NFL Thanksgiving Player Prop Picks: New Orleans Saints vs. Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are going down to Louisiana to take on the New Orleans Saints in a Thursday Night primetime Thanksgiving showdown. Both squads lost in miserable fashion in Week 11, so a win would be a massive development for each team’s outlook this season. The Saints are entering the game with the NFL’s best rushing defense, but how will that affect Buffalo’s offensive attack?
I’ll be diving into my favorite player prop from this Thanksgiving battle on NBC. Let’s hit it!
New Orleans Saints vs. Buffalo Bills Best Bet
Josh Allen Over 35.5 Pass Attempts (-114) - FanDuel
The Buffalo Bills are one of the NFL’s pass-happiest offenses. This isn’t a new trend, either. Buffalo now ranks inside the top 10 in pass rate in back-to-back seasons. They threw on 62% of their offensive snaps in 2020 and are throwing on 61% of their snaps in 2021.
Josh Allen lets the ball fly as much as almost any quarterback in the league. His 38.2 pass attempts per game rank fourth in the NFL, behind only Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, and Justin Herbert. It’s become quite clear over the last two years that Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll wants Allen to be dropping back to pass as much as possible.
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Game-script doesn’t change Buffalo’s pass-happy philosophy, either. While most teams play more conservatively and run the ball more while holding a lead, that’s where Buffalo zags. Their 58% pass rate when in a tied game or holding the lead ranks sixth in the NFL (Buffalo ranked third in pass rate when leading in 2020). So, the fact that the Bills are 6.5-point favorites on Thursday night shouldn’t scare you off of this one. Additionally, the Bills have only thrown more in recent weeks. Allen has thrown 35+ times in four of Buffalo’s last five games, averaging 39.8 attempts per game during this stretch.
The matchup with New Orleans is a perfect one for the over on this prop. It’s nearly impossible to find any success running the ball against this stout Saints front. New Orleans is allowing the least yards per carry of any team in the NFL this season, and it’s not particularly close. The 3.4 yards per carry that opponents have posted against the Saints smokes the next-best 3.8 YPC allowed by the Buccaneers. New Orleans’ rush defense also ranks first in expected points contributed.
I’m expecting the Bills to lean on the pass as they usually do, but potentially even harder this week in order to navigate around the league’s top rushing defense.
Buffalo’s offense running into this stout New Orleans front is the perfect match for a Josh Allen-centric gameplan in a must-win game for Buffalo if they have any interest in winning their division. Look for Allen to approach, and possibly surpass the 40-attempt plateau in New Orleans on the night of Thanksgiving.