Before we get into our Patriots at Bills preview, we’d like to say that everyone at TheUSGambler sends thoughts and prayers to Damar Hamlin, his family, the Buffalo Bills organization, and everyone involved in the game that took place on Monday Night.
In this week 18 divisional battle, the Patriots try to keep their playoff hopes alive while the Bills vie for top seeding in the AFC. This will be a cold, bitter day in Buffalo and Bills Mafia will be out in force to cheer on their team. Following Monday nights events and the positive news out of the Hamlin camp this week, expect the Bills to play with a lot of heart.
Bills In Week 17
We all know what happened in the game on Monday night. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen watching a sporting event. The good news is that Damar Hamlin seems to be progressing and hopefully on the way to a full recovery. Some things are just bigger than football…
Patriots In Week 17
The Pats played much better in their 23-21 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Mac Jones threw for two touchdowns, and the defense came away with its 4th (!!!) straight game with a defensive touchdown. It got a little dicey at the end with a late touchdown drive by 3rd string quarterback Skylar Thompson, but the Patriots were able to hang on for the win.
On The Call
The game on Sunday will be broadcast on CBS, with game time set for 1:05 pm ET. Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, and sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson will be on the call. You can listen to the game locally on 98.5, The Sports Hub in Boston.
Patriots at Bills Preview: Game Notes
- According to reports, Damar Hamlin seems to be making “Remarkable Improvement” in his recovery. He is also neurologically intact, which is fantastic news.
- The NFL announced that the AFC Championship could be played at a neutral site due to the cancellation of Bills Vs. Bengals.
- The Bills won their first matchup against the Patriots in early December, winning 24-10 in Foxboro.
- With a win on Sunday, the Patriots will clinch a playoff spot for their second straight season.
- If the Patriots lose, fans will have to root hard for Miami & Pittsburgh loses.
- In their franchise’s history, the Patriots have 77 wins against the Buffalo Bills; this is the most against any one opponent.
- Bill Belichick is 36-10 against the Buffalo Bills as head coach of the Patriots.
- New England has recorded a defensive touchdown in their last four games.
- Rhamondre Stevenson needs 14 more rushing yards to reach 1k on the season.
- After a hot start, Stevenson has cooled off as of late, especially in the receiving game.
- Matthew Judon currently ranks third in the NFL in sacks with 15.5.
- Tyquan Thornton could see a more expanded role against Buffalo after an excellent performance against the Dolphins.
- Singletary and Cook have been real weapons for the Bills in the ground game as of late.
- Rookie Jack Jones was placed on IR and will miss the rest of the season.
- The key against Josh Allen is keeping him in the pocket and not letting him extend plays with his feet.
- The Patriots punting this season has been subpar, which is something to pay attention to with the swirling winds in Buffalo.
- To have any chance on Sunday, the Pats need to be perfect on Special Teams.
- I expect Stephon Diggs to be heavily targeted on Sunday as they look to get him going before their playoff run.
- The key for New England is controlling the clock with an effective running game and forcing a turnover or two from Allen.
- A win by Buffalo would complete their second sweep of the Patriots in the last three seasons.
Patriots at Bills Preview: Fantasy Football
Stephon Diggs: While Diggs has struggled as of late, I believe we will see a breakout performance from him on Sunday. There was talk of getting him more involved in the passing game on Monday night and expect a similar plan against New England.
Buffalo Running Backs: I like both Buffalo running backs on Sunday, though Singletary is the surer bet compared to Cook. When these teams faced off in week 13, Buffalo ran for 176 yards on the ground; we will see the Bills establish the run game Sunday afternoon.
Mac Jones: Jones tends to struggle against the Buffalo defense in his career, completing only a little more than 56% of his passes. In what will be a juiced-up Bills defense in Orchard Park, Mac is better left on your bench Sunday afternoon.
Jakobi Meyers: I think we see a more ground-and-pound approach from the Patriots. Control the clock and keep the ball away from Josh Allen and the Buffalo offense. Opportunities will be scarce for Meyers and not worth the start in a final’s matchup.
Patriots at Bills Odds, Picks, and Score Prediction
(Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook)
Moneyline: NE: (+230) | BUF: (-280)
Spread: NE: +7 (-115) | BUF: -7 (-105)
Total: 42.5 — Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)
Thomas’ Final Thoughts and Prediction
In what will be an emotional atmosphere in Buffalo, it’s hard to pick against the Bills in this game. Additionally, Patriots’ fans will be rooting hard for both the Browns and Jets, as New England can still make the playoffs with a loss. From a betting perspective the Bills should win this one handily and cover the one touchdown spread. However, I’m predicting this will be a much higher scoring game than the oddsmakers think it will be – hammer the over.
Prediction: Bills Win 38-21