Perhaps the hottest team in the NFL, the (5-2) New England Patriots head to Ralph Wilson Stadium to take on the (2-5) Buffalo Bills in Monday Night Football action (8:15 PM ET).
After a slow start (the Patriots went 1-2 to begin their season), fans began to question if the once vaunted dynasty still had what it took to dominate the AFC en route to another Super Bowl appearance. Over the first few games, Tom Brady looked human even, and questions began to swirl if Father Time, which he had managed to stave off recently, was finally starting to catch up. But then the Patriots went on a four-game winning streak, which started with a victory over, at the time, the AFC East divisional leading Miami Dolphins.
New England smoked them. Backed by a stellar game by Brady and his offense, as well as the New England defense which held the Dolphins to just seven points, the Patriots beat their undefeated divisional opponents 38-7. It was New England’s most dominant victory of the season but it was one they needed to silence the doubters. This was the one that showed the team was still the best in their division. The following weeks would show the team was still the best in the AFC as well, as the Patriots handed the Kansas City Chiefs their first and only loss of the 2018 season. This time, the two offenses battled it out with Brady becoming the first and so far, only QB to outduel Patrick Maholmes as his team bested the Chiefs 43-40.
For those who started to question if the Patriots had lost their mojo, this victory surely changed their minds. Following the win over the Chiefs, New England went on to defeat another strong team in the Chicago Bears to bring their record to 5-2, good enough for first place in the AFC East. It was also their fourth victory in a row, a streak the Patriots bring into Monday night’s AFC showdown against the Bills.
As far as those Bills, 2018 has not been kind to Buffalo save for a few brief instances. Buffalo opened their season with a demoralizing 47-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens before dropping a second to the Los Angeles Chargers, also by double digits. The team shocked the world when they followed those losses up by defeating the Minnesota Vikings in dominant fashion, 27-6. It led many to question if the team would be able to turn things around for the rest of the season. Then the Bills got shut out by the Green Bay Packers, a game which further demonstrated Buffalo’s status. While the Bills did win their next game against the Tennessee Titans, Buffalo went on to lose back-to-back against the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts, the latter of which came in definitive fashion (the score was 37-5).
All-time, the Bills are just 43-71-1 against the Patriots including a record of just 3-26 in their last 29 games. No matter how you try to interpret that, those numbers aren’t great. In fact, they are downright awful. No matter at home or on the road, the Patriots have had Buffalo’s number dating all the way back to the early 2000s. That’s a pattern that doesn’t seem like it will be changing anytime soon given the way New England has started to play as of late.
The Patriots are in the top-10 of the NFL in yards per game but just top-15 in both passing yards per game and rushing yards per game. But if you are questioning those middle of the pack numbers and wondering why New England has started to surge, look no further than their points per game. The Patriots rank fourth in the NFL in points per game with an average of 30.6. That is second best in the AFC, behind only, you guessed it, the Chiefs, who average 37.1 points per game. Brady has been an average QB at best in this his 19th season, but he has also had a patchwork group of receivers that once again, he has brought to a level of NFL success. For the first several weeks, Brady led the New England offense without its top gunner in Julian Edelman. Now that Edelman is back, he joins Josh Gordon and of course Rob Gronkowski, which make up for quite the formidable pass catching unit for Brady. As he has shown his whole career, Brady is a guy who can turn garbage into gold, elevating less-than top tier receivers into guys vying for Pro Bowl selections. That’s part of the reason why the Patriots are perennially in the Super Bowl conversation and why, as of right now, they are pegged for a showdown with the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game.
Our Preview’s New England Patriots vs Buffalo Bills Picks & Betting Predictions Verdict
Under any normal circumstance it is tough to bet against the Patriots but this is not a normal circumstance. That’s because the Patriots, for the first time this season, will have their full complement of offensive weapons, something that should only serve to boost Brady’s numbers and help him have perhaps his best game of the year. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that the future Hall of Famer is really good when he is playing in Buffalo.
Turning to our New England Patriots vs Buffalo Bills predictions, what’s tough about this one is the massive spread that New England is favored by. Our prediction no doubt has the Patriots coming out on the winning end of things but by how much is a much harder question to answer.
When looking at the two teams and their previous games the Bills have lost by over 14 points three times and the Patriots have won by that margin just two times. So, it’s hard to necessarily place that much faith in the lofty and NFL-high of the week, the generally 14-point spread with the USA sports betting firms. That being said, the Patriots have beat the Bills by 14+ in three of the teams’ last four games, suggesting that their dominance over Buffalo is no fluke.
- This Patriots vs Bills preview’s pick is to take the Patriots -13.5pts @ -110 with BetOnline.
- Pick the over 44 total points to be scored @ -110 with Intertops or BetOnline. The over/under is a fraction higher elsewhere.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB, NBA & 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.