The Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots will both play on Thursday for the second week in a row as they open Week 13 with an AFC East battle at Gillette Stadium.
The pregame narrative: The Patriots aren’t one of the most explosive teams in the league, but they are competent enough to clear a modest over. Mac Jones has come on in recent games and points shouldn’t be too hard to come by in this game.
Check out our Bills vs. Patriots Week 13 picks for Thursday Night Football on December 1.
Odds as of 12:32 p.m. on 11/29/2022.
Bills vs. Patriots Week 13 picks
Best Bet: Patriots over 19.5 points (-115)
While New England’s offence is well outside the league’s elite, it should be competent enough to clear a line that doesn’t ask too much.
The Patriots got off to a brutal start to the year on that side of the ball, but they’ve averaged a respectable 23.9 points per game over their last nine contests. If that was their season-long average they’d rank 11th in the NFL in scoring.
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New England also saw its passing offence reach a new gear last week as Jones threw for a career-high 382 yards and two touchdowns — and made some surprisingly impressive throws downfield.
The Patriots can’t count on an encore from Jones, but it’s an encouraging sign. The team can also be encouraged by the state of the Buffalo defence it is facing.
The Bills will be missing top pass rusher Von Miller, and starters Greg Rousseau, Tremaine Edwards, Damar Hamlin and Dane Jackson are all banged up. For a group already missing star safety Micah Hyde, the injuries are piling up.
New England doesn’t project to run up the score on Buffalo, but a workmanlike performance is all that’s needed to hit this over.
Key stat: The Patriots have averaged 21.7 points per game this season and have hit this over in seven of their last 9 games.
Mac Jones over 224.5 yards (-110): Although the Bills are a tough team to pass against on a per-play basis, they are precisely average (16th in the NFL) in pass yardage allowed because opponents are often chasing.
That could be the case for the Patriots in this one. Even if it isn’t, this line doesn’t ask much of Jones. He’s cleared it in four of his seven complete games this season and has heated up lately, producing 628 passing yards in his past two appearances.
Over 43.5 points (-110): While these defences have solid pedigrees, this total looks a touch light. The over on 44 points has hit eight times in these two teams’ last six games.
Thursday Night Football games have a reputation for being sloppy, low-scoring affairs, but that seems to be the result of insufficient rest and preparation time.
In this case, both teams played last Thursday and will have adequate time to get ready for this matchup.
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