When the Patriots (8-4) travel to take on the Bills (7-4) to close Week 13 in the NFL on “Monday Night Football” (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN, ESPN2) they will be looking to build on their newfound old-school status as the would-be No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff picture. The Patriots will be hoping for a big road win to take control of the division down the stretch, while the Bills would like to get on track to repeat in the East.
There’s pressure on one-time MVP candidate Josh Allen to outduel rookie first-rounder Mac Jones at quarterback. Bill Belichick will create a high degree of difficulty with his defense, while Jones steps into a hostile environment with the scheming of Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazer working against him.
The feels like a classic, tight low-scoring December game between two bitter AFC East rivals with plenty on the line.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Patriots vs. Bills in Week 13, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for “Monday Night Football.”
Patriots vs. Bills odds for Monday Night Football
- Spread: Bills by 2.5
- Over/under: 41
- Moneyline: Patriots +122, Bills -144
The Bills have been hovering basic home-field favorites against their red-hot division rivals. The Patriots have been building some offensive momentum to get closer to the Bills’ level, but the low total is tied to two elite defenses on every level.
(betting odds per FanDuel Sportsbook)
Patriots vs. Bills all-time series
The Patriots have a commanding lead of 76-45-1 tied to the Bill Belichick era. The Bills swept the meetings last season Before then, the Patriots had won seven in a row going back to 2016. Before then, the Patriots had won 9 of 11. The Bills are hoping the tide will stayed turned for a while.
Three trends to know
—59 percent of spread bettors are siding with the home-standing Bills given the low number and essential pick-’em equivalent game.
—A little more than 50 percent of spread bettors like the slight over in the game given just how low it is for two good teams with a fair share of offensive playmakers.
—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 6-3-1 against the spread in the past 10 games to back up their strong 7-3 SU record. Half of those games have gone over.
Three things to watch
What will be the Patriots’ “one thing”? they take away from the Bills?
New England should notice that Allen has been very dependent on wide receiver Stefon Diggs and tight Dawson Knox when things have been working best for their offense of late. They should protect against the deep ball and hope that cornerback J.C. Jackson can contain Diggs while they use a combination of back seven coverages of Knox. The Patriots should want to dare the Bills to run often with Allen and others to win.
How will no Tre’Davious White affect the Bills’ defense?
The Patriots will be aware to attack downfield the cornerback spot vacated by White, who is missing his first game while out for the season with a torn ACL. Levi Wallace and Taron Johnson have been good complementary cover men, but White is a shutdown type. Expect the Patriots to use red-hot wide receiver Kendrick Bourne more on the outside to help Jones.
Will the Bills be willing to run a lot more to win?
The Bills are asking for trouble to get pass-happy against Belichick who has the pass rush and cover men to contain that all over the field. In addition to designed scrambles from Allen, the Bills need to commit more to the traditional rushing attack, now led by veteran Matt Breida. The Bills need to keep the Patriots honest and allow the big plays to develop organically off play-action.
Stat that matters
96.6. That’s how many average rushing yards per game the Bills’ defense gives up, putting them No. 6 in the NFL going into Week 13. That also includes two big anomalies, a 143-yard rushing effort from Derrick Henry and an 185-yard pounding from Jonathan Taylor. They have a strong front and active linebackers, who should make sledding tough on Damien Harris and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson.
Patriots vs. Bills prediction
The Patriots will come in confident with their quest to take back the AFC East, but the Bills will come out as the more desperate team at home knowing wins, period, are needed to secure at least an AFC wild card. Buffalo will match the toughness of New England and Allen will make a few more plays when things break down than Jones will.
Bills 23, Patriots 19