Bills Patriots Odds
The New England Patriots (5-3) host the Buffalo Bills (3-5) Sunday in AFC East division action. Oddsmakers have listed the Patriots as an 11-point favorite and have set the total at 52.0
Why New England Covers
The Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams 45-7 in their last game and have had an extra week to prepare for the Bills, a team they have owned.
New England won the season’s first meeting 52-28 in Buffalo. With that victory, it improved to 17-1 in the last 18 meetings. It has won the last two meetings by 28 and 24 points, respectively.
The Patriots are the best offensive team in the league. They rank No. 1 in both total and scoring offense with 440.8 yards and 32.8 points per game. They should have little trouble moving the football on a Buffalo defense that is among the worst in the NFL. The Bills rank 31st in both total and scoring defense with 417.9 yards and 31.0 points allowed per game.
NFL teams headed up by coach Chan Gailey have struggled to quiet gifted offenses. In fact, Gailey’s teams are 0-7 against the number in the second half of the season versus teams that average 350.0 yards or more per game. His teams have lost by an average score of 37.7 to 14.9 to these foes.
The Patriots have been susceptible to the pass. They rank 28th in the league with 281.1 passing yards allowed per game. However, the Bills haven’t been able to take advantage of poor pass defenses. In fact, Buffalo is 0-6 against the spread versus teams that give up 260.0 passing yards or more per game over the last three seasons. It has lost these games by an average score of 40.7 to 21.0.
Why Buffalo Covers
The Patriots have had a bye week to prepare, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be hitting on all cylinders. In fact, the numbers suggest they could be a little rusty following the off week. Consider that New England is just 2-10 against the spread in its 12 home games when playing with two weeks of rest or more. It has only win by an average score of 18.1 to 16.5 in this situation. This isn’t some trend that’s way in the past either. Eight of the against the spread losses in this situation have come under the direction of coach Bill Belichick.
Buffalo has lost four of its last five both straight up and against the spread, but that doesn’t mean it is dead fade material. In fact, it is on an awesome 13-4 against the spread run in road games after failing to cover the spread in four of their last five games. They have actually won by an average score of 25.2 to 24.4 in this situation.
New England has won big in the last two meetings, but it actually trailed 21-7 in the first meeting this season. The Bills have shown the ability to get out fast and may be able to hang on long enough to keep this one within the number.
Prior to the last two meetings, four of the previous five matchups had been decided by eight points or less. It is also worth noting that the road team have covered the number in six of the last eight matchups.
New England is often overvalued at home where it is just 1-4 against the number in its last five.