NFL Picks: Bet Patriots Over Bills Monday Night Before Line Rises

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 1:13 PM GMT

We saw an unbeaten team get stunned at home on MNF Week 10, might it happen again this Monday when Buffalo visits Super Bowl favorite New England? The Pats are -7 on NFL odds with a total of 48.5.

Upset Here And Bills In Good Playoff Shape
Were the playoffs to start today, the Bills (5-4), who have the longest playoff drought in the NFL, would hold the AFC's final wild-card spot. That's courtesy of a 22-17 win at the New York Jets last Thursday night in Coach Rex Ryan's first game against his former team. The Buffalo offense had only 280 yards and 13 first downs, but the special teams unit got a 19-yard fumble return for a touchdown off a muffed Jets kickoff return. Bills rookie running back Karlos Williams had a 26-yard TD reception, becoming the second player in league history with a touchdown in each of his first six games. The Bills rushed 33 times for 148 yards, the most rushing yards the Jets have allowed this season.

The Bills nearly gagged away a 22-3 third-quarter lead, but the defense made a fourth-quarter goal-line stand and then picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick to clinch the win. Star defensive end Mario Williams played sparingly in the first quarter and didn't play after that due to illness. He should be fine here. Buffalo won its first prime-time road game in 14 years, snapping an eight-game losing streak that dated to 2001.

Buffalo's playoff probability jumped to approximately 47 percent with the win; it would have been only 18 percent with a loss. Including this game, four of the Bills' next five are on the road (at Chiefs, Eagles, Redskins). But they are 3-0 in road games in America this year; Buffalo lost as the "road" team in London to Jacksonville.

While Ryan said plenty about the Jets leading up to that game and plenty leading up to facing New England in Week 2, he is staying humble so far this week, saying the Patriots are "arguably the best team in football right now" and have "the best offense in the league, with the best quarterback."

The Bills are 5-4 against the spread on NFL odds and 5-4 'over/under.'

 

16-0 Looking More And More Possible For Pats
New England (9-0) was pushed to the absolute limit last week by the New York Giants -- the G-Men seem to have the Pats' number -- but escaped with a 27-26 victory on a 54-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski with one second left. If not for some questionable clock management on the previous drive the by the Giants, who settled for a chip-shot field goal, the Patriots probably don't win. Also, a 5-yard pass to Odell Beckham Jr. on New York's final drive was originally called a touchdown, then reversed by review.

New York left Tom Brady with too much time. The Patriots scored in all four quarters and now have scored in an NFL-record 35 straight quarters overall -- the only one they haven't this season was the first quarter of Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh. Brady continued his march toward a third NFL MVP Award by throwing for 334 yards and two touchdowns, although he was picked off. Rob Gronkowski had five catches for 113 yards, including a career-long 76 yard score.

However, the news wasn't all good as receiver Julian Edelman (four catches, 53 yards) broke his foot and will miss 6-8 weeks following surgery. He had 61 catches for 692 yards and seven scores this season and also was a very good punt returner. Remember, too, the Patriots recently lost running back Dion Lewis for the season and he was a big part of the passing game too. Edelman and Lewis gave opponents matchup nightmares. Presumably Danny Amendola will fill Edelman's role. Keshawn Martin's role will probably increase now as well.

The Patriots can reach double-digit wins for the 13th consecutive season with a win vs. Buffalo. San Francisco (16 in a row) is the only other team to accomplish a stretch that long. New England is 5-3-1 ATS on NFL picks this season and 5-4 O/U.

 

Last Meeting
In Week 2, the Patriots visited the Bills and were moderately surprising 2-point underdogs but won 40-32. Brady threw for 466 yards, the second-most in his Hall of Fame career and most ever against Buffalo, along with three touchdowns. Brady improved to 24-3 against Buffalo, while the Patriots moved to 27-3 in the past 30 games against the Bills. New England took control by scoring three touchdowns in less than six minutes spanning the first and second quarters. Gronkowski had seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown while Edelman had 11 grabs for 97 yards and two scores. Lewis had six catches for 98 yards. The Pats had 507 yards of offense. Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was 23-for-30 for 242 yards, three scores and three interceptions. He also rushed for 43 yards and a score. "[Bill] Belichick outcoached me," Ryan said after. "No question about it. The plan has to be better on defense. Can't give up 500 yards and beat anybody, and then we turn it over three times."

 

NFL Wagering Analysis
I might worry this would be a letdown game for New England if it wasn't against a divisional rival. Give the 7 points before it rises to 7.5. The Bills are 1-4 ATS in their past five after an ATS win. The Patriots have covered 12 of their past 15 at home vs. teams with a winning road record. They are 5-2 ATS in their past seven on Mondays. 

NFL Pick: New England Patriots -7 (-110) at BetOnline

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