AFC Wild Card Playoffs Patriots vs Bills

AFC Wild Card Playoffs: Patriots vs Bills | NFL Betting Analysis & Predictions

For just the second time ever, the rival New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills will meet in the postseason as they square off in a Wild-Card game Saturday night from what is going to be an extremely cold Buffalo with the Bills favored on the NFL odds.

How to Bet Patriots at Bills NFL Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 8:15 PM ET
  • Where: Highmark Stadium
  • TV: CBS
  • Radio: http://www.siriusxm.com/nfl
  • Stream Option: Paramount+
  • Opening NFL Lines: Bills -4 (total 44)

Season Series

In Week 13, the Patriots won in Buffalo 14-10 on a Monday night in extremely bad conditions with snow and heavy winds. New England QB Mac Jones completed just two of three pass attempts for 19 yards. Damien Harris scored on a 64-yard run in an outing the Patriots out-gained Buffalo 222 to 99 in yards rushing. Buffalo had just 230 yards offense. Tyler Bass missed a 34-yard attempt wide right into the wind in a game the Bills managed 10 points on four drives inside the New England’s 20.

In Week 16 at New England, the Bills won 33-21 as Josh Allen threw for three scores and cornerback Micah Hyde made two interceptions. The Bills never trailed and had no punts or turnovers. Jones was 14 of 32 passing for 145 yards and two interceptions.

Why Bet on New England?

The Patriots lost for the third time in four games Sunday, 33-24, but New England wouldn’t have won the AFC East even with a win because Buffalo won. The Patriots have played in wild-card games before under Bill Belichick — but had never been to the playoffs in the Belichick era as a wild card. All 17 of the previous playoff appearances in his years there have come after a division title.

Rookie QB Mac Jones completed 20-of-30 passes for 261 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Jones was pick-sixed on his first throw of the game. Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard read Jones looking for a shallow completion on third down and jumped the pass. After that dreadful play, Jones had a solid night. In the Patriots’ seven-game win streak, Jones threw nine touchdown passes and two interceptions. In the four games since, he has six touchdown passes, five interceptions and a costly lost fumble.

Jones became the first rookie quarterback to lead his team to the playoffs since Dak Prescott in 2016. Jones led all rookies this season in completion percentage (67.6), passing yards (3,801), touchdown passes (22) and passer rating (92.5). He is bidding to become just the fourth rookie quarterback since 2000 and first since Russell Wilson in 2012 to go on the road and win his first NFL postseason start.

The Patriots ranked second in the league with 24 rushing touchdowns this season, including 15 rushing touchdowns from running back Damien Harris, tied for the second-most in the NFL this season. Harris is listed as questionable for this game but expected to play.

New England placed cornerback Jalen Mills on the reserve/COVID list on Tuesday. This doesn’t officially rule him out of Saturday’s game, but it does open the possibility that the team could be without their starter opposite J.C. Jackson. Third-year CB Joejuan Williams would be one candidate to step in if Mills is out

Jackson led the NFL with a career-high 23 passes defensed, including eight interceptions. Jackson, who has 25 career interceptions, became the fourth player in the Super Bowl era to record 25-or-more interceptions in his first four seasons.

Saturday’s game marks the seventh time in team history that the Patriots will play a division foe in the postseason and the first time since the 2010 season. The Patriots are 5-1 in those games.

Why Bet on Buffalo?

The Bills won the AFC East with a 27-10 victory over the Jets on Sunday, Buffalo’s fourth straight win. The defense limited the Jets to a franchise-low 53 yards of total offense, and Cam Lewis even blocked a punt. Buffalo’s defense led the way by setting a franchise record in limiting New York to generating four first downs and sacking rookie Zach Wilson nine times, the most by Buffalo since getting 10 in a 23-0 win over Washington on Oct. 20, 2011.

Josh Allen completed 24-of-45 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns, rushing five times for 63 yards. Allen became the first player in franchise history to pass for 4,000 yards in consecutive seasons. With six rushing touchdowns this season, he also became the first quarterback ever with six-or-more rushing touchdowns in each of his first four seasons.

Stefon Diggs caught 9-of-14 targets for 81 yards and a touchdown. Diggs actually opened the game with a 10-yard touchdown on Buffalo’s first drive. Diggs’ 14 targets tied Gabriel Davis’ total for the team lead, seeing 13 targets for the third time in his last five games. Diggs is one of two NFL players with 1,000-or-more receiving yards and at least six touchdown catches in each of the past four seasons, joining Mike Evans.

Fellow WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee) does not have an injury designation for Sunday’s game. He has practiced in full after sitting out Weeks 17-18. He finished the regular season with 42 receptions, 626 yards and four touchdowns while starting 13 of 14 games in 2021.

Devin Singletary rushed 19 times for 88 yards and one score, hauling in both of his targets for 24 yards and a receiving touchdown in Buffalo win over the Jets. Buffalo’s run game has found traction and been productive with the second-most rushing yards in the league (636) and the seventh highest yards per carry average over the final month of the season (4.82).

Sean McDermott has led the Bills to playoff appearances in four of his five seasons as an NFL head coach, including consecutive AFC East titles, the team’s first division crowns since 1995. His 2021 club was the only team in the NFL to finish in the top five in both total offense (381.9 yards per game, fifth) and total defense (272.8 yards allowed per game, first).

Along with the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo is one of just two teams to finish among the top six in schedule-adjusted EPA on both offense and defense.

Game Trends

  • Patriots are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 playoff games.
  • Patriots are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff road games.
  • Bills are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
  • Bills are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. AFC East.
  • Patriots are 15-3 ATS in their last 18 meetings in Buffalo.

Expert Prediction

  • Bills 23, Patriots 16
 
 

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