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NFL expert Mike Spector analyzes the AFC Wild Card matchup between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills.
ANALYSIS

Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots Prediction: Will Playoff Experience Carry Buffalo to Victory in the AFC Wild Card?

If you are skeptical about trilogies, it is safe to say that this third meeting between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills should be better than Godfather III. Which AFC East team will advance to the Divisional Round, and what impact will weather have on this playoff matchup? We dive into the betting angles for the Wild Card Round matchup between the Patriots and Bills.

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Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Saturday, January 15

Game Time: 8:15 pm ET

Where to Watch: CBS

Click Here for Bills vs Patriots Odds

Bills vs. Patriots INJURY REPORT

Patriots

Questionable: DT Christian Barmore, LB Dont’a Hightower, S Kyle Dugger, OT Isaiah Wynn, S Sean Davis

Out: CB Shaun Wade

Bills

Questionable: WR Emmanuel Sanders, DE Efe Obada 

Out: CB Tre’Davious White, G Ike Boettger, DT Justin Zimmer

Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots Line Movement

Bills vs. Patriots AFC Wild Card Prediction

New England is in the playoffs for the 17th time in the last 19 seasons, but the one obvious difference is they enter this postseason run with a rookie quarterback instead of the greatest quarterback of all time. 

Meanwhile, the Bills host this game on the heels of winning consecutive AFC East division titles for the first time since 1990-91. In addition, Buffalo’s offense is firing on all cylinders entering the playoffs, as they have averaged 30 points per game during their current four-game winning streak. In fact, they went two whole games in that stretch without punting, one of which was their game at New England.

The weather forecast is something all bettors will want to pay attention to throughout the week, as we saw the elements significantly impact the first two meetings between these teams in many different ways. A blustering wind in Week 13 made it impossible to throw the football, and New England relied on a ground game that ran 46 times compared to three passes to grind out a 14-10 victory. However, the elements were much more favorable for Buffalo’s passing attack in Week 16, as the Bills offense exploded for 33 points in a 12-point victory. Josh Allen threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns, both career-highs against New England, and the Bills totaled 428 yards and averaged 5.7 yards per play.

The forecast is calling for temperatures in the low 20s, but the wind is light at the moment at 10 mph. Though this may change a lot before kickoff, the early outlook on the conditions seems to favor Buffalo. 

Any quarterback will tell you that playoff football is “night and day” from the regular season. Thus, the fact that Allen is playing in his fifth playoff game while Mac Jones makes his playoff debut is a significant advantage for the Bills. In addition, the Patriots do not come into this week with a ton of momentum, as they have lost three of their last four games. Jones especially has struggled against good competition of late, averaging 235 yards per game but having a 3:5 TD:INT ratio in his previous three games against teams with a winning record. 

When Buffalo wins, they win big, as all of their 11 victories this year have come by double digits. Meanwhile, the Patriots have lost seven or more games in consecutive seasons for the first time under Bill Belichick. The air of invincibility is not there with this Belichick team. We look for Buffalo to post another convincing victory, which would be their eighth consecutive home win in January.

Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots Pick

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Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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