Who: Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
When: Thursday, December 1, 2022, 5:20pm PT
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Spread: Buffalo -3.5
Total: 43.5 o/u
Two division rivals battling for a playoff berth clash this Thursday night in Foxboro when the Buffalo Bills travel to take on the New England Patriots.
For the Bills (8-3), the team notched a must-win, last-second win on Thanksgiving Day against the Lions. Had Buffalo dropped the contest, it would have been the Bills’ third loss in four games. Nevertheless, Josh Allen overcame a costly INT deep in the Lions’ territory to lead his squad to a 25-22 victory. Despite the win, Allen’s turnover rate this season has raised concerns as he is tied for first in the league with Davis Mills with 11 INTs. Now, he will have to oppose an underrated Patriots’ defense that ranks No. 4 in the league in the least amount of yards allowed per game.
The Patriots match up well against the Bills, especially on defense. Their pass defense has been exceptional, as they have allowed the sixth least passing yards this season. That should limit Allen’s ability to connect with Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, and Isaiah McKenzie. Still, this Bills’ offense is not to be taken lightly. Allen has engineered the offense to take on even the most potent defenses, as they currently rank second in the NFL in both total yards and points per game.
For New England, the key to defeating the Bills lies in Mac Jones and the offense. The Patriots squandered an opportunity to beat the Vikings on Thanksgiving because of several mistakes by the special teams and a key dropped TD pass by Hunter Henry. However, if the Patriots can open on their run game with Rhamondre Stevenson, they should be able to move the chains and keep the score close.
The Bills may have been the AFC favorite to reach the Super Bowl to begin the season, but they have dropped off recently. Allen’s turnovers have been a critical factor, but Buffalo’s defense has also struggled. On the other hand, the Patriots are fighting for a Wild Card position and will be extra motivated to gain ground on the Bills, who currently hold the first Wild Card spot. While I am not predicting an upset, I like the Patriots to cover, so I will gladly take the points. Even though I usually lean Under for every Thursday night contest, I will take the Over in this one. Both teams played on Thanksgiving, so they both enjoyed a whole week off in between.
I won’t be surprised if the Patriots do pull off the upset since Bill Belichick knows how to cover Josh Allen better than anyone, but take the points to be safe.
Pick: Patriots +3.5