We have an AFC East duel on deck as the NFL opens up Week 13 with the Buffalo Bills visiting the New England Patriots on Thursday night. Both of these division rivals are entering this matchup above .500 on the season, but find themselves in different spots in the standings. At 8-3, Buffalo is duking it out with Miami for first place, while the Patriots try to claw back into the playoff picture at 6-5.
This is the first time that these clubs have faced one another this season with the second coming in the regular-season finale in Week 18. In 2021, they split the season series, but it was the Bills who got the last laugh in the playoffs, trouncing the Patriots and sending them home for the year with a 47-17 victory.
Here, we'll specifically be looking at the different betting angles that this game has to offer. Along with the spread and total, we'll also take a look at several player props and hand in our picks for how we see this showdown unfolding.
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
There has been some momentum moving in the Patriots favor. After opening up at Bills -5.5, this line has bumped down by two full points, sitting at Bills -3.5 on the eve of this head-to-head. Both of these teams played on Thanksgiving and it was after Thursday's action that we saw all of this movement, with the initial slip-down happening on Monday.
The pick: Bills -3.5. The movement in this line suggests that this is an unpopular pick as money has started to come in on New England. On its face, that makes sense. The Patriots are playing for their playoff lives and the Bills have stumbled a bit over the last few weeks, going 1-4 ATS over their last five games. Home underdogs are also covering at a historic rate this season as their 59% cover rate is the highest in any season since 1989.
With all that said, it's tough for me to get against Buffalo here. The Bills are wildly more talented and Josh Allen has particularly dominated against Bill Belichick's team. In three of his last four games vs. New England, Allen has thrown for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions. The only game he wasn't able to go over that threshold was last year in a game with severe winds. Allen has also played well in Foxborough. In his last two games at Gillette Stadium, he's averaged 317 yards passing and has seven passing touchdowns with zero picks.
Key trend: Bills are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four meetings in New England.
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The total for this matchup has also seen notable movement. It opened at 45 and did see a quick burst up to 45.5 on Sunday night before a consistent dive down. By noon on Monday, it had sunk to 43.5 and has held throughout the week.
The pick: Over 43.5. As we noted above, Josh Allen has had no problem against Bill Belichick-led defenses in the past and the Patriots finally showed some life offensively against the Vikings on Thanksgiving. In the last six matchups between these two games, the Over is 4-1-1. The only time the Over outright lost was that wind game last season where there was a combined total of 24 points. In their last two meetings, the total stood at 43.5 and 43. Each time they exceeded that number by at least 10.5 points.
Key trend: Over is 8-3 in the Patriots last 11 home games.
Josh Allen props
- Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over -169, Under +123)
- Passing yards: 270.5 (Over -117, Under -117)
- Rushing yards: 42.5 (Over -137, Under +100)
- Passing attempts: 34.5 (Over -131, Under -104)
- Rushing attempts: 7.5 (Over +100, Under -137)
- Longest pass completion: 38.5 (Over -115, Under -119)
- Completions: 22.5 (Over -101, Under -135)
- Interceptions: 0.5 (Over -151, Under +110)
Mobile quarterbacks have given the Patriots defense fits this season, so it wouldn't surprise me if the Bills try to utilize Allen's legs in this matchup. With that in mind, I'll certainly look at the Over on his rushing yards total at 42.5, a number he's exceeded seven times this season. I'll also roll the dice on Allen seeing at least eight carries at plus money. Last week against Detroit, he logged double-digit carries for the fourth time this season.
Mac Jones props
- Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over +143, Under -199)
- Passing yards: 230.5 (Over -125, Under -109)
- Rushing yards: 9.5 (Over -109, Under -125)
- Passing attempts: 32.5 (Over -121, Under -113)
- Longest pass completion: 34.5 (Over -123, Under -111)
- Completions: 20.5 (Over -117, Under -117)
- Interceptions: 0.5 (Over -145, Under +106)
There seemed to be a more conscious effort to throw the ball down the field last week against Minnesota and Jones made the most of the opportunity. On top of throwing for a season-high 382 yards, he was 7 of 10 passing on throws 15 or more yards down the field for 193 yards and two touchdowns. In his previous four games, he had 12 such throws and completed four of them. I imagine the Patriots will be trailing in this game, which forces Jones into a game script that leads to him throwing deep often. So, I'll lean on Jones' over 230.5 passing yards and over his 20.5 completions. He's gone over this passing yards number in the last two games and has hit over 20.5 completions in six of his eight starts.
Player props to consider
Devin Singletary total rushing attempts: Over 12.5 (-135). Singletary has been an underrated piece in Buffalo's high-flying offense. He has gone over this rushing attempts number in five of his last six games, including three straight coming into Thursday.
Hunter Henry total receptions: Over 2.5 (-108). Henry has been underutilized this season after seeing 75 targets a year ago, which was second-most on the team. However, it did seem like Mac Jones was clicking with him last week in Minnesota He hauled in three of those five targets, so we're going to throw a speculative bet on the two rekindling that spark on Thursday against Buffalo.