Two AFC East teams with a score to settle will duke it out in the playoffs this Saturday night when the Buffalo Bills entertain the New England Patriots, and Sportslens is on hand with some top NFL Playoff Picks for the game. Plus, take a look at how you could receive a $1,000 deposit bonus in time for Day 1 of Wildcard Weekend at BetOnline.
- NFL Wildcard Round – Buffalo Bills vs New England Patriots
- Saturday, January 15 at Bills Stadium, Buffalo, NY
- The game begins at 20:15 EST
- Broadcast live on CBS
After going 1-1 in the regular season, Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots will go on the road to face Sean McDermott’s Buffalo Bills in the second featured playoff game this upcoming Wildcard Weekend.
For the latest odds available at BetOnline, a full game preview, all the latest team news, and our expert’s NFL Picks for the game, read on:
Bills vs Patriots Odds
Below are the latest odds for the Bills vs Patriots playoff clash as seen on BetOnline on Wednesday, January 12.
Our betting picks are highlighted in bold but do be aware that the odds are subject to change ahead of the game.
|Spread||-4.0 (-110)||+4.0 (-110)|
|Total Points||U44.0 (-105)||O44.0 (-115)|
|NFL Picks on the Prop Market: Three straight scores by either team: No||+150||+150|
Bills vs Patriots Preview
There was a point back in early December – just after the Pats had beaten the Bills on the road in a grueling game in poor weather conditions to make it seven successive wins – when I jumped right on board the New England Patriots bandwagon, proclaiming Bill Belichick’s team THE most likely team to win the Super Bowl.
As is often the case in this business, I now wish I’d kept my composure:
The Patriots slipped to a 1-3 record in the aftermath of that win, and, barring the absolute trouncing of the Jaguars in Week-17 (I mean, who didn’t?… Oh, the Colts), haven’t looked the same force since on either side of the dingus. So, it’s little surprise to see Buffalo listed as favorites for this one, especially since McDermott’s men leveled the regular-season series 1-1 with a 33-21 win at the Gilette Stadium in Week-16.
After some patchy midseason form, Buffalo ended the year in style: including that win over the Pats, quarterback Josh Allen and co. won four straight games to clinch the division. And, if you’re the kind of bettor to back the team in form, the moneyline pick is probably a no-brainer by now.
There is, however, a minor problem with the form bet this weekend:
That Pats win at the Bills stadium in 40mph gale-force winds and rain is remembered for New England’s sapping, exhausting, relentless run game that led to big afternoons for RBs Damien Harris (111-yards; 1TD) & Rhamondre Stephenson (87-yards). Plus, an unwanted modern-day NFL record for rookie QB Mac Jones who threw the ball just three times in 60 minutes.
This time around, the forecast currently calls for snow and a wind-chill of zero degrees (only 10mph windspeeds this time though), so a big factor in whatever team should eke out a win in Buffalo is likely to be which of the Bills and Pats best adjusts to the conditions.
With that said, it’s not like the Bills aren’t used to the weather conditions at their own stadium… but do keep an eye on the forecast leading up to Saturday. We recommend betting on Saturday morning.
In terms of strengths and weaknesses, the Bills hold more cards than their opponent heading into this clash. Head coach Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier boast the leading defense in the NFL with respect to points allowed per game, conceding just 17.0 on average, and the No.1 ranked defense for combined yards allowed (272.8-YAPG).
Offensively, the Bills are just as talented. Spearheaded by QB Josh Allen (4,407-yards; 36 passing TDs) and WR Stefon Diggs (1,225-yards; 10 TDs), Buffalo ranked 5th in the NFL for yards per game, averaging 381.9-YPG.
As for the Pats, Belichick’s defense came unstuck a little during the run-in but still finished up 2nd in the NFL for points allowed, allowing just 17.8 PPG, and 4th for YAPG, ceding an average of just 310.8-YPG.
Rookie QB Mac Jones enjoyed a fine first season for the offense, throwing for 3,801-yards and 22 TDs on the year. But, the former Alabama man will have his work cut out going toe-to-toe with a much more athletic Josh Allen on his home patch, especially with the excellent Bills defense likely to be in his face as they were in Week-17. Jones cannot afford to throw two picks this time around.
As stated at the beginning of the preview, the Bills are the favorites for a reason: McDermott’s team is marginally better on defense and certainly boasts the more dynamic offense with Allen under center.
However, just keep an eye on that weather report: if it ends up being a day to pound the ball up the middle, we reckon that the Pats have the superior backs in the molds of Harris, Stephenson, and Bolden, and could get the job done with some help from Mother Earth.
Bills vs Patriots Team News
Besides long-term absentees such as CB Tre’Davious White, Buffalo coach Sean McDermott can expect to field a full-strength starting 22 this Saturday. Bills have no new injury concerns to report.
Things aren’t looking quite so rosy for the Pats, though.
Leading offensive weapons WR Jakobi Myers (thigh) and RB Damien Harris (hamstring) are both nursing light injuries and are questionable to feature. LT Isaiah Wynn (ankle) and C David Andrews are the other concerns for Belichick’s offense.
Over on the defense, starting CB Jalen Mills has been moved to COVID-reserve but could yet feature.
Rookie DT Christian Barmore, DE Lawrence Guy, LB Dont’a Hightower are the other big concerns but, it’s the playoffs, so expect to see most players listed as questionable take the turf.
Bills vs Patriots Playoff Picks
If the two previous encounters between Buffalo and New England this season are anything to go by, this game is almost certain to be a tightly contested affair. It’s cliche to write, but the team that makes the fewest mistakes and takes the best care of the football stands the best chance of coming out on top.
If it’s a day for running the ball, Pats RB Damien Harris will be worth keeping an eye on. Harris has scored four TDs and posted +200 yards vs the Bills already this year. But, if it’s a day for passing, Josh Allen’s +300-yard; three TD, 0 interceptions performance at the Gilette Stadium will likely be keeping New England fans up at night.
In the sportslens office, most agree that the weather could play a role, so we’re not doing anything until we see the report.
But regardless of all that, the underlying feeling is that it’s likely to be a close call. So, with moneyline odds on a Bills win providing little value, we’re most likely going to take the Pats on the spread at +4.
Patriots at Bills Playoff Prediction: Bills eke out a close win, but we’ll be taking. the Pats on the spread (+4; -110) to keep things interesting (pending weather forecast).
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