Patriots vs Bills Preview & Free Pick [December 6th 2021]

New England (8-4) at Buffalo (7-4)
When: Monday, December 6th 2021
Where: Highmark Stadium,
Orchard Park, NY
Time: 8:15 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Buffalo -3.5/46

The end of Week 13 gives us what is probably the best Monday night matchup of the season as the New England Patriots visit the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, NY. This will mark the first of two – possibly three including the postseason – meetings between these teams who are vying to win the AFC East. Early in the season, it appeared the Bills were going to runaway with this division and were heavy betting favorites to do so. A lot has changed since. Buffalo has struggled to find consistency, trading wins and losses since early October, while the Patriots are the hottest team in the league. Buffalo is not coming off a bye, but they will have had 11 days of rest since their 31-6 win at New Orleans on Thanksgiving night. That win followed a 41-15 loss at home to Indianapolis, which followed a 45-17 at the New York Jets. The game before that, Buffalo lost 9-6 at the Jacksonville Jaguars. Like I said, very inconsistent.


The Patriots have been consistently good since a 35-29 home loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 17. New England has won each of their last six games to take over first place by a half-game over the Bills. Defense has been the key as New England has allowed 13 points or less in four of those wins including a 36-13 win over Tennessee last weekend. The Patriots will go into their bye next week and play at Indianapolis the following Sunday night. New England has dominated the Bills for many years thanks to Tom Brady, covering the spread in 14 of their last 17 trips to Orchard Park. However, the Bills took both meetings in 2020 while the Patriots were experimenting with Cam Newton. Buffalo is 2.5-point favorites in this contest with a total of 44 points.

Not only has New England won six in a row, but they have covered the spread in each one of them with rather easy wins. QB Mac Jones threw for a career-high 310 yards vs. Tennessee with two TDs and no picks as the running game stalled. Rookie rusher Rhamondre Stevenson, who has led the team in rushing in each of the last four games, had just 46 yards on nine carries. Defensively, cornerback JC Jackson is making a push for NFL Defensive Player of the Year as he had his seventh interception of the season Sunday. He is the first player since Richard Sherman (2012-13) to record at least seven interceptions in consecutive seasons. The Patriots’ defense has allowed 316.7 total yards per game this season, good for fourth-best in the NFL. They also lead the league in points allowed at 15.8 per contest. Leading tackler Kyle Dugger landed on the Covid list on Wednesday after running back J.J. Taylor was added to it on Monday. Dugger has 80 tackles and three interceptions this season.

Buffalo is coming off an impressive win with Josh Allen throwing two touchdowns, but also two picks. He has thrown seven interceptions in the past four games, signaling a little regression from last year’s break-out season. It’s the first time in his career that Allen has thrown at least one pick in four straight games. Buffalo won both meetings with New England last season – a narrow 24-21 home win in Week 8 before rolling to a 38-9 rout at New England on a Monday night in Week 16 behind Allen’s 320 yards and four TDs. All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White suffered a season-ending knee injury in last week’s win. White allowed a 50.8 completion percentage and 58.9 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks, both fourth best among defensive backs with 50-plus targets this season. Buffalo ranks first in the league in total yards allowed (275.2 per game) and is second in points allowed (16.5). Head coach Sean McDermott said Thursday that it was too soon to tell if left guard Jon Feliciano, tackle Spencer Brown and defensive tackle Star Lotulelei will be ready to play by Monday. Brown and Lotulelei were recently removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

This should be a great atmosphere in Buffalo Monday night and I like the home team. The Bills finally got the season sweep a year ago and Allen was solid in both. These are two of the best defenses in the league right now, so expect a low scoring game. I’m taking the Bills as my side pick, but I like the under better. This will be a playoff atmosphere.

Pick: UNDER 41
Week 13 Staff Selections