BILLS @ PATRIOTS NFL WEEK 17 PREVIEW: SAT. DEC 21st – 430pm/EST
TWO OF THE NFL’S BEST DEFENSES FACE OFF ON A RARE SATURDAY EVENING IN WEEK 17 RIVALRY GAME IN FOXBORO!
LAS VEGAS BETTING ODDS: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-6 1/2) vs. BUFFALO BILLS ~ TOTAL: (37) — 4:30PM/EST
BUFFALO BILLS (##22) OFFENSE ~ (135 RUSH, 201 PASS) vs. NEW ENGLAND PATS (#1) DEFENSE ~ (98 RUSH, 170 PASS allowed)!
NEW ENGLAND PATS (#17) OFFENSE ~ (102 RUSH, 248 PASS) vs. BUFFALO BILLS (#3) DEFENSE ~ (102 RUSH, 190 PASS allowed)!
BUFFALO BILLS (9-4-1) ATS ~ TOTALS: (3 OVERS, 11 UNDER’S) *** NEW ENGLAND PATS (8-6) ~ TOTALS: (5 OVERS, 9 UNDER’S)
Well folks we have two weeks left in this NFL season and the Surprise team of the year other than the Ravens is easily the Bills as they are still in contention to take the AFC East Title from the 11 straight years Title holder, the New England Patriots. The Bills secured a Playoff berth last week with huge road win at Pittsburgh and so the big pressure off coming into this game, one of both teams final two games. The Patriots beat the Bills earlier this season 16-10, but the Bills had a huge (375-224) yards advantage in that loss. The Patriots got a blocked Punt TD, one rushing TD and one FG and no Tom Brady TD’s. The Pats picked off young Bills QB Josh Allen 3x, ending drives with a bad turnover. The Bills are the only team to ever shut out the Pats at Gillette Stadium, doing it 16-0 a few years ago when Brady was suspended. The Patriots have beaten the Bills the last 6 meetings. The last 3 meetings have all gone “UNDER” the total.
The Patriots Defense started season looking to break every record in the books as they manhandled a weak overall schedule. They lead the league with 25 Interceptions. The Pats Defense has allowed only (12.9) points per game. The Defense has needed to be great this season as the Offense isn’t really clicking like it always has. I mean did you ever think you would see the Pats Offense led by GOAT QB Tom Brady not only not in Top 10 in NFL rankings on Offense, but not even in top half the entire league? I mean #17 best Offense with some of the crappy/bad teams they faced is truly a sign this Offense just may never take it back to it’s normal near best in league stuff. The Bills overall team seems to have improved in every area, but the Defense has been just as good really as this loaded Pats Defense and it’s #3 ranking is very justifiable. They allow only 4 yards more rushing per game than the Pats “D” and only 20 yards more per game passing.
This Bills team have been true ROAD WARRIORS this season as they are (6-1) straight up and playing now their final Road game all season. They allow only (15.9) points per game this season on Defense, keeping the team really in every game but one (@ Philly). The Bills have Road wins by 1, 14, 7, 17, 11 and 7 points. Five wins by a TD or more by any team on the Road is off charts type stuff. The Bills only Road loss was to the Browns (19-16).
The Patriots at Home this season will be coming off a tremendously RARE loss as they simply got whooped in every phase losing to the Chiefs (23-17) in a game that wasn’t even that close. The Pats did win their other 5 Home games straight up (33-3, 30-14, 35-14, 27-13, and 13-9). They have played 2 UNDER’S and 4 OVER’S at Gillette Stadium this year.
The Patriots big home win streak did end vs. the Chiefs a few weeks ago, but their Defense streak of not allowing an opposing QB to pass for 300 or more yards sits at 23 straight regular season games. The Pats “D” has allowed a league low 16 TD’s (6 rush/10 pass). They are stifling on 3rd downs, allowing only 23% on season (40-172 tries) = #1 in NFL.
