Patriots-Bills Betting Preview & Pick: Is there value in the Over?
It was redemption Sunday here at 4for4.com!
Following my first losing week of the season (a 2-3 mark in Week 8), I responded with a 3-1 Sunday as the Eagles, Packers (thanks, Todd Gurley) and Seahawks all covered. My one loss was the 49ers, who blew a fourth-quarter lead in Arizona in a narrow loss to the Cardinals. (For the nine people that watched that game, San Francisco blew a golden opportunity for a win but you take your betting life into your own hands by picking bad teams to win.) I am now 27-11-1 against the spread for this NFL season.
Week 8 wraps up tonight in Buffalo in a matchup that only fantasy owners and gamblers would love. While I don’t see much value in the side, I do like a play in the total. Let’s jump to it...
275 New England Patriots at 276 Buffalo Bills
- Spread: Patriots -13.5
- O/U: 44.5
- Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
The Patriots are 13.5-point home favorites after opening as a 13-point fave. The total, meanwhile, sits at 44.5 points after hitting the board at that same number.
The Patriots are receiving 69 percent of the betting tickets and 74 percent of the money. The over is also attracting most of the betting tickets (74 percent) and the money (58 percent).
Sony Michel (knee) has been downgraded to out for tonight’s game. Right tackle Marcus Cannon and defensive end Geneo Grissom are also ruled out for New England but tight end Rob Gronkowski (back) is expected to play.
For the Bills, LeSean McCoy (questionable, concussion) has cleared the concussion protocol and should play.
The Patriots are 4-1-1 against the spread in their last six games versus the Bills and are 15-5-1 against the number in their last 21 trips to Buffalo. The road team is 18-7-1 at the betting window in the last 26 meetings between these two teams.
This is one of those games where I feel as though the sports books are vulnerable. The Patriots have scored 38, 38, 43 and 38 points over their last four games but because the Bills have scored 14 points or view in three consecutive weeks, the total is sitting in the mid-40s. The last time a total was this low for a game involving New England was Week 2 when the Patriots traveled to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars. In that game, the two teams combined for 51 points, easily eclipsing the 44.5-point total. The other totals involving New England? In order: 49.5, 44.5, 55, 50.5, 50.5, 49.5, 59.5 and 48.5.
Yes, Buffalo’s offense is horrendous. The Bills are starting Derek Anderson again tonight, McCoy is banged up and they have no receivers. They’re scoring 11.6 points per game and I’m suggesting taking the over. I understand that will make most uneasy.
That said, let’s think about how this game could play out. Michel is out for New England, which means more of James White and Kenjon Barner. With Josh Gordon’s role in the offense expanding and Gronk back, this game plan screams “air attack” for New England. If I’m right, then I envision plenty of big-play opportunities for the Patriots. Editor's note: Per Ian Rapaport, Josh Gordon will be kept off the field for roughly a quarter on Monday night due to tardiness.
There’s a good chance that New England jumps out to a big lead, too. At what point is Buffalo forced to ditch the run and start throwing the ball in efforts to keep pace? If I’m taking the over, I want both teams to keep the ball in the air, which either leads to big plays (hopefully) or incomplete passes, which stops the clock.
The Patriots are 14-point road favorites. There’s no value in that line, even with the talent discrepancy in tonight’s game. But with the total sitting at just 44.5 when we know the Pats are going to score, there’s value there. That’s not a large total in today’s NFL. I like the over, which is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these two teams in Buffalo.
Pick: Over 44.5
ATS Season Records
- Week 1: 5-0
- Week 2: 3-2
- Week 3: 4-1
- Week 4: 3-1-1
- Week 5: 3-2
- Week 6: 4-1
- Week 7: 2-3
- Week 8: 3-1
- Overall: 27-11-1
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images