It’s Week 16, and seven divisions, including the AFC East, are still up for grabs. The Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots, who sit at the top of the AFC East, meet for the second time this season in Week 16. The first time they met was in Week 13.
This week, NFL betting odds favor the Patriots by two-and-a-half points.
Let’s take a look at their scoring potential.
New England Patriots (-2)
- Date: Sunday, Dec. 26th
- Time: 1:00 PM EST on CBS
- Venue: Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA
- Participants: Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots
The New England Patriots (9-5) will host the Buffalo Bills (8-6) in Foxborough this week. This game could offer bettors the chance to preview a potential playoff matchup.
The Patriots’ seven-game winning streak ended last week against the Indianapolis Colts. New England totaled 365 yards of offense and still lost 27-17.
Mac Jones threw two interceptions, and the Pats committed eight penalties. Rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson carried the ball ten times for only 36 yards. He’d piled up 78 yards on 24 carries in Buffalo back in Week 13.
Against the Bills, Damien Harris ran for 111 yards on ten carries, including a 64-yard touchdown in the first quarter. He sat out with a hamstring injury last week. As of Wednesday, Harris was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Bills.
The Patriots also lost wide receivers Nelson Agholor and N’Keal Harry during their game at Indy. The two had combined for six receptions and 86 receiving yards.
On Monday, Harry was listed as questionable with a head injury. Kendrick Bourne, another receiver, was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list.
That would leave New England with Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski, a kick-returner, at wideout. Brandon Bolden, a nine-year veteran, could help fill in the backfield.
The Patriots might have to look to their practice squad for receivers this week. Can they overcome these obstacles against the Bills?
Patriots (-125) vs. Bills
Even with the Patriots’ difficulties, they opened as a decent favorite at home. However, the -125 money line might move down somewhat if the health of critical players remains uncertain by Sunday.
This season, New England is 10th in the NFL at scoring. At home, they’ve averaged 30 points per game. However, they’ve averaged only 22.3 points per contest in their last three games.
In contrast, the Bills have allowed 17 points on average in seven road games. They’ve given up 20.3 points per game in their previous three matchups.
Buffalo has the league’s top passing defense for yards allowed per game. New England ranks third.
Astoundingly, Carson Wentz only had 57 yards passing last week at home against the Pats. He threw one touchdown and an interception on 12 attempts. Jonathan Taylor took care of the rest with 170 rushing yards and a score.
The Patriots have allowed almost 200 rushing yards per game in their previous three contests, the worst in the league. The Bills haven’t been much better, giving up an average of 170 rushing yards in their last three games.
New England and Buffalo have both given up an average of one red zone touchdown in their last three matchups.
This week, the over-under for the Patriots rests at -110 for under 22.5. They’ll need their offensive starters if they have any shot at scoring over 22.5 at -117.
New England to score under 20.5 offers +120 odds. I like that bet against one of the best passing defenses in the league.
New England Patriots in Week 16
The last time the New England Patriots played the Buffalo Bills, it was all about their running game. With Damien Harris nursing a hamstring injury, the Pats also have serious questions at wideout.
Could rookies Jones and Stevenson be enough for New England to win this week? I don’t believe that the Patriots can score a lot of points in this game, so I’d look to other teams for this week’s King of the Weekend promo.
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