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Bills vs. Patriots predictions: Four prop bets for Thursday Night Football

New England QB Jones will struggle to pile up air yards, but Bills QB Allen should do damage with his legs

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones throws a pass against the Minnesota Vikings during last week's Thanksgiving game. Jones, who had a season-high 382 passing yards in Minnesota, is projected to throw for fewer than 230 yards Thursday night at home against Buffalo. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones throws a pass against the Minnesota Vikings during last week's Thanksgiving game. Jones, who had a season-high 382 passing yards in Minnesota, is projected to throw for fewer than 230 yards Thursday night at home against Buffalo. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)Read moreDavid Berding / Getty Images

If the calendar says it’s December and Bills vs. Patriots props are on the betting board, your most prudent first move should be to consult your favorite weather app.

As it happens, a rainstorm packed with gale-force winds blew through Foxborough, Mass., on Wednesday. Dry conditions and mild breezes followed the storm, and those conditions are expected to hold for Thursday night’s AFC East clash.

However, frigid air also was left behind, and temperatures are expected to be barely above freezing at kickoff and dip from there.

Still, Buffalo and New England are used to playing in chilly conditions. So weather should have little impact on the game — and little impact on our four pack of Bills vs. Patriots props predictions.

Note: Odds updated as of 3 a.m. ET on Dec. 1.

Bills vs. Patriots prop bet: Mac Jones total passing yards

  1. Odds: 229.5, Over -115/Under -120 (at BetMGM)

  2. Prediction: Under

Jones is coming off his best passing game of his sophomore campaign. Facing the Vikings on Thanksgiving night, the Patriots went 28-for-39 for 382 yards and two touchdowns — all season highs.

Now Jones goes up against a once-stout Bills secondary that has gotten roughed up lately. In the last three weeks, Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins (357 yards), Cleveland’s Jacoby Brissett (324) and Detroit’s Jared Goff (240) have eclipsed this prop number.

Also, Pittsburgh rookie Kenny Pickett (327 yards, mostly in garbage time in Week 5) and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes (338 in Week 6) had success through the air against Buffalo.

However, this should be a get-right game for the Bills’ pass defense. For one thing, we expect New England coach Bill Belichick to run the ball early and often to keep the pigskin away from Buffalo’s explosive offense and shorten the game.

And when Belichick does let Jones pass, history suggests he won’t fare too well. Even if you discount Jones’ first start against the Bills in Week 13 last season — when he only threw three passes in blustery conditions in Buffalo — he went a combined 38-for-80 for 377 yards in two ugly losses at home (Week 15) and in Buffalo (playoff game).

Finally, here were Jones’ passing totals in cold-weather games during his rookie season: 198 (vs. Cleveland in Week 10); 310 (vs. Tennessee in Week 12); 19 (at Buffalo in Week 13); 145 (vs. Buffalo in Week 16); 227 (vs. Jacksonville in Week 17 last year); 232 (vs. Buffalo in the playoffs).

And in three games prior to his outburst indoors at Minnesota last week, the former Alabama star passed for 194 yards (at Jets), 147 yards (vs. Colts) and 246 (vs. Jets).

Bet the under at BetMGM and look for Jones to stay south of 220 passing yards.

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

Bills vs. Patriots prop bet: Josh Allen total rushing yards

  1. Odds: 42.5 yards, Over -120/Under -110 (at BetMGM)

  2. Prediction: Over

In his first five starts against New England, Allen didn’t do a lot of damage with his legs. The Bills’ multi-talented quarterback posted modest rushing totals of 30, 26, 43, 23, 35 and 39 yards.

However, Allen galloped for 64 yards in last year’s 33-21 Week 15 victory in New England, then went for 66 yards (on just six carries) in Buffalo’s 47-17 playoff massacre at home.

Allen comes into Thursday off a 78-yard Thanksgiving Day rushing effort against Detroit. And although he ran just three times for 7 yards the previous week against Cleveland — a game also played in Detroit — Allen scampered for 84, 86 and 49 yards in the three prior games against the Vikings, Jets and Packers, respectively.

In all this season, Allen has cleared 43 rushing yards seven times in 11 contests (and one of the exceptions was a 42-yard effort in Miami). Go back to Week 15 last year against New England, and Allen has rushed for at least 47 yards in 12 of his last 16 contests (playoffs included).

Meanwhile, in their only two games against mobile QBs in 2022, the Patriots got gashed by both Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson (107 yards on 11 carries) and Chicago’s Justin Fields (82 yards on 14 carries).

Allen likely won’t approach those numbers. But 50-plus rushing yards seems very reasonable for the strong-yet-elusive QB.

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

Bills vs. Patriots prop bet: Rhamondre Stevenson total receptions

  1. Odds: 4.5, Over +100/Under -135 (at BetMGM)

  2. Prediction: Over

One thing we didn’t mention in our analysis of Jones’ passing yardage prop: His wide receivers are all kinds of banged up and/or ineffective.

Jakobi Meyers, who leads the team with 571 receiving yards and is second with 47 catches, is questionable with a shoulder injury. Fellow wideout DeVante Parker is expected to play despite a thigh issue, but he only has 21 receptions in 10 games.

And while veteran receiver Nelson Agholor had a big Thanksgiving night in Minnesota (six catches, 66 yards, one touchdown), he had been virtually nonexistent in his previous five contests (six total targets and three catches).

So it’s no wonder that Stevenson, who leads the Pats in rushing, also has a team-high 50 receptions. In the last six games, Stevenson has hauled in 37 of 43 targets, producing per-game catch totals of 4, 8, 7, 3, 6 and 9.

Now, remember our theory that Belichick is going to do whatever he can to control time of possession Thursday? Well, one way to do that is to use the passing game as an extension of the rushing attack by throwing short, safe passes to your top tailback.

It’s how The Hoody has deployed Stevenson for most of the past six weeks. We see no reason why he’d change that game plan now.

Look for Stevenson to snatch at least five balls for the third straight week and fifth time in the last six games.

Bills vs. Patriots prop bet: Stefon Diggs to score anytime touchdown

  1. Odds: +125 (at FanDuel)

Diggs might not be the best wide receiver in football, but he’s in the conversation. Because beyond raw talent, the Bills’ star has all the traits you look for in a No. 1 wideout: consistency, dependability and a great rapport with his quarterback.

That’s why Diggs ranks second in the NFL in catches (84), third in yards (1,110) and third in touchdowns (nine). Those nine TDs have been spread across seven of Buffalo’s 11 games, with Diggs hitting pay dirt in each of the last two.

Since joining the Bills prior to the 2020 season, Diggs has faced the Patriots five times. In three home games, he has 13 catches for a total of 203 yards and … zero touchdowns.

In two games at New England? 16 receptions, 226 yards and four touchdowns.

The Patriots have allowed 15 passing TDs this year, which is tied for 12th fewest in the league. However, most of the top-tier pass catchers New England has faced have found the end zone: Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, Miami’s Jaylen Waddle, Cleveland’s Amari Cooper and Baltimore tight end Mark Andrews (two).

Grab the plus money at FanDuel and bet on an Allen-to-Diggs TD connection for a third straight game.

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