The Buffalo Bills put years of frustration behind them as well as an end to the Patriots run of terror in the AFC East by claiming their first division title since 1995. The Bills have a chance to put the final nail in New England’s playoff coffin when the clubs meet on Monday Night Football. With some help from Pittsburgh, the Bills moved into a tie for second overall in the conference playoff standings, which for right now means they won’t have face the champion Chiefs until the AFC Championship. And boy would the Bills like to add to New England’s misery after getting walloped in 13 of 15 meetings before ending the skid with a 24-21 win in Week 8.
The matchup between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots will take place on Monday, December 28, 2020, at 8:15 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. The game will be televised nationally on ABC and ESPN.
Bills vs Patriots Week 16 Odds
Buffalo Bills -7
New England Patriots +7
The Bills haven’t swept a season series from the Pats since 1999 and just like the other teams in the division they’ve been New England’s patsies. The Bills got the last laugh, or at least the most recent, by ending the Pats’ 11-year run as division leaders with a 48-19 payout at Denver last week. It’s safe to say the Bills are on a heater with cover wins in their last six outings while going 5-1 SU over that span. The only setback was against the Cardinals, who used the “Hail Murray” to win that game 32-30. The streak began after Buffalo beat New England 24-21 in Week 8, though they failed to cover the 4-point line. The Bills reached double digits in wins for the second straight season and are 11-3 SU and 9-5 ATS.
The Pats couldn’t sustain any momentum after their 45-0 shellacking of the Chargers a few weeks ago. Instead they lost their next two to the Rams and Dolphins scoring a combined 15 points and going 0-2 ATS. The Cam Newton experiment appears to be a failure with the offense struggling all season. New England closed as a slight 1.5-point favorite last week against the Dolphins but failed to score a touchdown in the 22-12 setback. The inability to score has UNDER bettors wetting their pants. The Pats are 6-8 ATS but the UNDER is 10-4.
After years of beatings the Bills can extract some revenge by knocking off New England. And if that isn’t motivation enough, the No. 2 seed in the AFC is still up for grabs thanks to some shoddy play by the Steelers. The Bills can’t get the top seed with their earlier loss to the Chiefs locking that up. But they can guarantee themselves a crack at hosting two playoff games, which would be a treat since they haven’t hosted any postseason games since the end of the 1996 campaign. Buffalo can thank Josh Allen for the recent run of success. Allen accounted for four touchdowns against Denver and he leads the NFL’s second-ranked passing offense.
Allen has been doing it for most of the season and now that the ground game and defense have caught up, the Bills are going to be tough to beat. During their current four-game winning streak the Bills have allowed just 18.8 points per game. The Pats can’t throw the football so stopping the run is key to winning this matchup.
New England Patriots
New England’s historic run of success is over; it was bound to happen eventually since that’s how things go in the NFL and sports in general. We didn’t know exactly what we’d get from the Pats this season as they embarked on their first campaign in the last 20 years without Tom Brady. I think it’s safe to now say the value of Brady can’t be overstated. Without Brady the offense has been inconsistent, which is putting things nicely, and the Pats will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
With an eye toward the future it’s possible the Pats turn to Jarrett Stidham in place of Newton. For the second straight game Newton failed to lead the offense on a touchdown drive and the passing game has been non-existent all season. Newton has thrown just five touchdown passes against 10 interceptions and averages just 183 yards per game in the air. Newton can still run the football, but the one-dimensional attack isn’t, and hasn’t gotten job done this season.
Bills vs Patriots Prediction
Best Bet: Bills -7 and UNDER 46.5
They locked up their first division title in a quarter century, but the Bills still have plenty to play for with the second seed in the conference still up for grabs. And it would be nice to deliver some payback after years of being New England’s punching bag. Allen is having a dynamite season and could validate his status as league MVP with another strong game. The Bills don’t need him to do the heavy lifting, though, which makes them a solid pick as a road favorite.