The Buffalo Bills hope to take one step closer to ending their epic playoff drought when they visit the New England Patriots in Week 16. Kickoff is at 1:00 EST on Sunday, December 24 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The game can be seen in local markets on CBS.
The Patriots are listed as 11.5-point favorites at home. That line has increased after New England opened at -10. The over/under is listed at 47 points. Click here for a full list of the Week 16 betting odds and links to more game previews.
Patriots vs Bills Game Betting Preview & Vegas Odds
The Bills, who haven’t been to the playoffs since 1999, are 8-6 and would be in the playoffs if they were to start today. Unfortunately, there are two weeks left to play and Buffalo is currently in a three-way tie for the two wild-card spots with Baltimore and Tennessee. With three wins in their last four games, the Bills are playing well and have momentum working in their favor. However, with two road games left, their schedule is not the easiest.
The Patriots, meanwhile, wrapped up another division title with last week’s thrilling win over the Steelers. After a shaky start to the season, Tom Brady and the Pats have won nine of their last 10 games, as they once again look like favorites to reach the Super Bowl. Of course, New England still needs to win their last two games to ensure home-field advantage if they meet the Steelers again in the AFC Championship Game.
Of course, these two teams see each other often, with the Patriots winning 23-3 in Buffalo just three weeks ago. New England dominated that game, which doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in the Bills pulling off the road upset this week. However, the Bills have won in two of their last three visits to Gillette Stadium, so a Buffalo win is far from impossible.
Free NFL Pick Against the Spread: Bills +11.5
I can’t deny how much the Bills were dominated by the Patriots earlier this month. But the Bills are desperate for a win while the Patriots have to re-focus after an emotional and taxing game last week. With the line growing, it’s tough to swallow that many points. I’ll take my chances with the underdog Bills keeping the game close.
As usual, the key to this game for the Bills will be quarterback Tyrod Taylor. He was knocked out of the Week 13 meeting between these teams because of an injury. But he looked sharp and healthy in his return from injury last week against the Dolphins.
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I also look for the Buffalo defense to make some adjustments and come out with a better game plan than they did three weeks ago. Outside of Rob Gronkowski, none of New England’s receivers did anything that spectacular in that game. Brady didn’t even throw a touchdown pass. The Patriots will also be without Rex Burkhead, which should hurt their running game. Remember, the Bills have the personnel defensively to stay tough against the run and put some pressure on Brady if their receivers can’t get open quickly.
Speaking of Gronkowski, the Bills have certainly not forgotten about his late hit against them a few weeks ago that earned him a suspension. Buffalo isn’t likely to retaliate with so much riding on this game. But they will definitely have a little extra motivation to face Gronkowski and keep him from being the difference in the game.
On paper, this game is a slight mismatch in New England’s favor. But I think this game will be all about emotions. The Patriots are coming down from a high while the Bills are excited to be in the playoff hunt. I don’t know if it’ll be enough for the Bills to win, but I think they’ll at least stay close and beat the spread.