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Bills Take on Division Rival Patriots as Rare Favorites

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) in action during an NFL football game against the New York Jets on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J.

It’s bizarro world for Buffalo in this Week 8 matchup as the Bills (5-2 SU, 3-4 ATS) host longtime rival New England as home favorites. The Bills have lost seven games in a row to the Patriots (2-4 SU, 2-4 ATS) and have a stunning 4-35 record against the Pats dating back to December 2000. But times have changed in the AFC East and the Bills find themselves in first place as the midseason point approaches.

New England Patriots vs Buffalo Bills
  • Date/Time: November 1, 1 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Bills Stadium
  • TV Coverage: CBS
  • Opening Odds: Bills -3 | O/U 46.5 (Line History)
  • Patriots vs Bills Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The game opened with the Bills as favorites at -3 and that number has risen to either -3.5 or -4 depending on the sportsbook. The total opened at 46.5 and has dipped slightly to between 43.5 and 44.5 depending where you look.

New England News & Notes

It has been a tale of two different seasons this year for the Patriots. They started out winning two of three games with Cam Newton looking like the MVP-caliber player of old.

But the team has now lost three straight games by a combined score of 77-28. Only Washington, the Jets and Giants have scored fewer points per game this season. Newton has struggled mightily as he now has just two touchdown passes on the year with seven interceptions.

The Pats had eight players, including star linebacker Dont’a Hightower, opt out of the season because of COVID-19 (the most in the league) and one must wonder if that lost talent is starting to catch up with the team.

Buffalo News & Notes

It has been a similar start to the season for Buffalo in that they began the year strong and have struggled recently. After three weeks, the Bills were 3-0 and there was plenty of MVP chatter around quarterback Josh Allen.

But the Bills have gone on to lose two of their last three, barely squeaking out a win over the Jets last week. The Bills have dropped to 20th in points per game this season on offense and their defense has struggled against the run and pass. Buffalo has given up the eighth-most yards on the ground and the 13th-most through the air.  

Wide receiver Stefon Diggs has been stellar (third in receptions, fourth in yards) this season but had a down game in Week 7. Look for him to bounce back against the Patriots.

Betting Pick: Patriots +3.5

As bad as the Patriots have played the last few weeks, you have to believe Bill Belichick will have them well prepared to play a division opponent. The one thing the Pats have done well this season (for the most part) is run the ball. The Bills have been gashed on the ground this year. We like the Pats to run a lot, control the clock and keep it close.

Shark Bites
  • The Bills are 8-1 SU in their last 9 games as a favorite.
  • The Patriots are 8-3 SU and ATS in their last 11 games as an underdog.
  • The Bills are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a home favorite.