When the Patriots play the Bills for a third time in the second game of the NFL playoffs in Saturday’s AFC wild-card game (8:15 p.m. ET, CBS), the teams will be looking to advance to the divisional playoffs by breaking from their split in the 2021 regular season.
Buffalo jumped to No. 3 while New England fell to No. 6 in Week 18 to create this “three-match.” The Bills will be looking to make another run with QB Josh Allen, while the Patriots will hope rookie Mac Jones can win in his first career postseason start after leading Alabama to a national championship last year.
The Bills and Patriots are two premier defenses so expect a physical game in which the yards and points should be difficult to acquire.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Patriots vs. Bills in the 2022 NFL playoffs, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for the wild-card game.
Patriots vs. Bills odds for NFL playoff game
(betting odds per FanDuel Sportsbook)
The Bills have been hovering around field-goal favorites all week. They have been playing better since beating up the Panthers in Week 15, including handling the Patriots on the road in Week 16. They have covered in four straight games since losing to the Patriots and Buccaneers back-to-back.
Patriots vs. Bills all-time series
The Patriots still have a commanding lead 77-46-1. The Bills have won have three of the past four over the last two seasons, however. The Patriots won 14-10 at Buffalo in Week 13. The Bills won at New England 33-21 in Week 16. Overall, with Bill Belichick, the Patriots have won eight of the past 11 as part of the domination.
Three trends to know
—56 percent of spread bettors are trusting more in Belichick and the Patriots to cover as road underdogs, remembeing they won straight up at Buffalo.
—64 percent of over/under bettors think the number is a little too low despite two elite scoring defenses playing in the game.
—The Patriots are 7-3 against the spread and 7-3 straight up in their past 10 games. The total has gone over in six of those games. The Bills are 5-4-1 ATS and 6-4 SU in their past 10 games with half of them going over.
Three things to watch
Jones vs. the Bills’ pass rush and secondary
Buffalo will be relentless trying to put pressure on the rookie QB and the key is forcing Jones to pass. He had no sacks or turnovers in the first meeting, but he was dropped once and threw two interceptions in the losing effort.
The running games
The Patriots will stick with powering Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson as much as possible, their successful game plan from the first meeting. But the Bills also found their feature back late in Devin Singletary. Over the past four games, he’s produced 323 yards rushing on 76 carries for 5 TDs. The team that rushes for more yards should win.
The Bills and Patriots will both be looking for big plays in the third phase to support their offense and their defense via field position. They also have two of the most reliable kickers in the league in Tyler Bass and Nick Folk. Points and yards will be at a premium, so any big help here will be huge.
Stats that matter
763 rushing yards and 6.3 rushing yards per attempt. Those are the numbers put up by Allen on the ground, first a career high and second the best mark in the league in 2021. Allen is hard to defend when he’s taking off like a freight train, either by design or off scrambles. Belichick cannot handle that wild-card nature as well. He ripped the Patriots for 64 yards in winning Week 16.
Patriots vs. Bills prediction
The Patriots often beat up on the Bills because of their great experience with Belichick and Tom Brady. But now that strength from recency belongs to Sean McDermott and Allen. given Jones’ rookie status. The Bills will keep the game in Allen’s hands and let him loose running and passing, which has worked beautifully as he’s reheated overall down the stretch. The Bills also have better overall skill support with which to survive and advance.
Bills 23, Patriots 20
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