a very respectable New Orleans Saints defense, and now they face a New England unit that hasn't been challenged all that much in recent weeks. This is easily the best offensive team that the Patriots have faced since their matchup with the Dallas Cowboys when they allowed 35 points.
Final Patriots-Bills Prediction & Pick
This game will definitely be a close one. The best pick is the one that takes the points here for a couple of reasons. New England should have the advantage in bad weather with their superior run game and defense. Buffalo has also shown plenty of inconsistency lately.
Final Patriots-Bills Prediction & Pick: New England Patriots: +2.5 (-112)