NFL:Sunday, December 23, 2018, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts, 1:00 PMET
The New England Patriots (9-5; 8-6 ATS) will have the lowest win total since 2009 season, but after a couple of straight losses, their playoff spot is in jeopardy, so the victory over their divisional rivals Buffalo Bills (5-9; 5-9 ATS) is a must. In their first H2H meeting of the season, the Patriots have beaten the Bills on the road 25-6.
The Bills need to find their offense if they want to stand a chance here
The Buffalo Bills’ defense is doing a great job all season long, allowing just 292.2 total yards per game (2nd in theleague), while their passing defense is the best in the NFL with 187.4 yardsper contest. Likewise, the Bills are leading the league in forced fumbles, butall these will not be enough to beat the Patriots without a good offensivework. The Bills are averaging just 15.4 points (31st in the league) on 293.4total yards per game (also 31st), and with these numbers, you cannot expect tobeat the Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
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Josh Allen led the Bills to a 14-13 win over the Detroit Lions last weekend, throwing for 204 yards and a touchdown while adding a TD by himself. The rookie QB has a solid season with 1633 yards, six touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 10 appearances, completing 52.2% of his passes. LeSean McCoy is questionable for the clash with New England due to a hamstring injury, and Buffalo’s superstar has just 689 yards from scrimmagethis season along with a couple of touchdowns. Zay Jones is leading thereceiving corps with 45 catches for 492 yards and four touchdowns, but hecaught just one of 11 targets against Detroit.
The Patriots are brutal at home
The New England Patriots will look to avoid their third straight loss here, and they haven’t been on a three-game losing streak since 2002. After a thrilling 34-33 defeat at the Miami Dolphins, thePatriots lost at Pittsburgh 17-10 this past Sunday, so they have to beat the Bills to secure their wild-card spot in the AFC. The Patriots are 13-0 straightup and 12-1 ATS in their last 13 games at Gillette Stadium which is anencouraging fact ahead of the clash with Buffalo, while they are 15-2 straightup in the last 17 home meetings with the Bills.
Tom Brady has thrown for 3979 yards, 24 touchdowns, and nine interceptions thus far, completing 65.9% of his passes. Against the Steelers, Brady had 279 yards for a touchdown and an interception, but he has thrown for just a couple of picks in his last seven apps. James White is having a nice season with 1053 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns, while Julian Edelman has 794 yards from scrimmage for four touchdowns. Rob Gronkowski has recorded 45 receptions for 658 yards and three touchdowns, but he was quiet against Pittsburgh with just two catches for 21 yards. The Patriots are scoring 26.7 points per game (7th in the league) while allowing 22.1 in a return (13th) on 372.7 total yards per contest (23rd).
• 3-6 straight up and ATS in the last nine games
• 1-5 straight up and 2-4 ATS in the last six games as double-digit dogs
• Under is 5-1 in the last six games on the road
New England Patriots:
• 6-3 straight up and 5-4 ATS in the last nine games
• 6-0 straight up and ATS in the last six tilts as double-digit favorites
• Under is 5-2 in the last seven games at home
The Winner Prediction
The Patriots are huge favorites here for areas on, as they desperately need a win to clinch their playoff spot, while the visitors will play only for glory. Likewise, it is obvious that New England is playing much better at home, and their previous two losses came on the road, so I expect them to storm the front and hammer the Bills. However, it won’t be a piece of cake with all defensive potential among the Bills, but the visitors’offense seems so poor that they should struggle even against the Patriots’mediocre defense. LeSean McCoy’s eventual absence would be a huge blow for the Bills’ ground game, while their air attack is already awful. Hereof, I’ll take the Patriots to cover this huge spread to record their seventh ATS win in a row when they are listed as double-digit favorites.
The Pick: New England Patriots -12.0 (-110)
Considering the Bills’ offense, I doubt their chances to put some serious numbers on the scoreboard. On the other side, their defense should make some stops here to justify all those superb numbers. If the visitors play like I expect them to do, we should get a low-scoring affair, while the betting trends are also suggesting the under here. Likewise, three of the last five H2H duels had 31 or fewer points in the total.
The Pick: Under 44.5 points (-110)