Thursday, December 1
8:15 p.m. ET
Amazon Prime Video
|Moneyline||-198 / +166|
|Odds via FanDuel.|
Week 13 begins with an AFC East rivalry, with Bills vs. Patriots on Thursday Night Football in New England.
New England is in last place in the division, but it’s 6-5 and still in the thick of the playoff race. Buffalo, meanwhile, is tied for first place with Miami, despite the Dolphins winning the first head-to-head matchup of the season.
Let’s break down the match and find a betting advantage.
Bills vs. Patriots Game Analysis
Toggle the drop-down menus below to hide or show the Bills and Patriots stat match:
Bills vs. Patriots DVOA Breakdown
When the bills have the ball
Josh Allen will be without left tackle Dion Dawkins for this one, and it will likely be David Quessenberry who will be in charge of protecting his blindside. That could be a problem against a Patriots defense that has generated the second-highest pressure rating of the season.
Here’s how Allen ranked out of 36 pressure-eligible quarterbacks in some key metrics: sixth in adjusted net yards per attempt, 19th in QB Rating, 10th in EPA per play and sixth in passing percentage. As you can see, he’s been a mixed bag, but overall he’s performing like a top 10 QB under pressure.
However, since Allen’s elbow injury in Week 9, he has struggled as a passer. Whether that’s because of his injury or the small sample size remains to be seen, but it’s worth pointing out. Over the past three games, Allen’s accuracy has been an issue. Only 66.3% of his passes have been on target (33rd of 36) and his 84.7 QB rating ranks 26th.
Despite his lackluster passing performance lately, Allen has always been able to rely on his rushing ability to move chains and generate offense. We could see him exploit his rushing ability even more against the Patriots, who have struggled with mobile quarterbacks this season.
Bet on Thursday Night Football at FanDuel
When the Patriots have the ball
Mac Jones is coming off his best game of the season, throwing for 382 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings. However, he faces a much tougher test this week against a Bills defense that ranks third in DVOA this season.
The game got a little easier when Von Miller was ruled out with his knee injury. Buffalo cornerback Tre’Davious White played in a minor role last week, and he’s going to remain limited and unlikely to have too much of an impact right away.
The Patriots are dealing with injuries along their O line as left guard Isaiah Wynn has already been ruled out and center Davis Andrews is questionable after taking part in two limited practices this week.
Jones’ main target, Jakobi Meyers, is also questionable after he was knocked out last week. He is expected to adapt but may not be 100% in the short week. These are two injuries that will need to be watched closely.
Choice of bets
All signs point to this being a low score game. Referee Shawn Hochuli was assigned to this game, and he’s been pretty supportive of under betting in his career (39-29-3, 57.1%). He was one of the many reasons I loved the Saints against the 49ers last week.
However, we might find more value on under bets once we get to the second half. Take a look at the average first and second half scores for each team:
|Crew||Average rating 1H||Rating average over 2 hours|
The Bills play at the fastest pace in the first half, but drop to 13th in the second. The Patriots are generally slow throughout the game, finishing 24th in the first half and 27th in the second.
This could be a game where the attacks could have the advantage at the start of the short week, but two defensive-minded head coaches will be able to make adjustments at half-time to slow down the opposing attack.
I locked in bets under the total on Thursday morning, along with my best prop pick.
Choose: Under 43.5 | Look to bet in second half under
Koerner’s choice: less than 43.5
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