Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard
Betting Commercial Content. 21+. Provided by Action Network, official betting partner of The Inquirer.

Bills vs. Patriots prediction: Buffalo should dominate New England again

Bet on the Bills to end their recent spread-covering struggles with a convincing win against overmatched Patriots

Buffalo Bills quarterback is 4-1 in his last five games against the New England Patriots, having accounted for 14 total touchdowns with just one interception. The AFC East rivals face off Thursday night in New England. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Buffalo Bills quarterback is 4-1 in his last five games against the New England Patriots, having accounted for 14 total touchdowns with just one interception. The AFC East rivals face off Thursday night in New England. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)Read moreNic Antaya / Getty Images

There was a time when the Buffalo Bills couldn’t have defeated the New England Patriots with the 1985 Chicago Bears defense, the 1999 St. Louis Rams offense and Vince Lombardi on the sidelines.

And that time lasted … a long time.

From December 2000 through the 2019 season, the Bills went 4-35 against the Patriots, including 2-17 in New England.

Then Tom Brady fled Foxborough, Josh Allen came of age in Buffalo and just like that, the Bills flipped the script on their AFC East rivals. In fact, they’ve defeated the Pats as many times in the last two seasons as they did in the previous two decades.

Buffalo’s 4-1 record against New England since the start of 2020 includes back-to-back road victories by a combined score of 71-30.

Now the Bills head back to Foxborough for Thursday Night Football looking to do something they haven’t done since 1992-94: win three straight times at Gillette Stadium. Oddsmakers believe that’s likely to happen, as Buffalo is a 4-point road favorite.

Our opinion of that number? It seems short. Here’s our Bills vs. Patriots prediction for the Week 13 opener.

Note: Odds updated as of 6 p.m. ET on Nov. 30.

Bills vs. Patriots Prediction

Bills -3.5 (at BetMGM)

Bills vs. Patriots Prediction: Analysis

Something seems off with Buffalo — and it’s not just Allen’s ailing throwing elbow.

After going 4-0 in October with impressive road wins (Baltimore and Kanas City) and two double-digit home victories (Pittsburgh and Green Bay), the Bills have regressed.

It started with blown leads in shocking upset losses to the Jets on the road (20-17) and Vikings at home (33-30 in overtime). Then a Buffalo blizzard forced the Bills to travel to Detroit to face the Browns, and they slogged through the first half before eventually pulling away for a 31-23 victory.

Four days later, Buffalo was back in Detroit for its Thanksgiving Day game against the Lions and needed a 45-yard field goal at the buzzer to escape with a 28-25 victory as a 9.5-point chalk.

Going back to the Packers game — which they won 27-17 as a 10.5-point home favorite — the Bills have covered just once in their last five outings. That was against Cleveland, which was an 8-point underdog. Had the Browns scored one more point, Buffalo would be in the midst of an 0-5 ATS slide.

Despite that — and despite the Bills being away from home for the fourth time in five weeks — we’re laying the points Thursday night. The primary reason: While the Patriots were a bad matchup for the Bills throughout the Brady era, the opposite is now true.

And it all starts with Allen.

» READ MORE: Eagles among early favorites in matchup with Titans during Week 13 NFL slate

In his last five games against New England — including a 47-17 wild-card playoff victory in January — the Bills’ quarterback has put up the following numbers: 104-for-156 passing (66.7%) for 1,241 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception, plus 227 rushing yards and another TD.

During this stretch, Allen has been sacked just three times. And two of those came in last year’s 14-10 home loss, when the Patriots had one big play (64-yard TD run) and attempted just three passes during a game contested in howling winds that produced a single-digit wind chill.

We know what you’re thinking: New England’s defense is much improved this season.

Sure, the overall stats back that up. The Patriots rank in the top nine in sacks (2nd), total defense (4th), scoring defense (6th), passing defense (9th), rushing defense (9th) and takeaways (9th).

But those rankings are mostly the product of facing a bunch of below-average to downright-incompetent quarterbacks.

Here’s what we mean: New England allowed an average of 8.7 points against the Jets’ Zach Wilson (twice), the Colts’ Sam Ehlinger, the Browns’ Jacoby Brissett, the Lions’ Jared Goff and the Steelers’ Mitchell Trubisky. The Pats went 6-0 SU and 5-0-1 ATS in those contests.

However, in five games against Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa, Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, Chicago’s Justin Fields and Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins, New England gave up an average of 30 points and went 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS.

Tagovailoa is the second-most accurate passer in the NFL. Jackson (a former MVP) and Fields are run/pass dual threats. Rodgers is Rodgers. And Cousins is a veteran who ranks seventh in passing yards this season.

What is Allen? A mostly accurate veteran and MVP candidate who is dangerous with both his arm and his legs, and who enters Week 13 ranked second in the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns.

Now, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t concerned about Allen’s recent uptick in turnovers. He has seven interceptions in his last five games, including several in the red zone.

We also are a bit worried about Buffalo’s defense, which lost pass-rushing beast Von Miller (knee) last week. Thanks in part to Allen’s miscues, that defense has allowed an average of 27 points the last three games after surrendering 14.8 points in the first eight contests.

Still, we’re betting on Allen returning to form Thursday. And we also don’t think the Bills’ D will have any issues slowing down Mac Jones and the Pats’ pedestrian offense.

So lay the points with confidence — and don’t be shocked if Buffalo blows out New England by double digits for the fourth time in the last five meetings.

Bills vs. Patriots odds (via BetMGM)

  1. Point spread: Bills (-3.5) @ Patriots (+3.5)

  2. Moneyline: Bills (-190) @ Patriots (+155)

  3. Total: 43.5 points

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.