This is a tough spot for the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick is in an unfamiliar place as the Patriots are in last place in the AFC East despite being 6-5. A loss to the Buffalo Bills on Thursday Night Football this week would really hurt their playoff chances, especially consider they play again in Buffalo in their regular season finale. New England went 35-5 against Buffalo during the 2000s and 2010s, but Buffalo has won four out of the last five games in this rivalry including a stampede in last year’s playoffs.
The AFC East is a lot more competitive than anyone thought it would be at the start of the season. The Buffalo Bills were the preseason favorites and are tied for the division lead, but the New England Patriots have dominated this division for the better part of two decades. These rivals will meet on Thursday, December 1, 2022, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts at 8:15 p.m. ET on Prime Video.
NFL Week 13 Betting Odds
Buffalo Bills -5
New England Patriots +5
Money Line: Bills -230, Patriots +192
There has been no movement with regards to the spread in the last 24 hours. However, we have seen some movement on the Under. The total in this game was initially 45, but it has dropped to 44 given the defenses involved.
It’s clear that Josh Allen is not 100% healthy. The one-time favorite to be named NFL MVP by the NFL futures odds is clearly dealing with some sort of injury, and that has seriously limited his effectiveness. Allen has thrown just six touchdown passes compared to seven interceptions over the last five weeks, leading to Buffalo’s offense stalling out. He is still gritting it out and starting and being an effective runner, but you have to wonder whether Allen will be given a week’s rest at some point.
Allen isn’t the only player that is banged up for the Bills as there are a lot of injuries amongst the second team. Center Mitch Morse is expected to miss this game, and left tackle Dion Dawkins is considered questionable to suit up on Sunday. Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis are one of the best receiving tandems in the NFL, but Allen may be under pressure more than usual.
The Bills had the No. 1 defense in the league a month ago, but injuries have had a huge impact on this unit. Top pass rusher Greg Rousseau has missed three straight games with an ankle injury, and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds has missed two straight games. To add to those woes, Von Miller suffered a torn meniscus on Thanksgiving, and he will be out for at least a couple weeks with the injury.
New England Patriots
Mac Jones has not been great this season, but he started to turn the corner last week and had his best performance yet against the Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving night. Jones completed 28 of 39 passes for 382 yards with two touchdowns, and he didn’t turn the ball over in a narrow loss. His performance was even better considering Jakobi Meyers was hurt on the first possession.
Meyers is questionable to play this week along with Damien Harris. Meanwhile, starting offensive linemen Isaiah Wynn and David Andrews have already been declared out. That might affect Rhamondre Stevenson, as he is currently averaging 4.5 YPC and 7.2 YPR.
New England has one of the best pass rushes in the league. Matthew Judon leads the league with 13 sacks, and the Patriots have 37 sacks as a team through 11 games. The secondary has improved over the course of the year too, making this New England defense one of the best in the league.
Bills at Patriots Free Pick
The action on the Under is smart, and this total is likely to drop even further. However, the best bet is Buffalo as Allen and company have the talent to break down New England’s defense.
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