Closing in on their 13th straight 10-win season, the undefeated New England Patriots will host the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium for this week’s edition of Monday Night Football (8:30pm ET on ESPN).
This is the second matchup for the two AFC East divisional foes, one that once again puts head coaches Rex Ryan and Bill Bellichick against each other. Earlier this season when the teams met, Buffalo actually managed to play New England tough, losing by a one-score margin. However, their defense did allow New England to score a season high 40 points and allow Tom Brady (pictured) to throw for a season high and second best of his career, 466 yards.
There isn’t much different from that Bills team and this one and there is even less of a difference between that Patriots team and this one. For that reason, New England is once again a high favorite over the Bills, this time by a margin on the spread of circa 7.5pts with the sportsbooks.
History of Excellence
Ever since he came into the league as draft pick #199 in 2000, Tom Brady’s has been a career of excellence. He has won Super Bowl championships, MVP trophies and has been named to countless Pro Bowls. Brady has led his teams to incredible levels of success and is once again closing in on an undefeated regular season, the second in less than 10 years.
Adding to Brady’s era of greatness is his 24-3 career record when playing against Buffalo. This is the most amount of wins Brady has against any team and is the second most by a starting quarterback since the league merger of 1970.
No matter if his weapons were Marshall Faulk and Randy Moss or Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, Brady and Bellichick, the only coach he has had in his career, have been just that good at stopping their divisional rival. To be fair, the Bills haven’t exactly been good in the Brady years but still, 24-3 is pretty difficult to argue against.
Buffalo’s Ground Game keeps them Relevant
When the Bills traded with the Philadelphia Eagles in the offseason to acquire top running back Lesean McCoy, they were doing so with the intention of revamping their running game, which had suffered after an unsuccessful year behind CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson.
McCoy, who put up the second best numbers of all rushers last year, was slow to get started and was hampered a bit by a nagging hamstring. In week two, he did run for 89 yards though, a pretty respectable mark against a staunch New England rush defense. But McCoy’s best running has come as of late, with over 110 yards in each of the past two weeks, both of which have come against AFC East opponents.
But the beauty for Buffalo is that McCoy is not alone. Behind the efforts of Karlos Williams, a 22-year old rookie out of Florida State, the Bills average 3.1 yards before contact per rush, which is second to only the Pittsburgh Steelers. Additionally, the Bills have five rushing touchdowns of at least 20 yards, which is two more than any other team.
Buffalo relies on the running game to move the ball downfield and lessen the load for QB Tyrod Taylor. This season, the combination of Williams and McCoy has been lethal and has done just that. Of course, the Bills will need to do a lot in order to win on Monday but putting in a good day on the ground is certainly a good start. It’s easier said than done though, because as noted, New England has one of the best defenses against the run in the entire NFL.
New England’s “Next Man Up” Continues to Work
For years, the Patriots have been incredible in being able to stay at the top of the standings, despite going through player and roster turnover on the regular. Two guys have stayed the same and that’s Brady and Bellichick. Beyond that, it’s very much a next man up philosophy in New England and one that has worked extraordinarily well.
Against the Bills, the Patriots will once again be able to put this to the test as their two stars from the last meeting against Buffalo, Edelman and Dion Lewis, who combined for 247 of the team’s 507 total yards and scored three touchdowns, are both unable to play due to injuries.
This means someone like Danny Amendola, Legarrette Blount and of course the NFL’s leading tight end yet again, Rob Gronkowski, will be looked at to carry the production. If history is any indication, this won’t be an issue as Brady has a way of making even the most mediocre receivers look good.
Our Preview’s Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots Betting Picks
The Patriots have been the best team in the NFL this year and it really hasn’t even been close. Sure, there is one other remaining undefeated team and a few one-loss teams, but 2015 has belonged to New England. At every turn, the defending Super Bowl champions have looked as good as ever and are well on their way to more history and perhaps even a repeat performance as champion, something the league hasn’t seen in quite some time.
Leading the way is Brady, who in addition to all of his many accolades is 13-6 when playing on Monday night with 43 passing touchdowns, which trail only Brett Favre (69) and Dan Marino (74). Brady is well on his way to another MVP and with just three interceptions and 24 touchdowns, the 38-year-old is in the midst of one of the best seasons in his career.
There’s no reason to bet against New England, even if they just barely escaped with a win last week against the New York Giants. But the Giants have been Brady’s kryptonite unlike the Bills, who as noted, have won just three of 27 games against the Brady/Bellichick duo.
- So take the Patriots and take them to top the spread. We would go with the -7.5pts @ best odds of +110 with 5Dimes Sportsbook. But you can also get -7pts @ -110 with BetOnline, while Bovada are -7.5pts at evens.
- As for the total points scored in the game, you’re looking at two of the top-eight scoring teams in the NFL. So, take the over 48pts @ best betting odds of -105 with Bovada Sportsbook. 5Dimes is -110 while BetOnline is over 48.5pts @ -107.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.