I am very critical of many QB’s but less of younger ones as it takes a good amount of starts for a young QB to learn the full ropes. I had written the other day one of most improved players in CFB was Navy QB Perry. He went out and had game of his life vs. Army with 300+ rush yards. Well I feel same about young Bills QB Josh Allen. His numbers don’t scream out SUPERSTAR. And he still isn’t one. In the first meeting he made bad reads and got picked 3x and cost his team a chance to win. But this kid is fearless. He leads all QB’s with 9 rush TD’s and to beat the Pats you MUST be able to steal some first downs when plays just aren’t there to be made. Allen does that as he will run for first downs when badly needed. He keeps the chains moving. He is improving leaps and bounds every week. Like Perry of Navy, he must play his best game of the season Saturday to get the big WIN. I like Allen as he’s not been fading to the pressure later in games. In fact it’s the opposite. He has 8 TD’s and 0 Interceptions in the 4th quarter, with 5 times either tied or trailing in the 4th quarter where he led his team to a comeback win. Since that not very memorable loss to the Pats earlier and his 3 picks, he’s only thrown 2 Interceptions (9 games).
Look we all know Pats QB Brady is the best ever. But let’s not give the middle finger to the truth/facts this year. He passed for only 150 yards in that first meeting vs. a very good Bills Defense. He’s passed the ball for 55% or less in 5 straight games. The Pats Offense is simply no longer elite and they have scored 22 points or less in 5 of their last 6 games. Now the Pats Offense faces a Bills Defense getting just better and better. The Bills Defense has allowed only the Ravens (24) to score over 20 points it’s last 7 games. In fact the past 7 games they allowed only 14 points per game average. Remember this too, they did lose the first meeting to Brady and Company, but the Defense allowed only 10 points.
KEY TRENDS OR BETTING NOTES:
1). BILLS HEAD COACH S. McDERMOTT: Is (0-5) Straight up vs. Patriots since taking over as HC of Bills. Looking for first win ever here Saturday and boy what a win #1 it would be.
2). PATS HEAD COACH B. BELICHICK: Has swept the Bills 14x since taking over as HC in 2000. This win would be 15 sweeps vs. the Bills.
3). PATS QB TOM BRADY: 69 TD Passes and 11 (300+) Passing Yard games vs. Bills is his most ever vs. any opponent.
4). BUFFALO BILLS: Have played their last 4 games this season “UNDER” and 6 of last 7 overall this season have gone “UNDER”.
5). BUFFALO BILLS DEFENSE: Has allowed over 22 points only twice all season (24 to Ravens, 31 to Eagles).
6). NEW ENGLAND PATS SPECIAL TEAMS: Has 4 blocked Punts this season (#1) and one was vs. Bills earlier this season and it went for a TD.
We are really lucky to get to see this game on Saturday this week as it’s truly the best game of the week outside the Monday Night game between Packers and Vikings. To think the Bills may be able to tie up the Patriots with just one week to go in the 2019 regular season with a win here shows what a great job Bills HC McDermott has done and how young QB Allen has learned to limit mistakes, let his loaded Defense do it’s thing and turn what used to be losses into wins and a Playoff berth. I don’t like anything I see about this Pats Offense of late, as it’s truly struggling badly and I could never lay a TD with the way the Offense is committing penalties and how poor Brady looks. It’s gonna be frigid cold when this game starts and colder as it plays out and we get to witness two of the 3 Best Defenses in the NFL. I can’t imagine a passing duel by these two QB’s. The Bills played that first loss to the Pats without it’s stud RB D. Singletary, but he will suit up Saturday and be a nice added weapon. The Bills have to run the ball well and will surely not look to pass much unless they get down 2 scores. This will be the ultimate chess match where neither HC takes too many chances early. Punt when needed to push the other Offense back as far as possible. Force longer sustained drives. Can the Pats block another big Punt? This game may well be won by Special teams big play or Defensive score. I am not a big Under betting guy and I bet my biggest play last week Under 37 in the Steelers/Bills game. In what was a stone cold nailed pick handicap wise, a last second pass into the end zone by Steelers QB Hodges gets completed and that 37 Under win almost surely gets me a push at best in OT, and likely a loss. I lean hard to the Under 37 as I just don’t expect this to be the week Brady breaks out.
Enjoy the games and a really loaded NFL week 17 as we see some games likely decide who wins their Divisions. Be careful to think anyone out of Playoffs is an easy “BET AGAINST” as they are actually over 50% over the past few seasons. This year more bad teams than good ones anyway. This Pats/Bills game though is two “SUPER LIVE” teams playing for something really big. That’s my favorite games to bet.
Happy Holidays to all my daily readers and may all your wagers this Holiday season be WINNING ones.