AFC East foes square off in the first round of the playoffs when the New England Patriots (10-7) travel to HighMark Stadium to take on the Buffalo Bills (11-6). The Patriots earned the sixth seed in the AFC with a loss to the Dolphins in the regular-season finale 33-24, while the Bills clinched their second straight AFC East title with a win over the Jets 27-10.
The division rivals split their two regular-season games, with New England winning in Buffalo in week 13, 14-10. Will the Patriots be able to bounce back after losing three of their last four? Can the Bills finally take out the Patriots at home? Let’s find out.
New England Patriots Betting Preview: Can Rookie Mac Jones Lead the Patriots Past the Bills?
With New England losing the season finale to the Miami Dolphins, the Patriots look to regroup as they head to Buffalo as the sixth overall seed in the AFC. As mentioned above, the Patriots have now lost three of their last four after rattling off seven straight victories prior.
With Rookie quarterback, Mac Jones under center, the offense has relied heavily on the run. Against the Dolphins, the Patriots were able to average five yards a carry and pick up 134 yards and two scores on the ground. Despite throwing a pick-six, Mac Jones has been the best rookie quarterback in the class, tossing 3,801 passing yards and 22 touchdowns, while the offense has averaged 27.2 points and 127.4 yards on the ground.
The New England defense has also been one of the best in the league finishing the year ranked fourth in total defense (310.8). Despite giving up 33 points and collecting zero turnovers to the Dolphins, the Patriots own the third-most takeaways (30) and hold opponents to 187.1 yards in the air and 17.8 points per game.
Buffalo Bills Betting Preview: Bills Clicking on all Cylinders, Boast Four-Game Winning Streak
The Bills enter the playoffs as back-to-back AFC East champions after clinching the number three overall seed with a win over the New York Jets in the regular-season finale. The Bills have caught fire at the right time as they will look to push their win streak to five when they host New England on Saturday.
The Bills have been invigorated by the gutsy play of Josh Allen, who is the first player in NFL history to pass for over 4,000 yards and rush for over 750 yards in a single season. The offense is clicking on all cylinders, with Devin Singletary taking over the lead back role and finding the endzone five times in his last four games. Additionally, the relentless offense is averaging 381.9 yards 28.4 points per game.
Defensively, the Bills boast one of the most consistent units in the entire league. Buffalo’s defense topped the league in total defense, holding opponents to 272.8 yards and limiting opponents to 17 points per game. In addition, they also secured 30 takeaways on the season and 42 sacks. To put it simply, this defense is vicious.
Betting Lines & Odds
Early betting odds on MyBookie have the Bills as -3 home favorites, with the point total set at 43.5.
Free Betting Pick
The New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills will square off for a third time for what should be a crazy wild card weekend on Saturday. The Bills feature a fearsome pass defense, allowing a league-low in yards per game, and the Patriots will counter with a relentless ground game that averaged 4.2 yards per carrying.
The Bills will play at home and win this game by more than three points. The Bills have the best defense in the league and an offense that is capable of posting over 40 points with Josh Allen under center. Nevertheless, the Patriots’ defense is good enough to keep their offense in the game, but they are also 1-3 ATS in their last four games.
Josh Allen’s ability to take over games will be the difference-maker in this one. These teams are trending in opposite directions, and the Bills come in with a four-game win streak and an offense and defense that is clicking on all cylinders. Back the Bills in this one.