Game one of the day was the toughest, as we came up just one point short of the over, and one Jared Goff passing yard short of his over. To add insult to injury, we had Goff’s line at 240.5, but it moved to 237.5 before kickoff. The Giants gave us one win with a backdoor cover, but that’s where the winning stopped — Saquon Barkley had a second straight dud of a game. The Vikings and Patriots game was much high-scoring than we thought, and Rhomandre Stevenson was a huge factor in New England’s passing game en route to a 20-point night.
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- One game line pick (Spread or Over/Under)
- One player prop OVER via PrizePicks
- One player prop UNDER via PrizePicks
- One TD scorer
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This week brings us an AFC playoff rematch from a season ago, as the 8-3 Bills travel to New England to face the 6-5 Patriots. Both teams are coming off closely contested Thanksgiving games, as Buffalo beat Detroit 28-25 on a late field goal, and New England fell 33-26 to Minnesota. The Bills enter this contest favored by 4 points on the road, with the over/under set at 43.5.
Season Record: 24-26, +3.2 units
GAME TOTAL: UNDER 43.5
The last time these two teams played, the Bills won in convincing fashion in a game that featured 64 total points. Josh Allen threw for 308 yards and five touchdowns, leading Buffalo to a 47-17 victory that was over before it started. Fast forward about 10 and a half months, and I think we have a very different game on our hands.
Last year’s Bills and Patriots were ranked first and second in defensive scoring average, both holding opponents to under 18 points per game. This year’s teams are in a similar spot — the Bills are fifth, allowing 18.1 points per game, and New England is right behind them at 18.4. Both teams boast top 10 rushing defenses, which ultimately favors Buffalo as they have a more potent passing attack. But New England is also top 10 against the pass, and holds opposing QBs to a completion percentage of 58.4%, which is the best mark in the NFL.
Factor in a late-season divisional matchup with two teams that know each other well, and two offenses that have been somewhat inconsistent in recent weeks, and I’m anticipating a relatively low-scoring game in this one. I’m also keeping an eye on the weather, which looks dry, but the projected temperature at kickoff is 35 degrees, with wind gusts of up to 20-25 mph in Foxborough.
NICK FOLK OVER 1.5 FIELD GOALS
The trajectory of Nick Folk‘s career has been incredibly fun to follow over the past few years. After a solid 10-year career with the Cowboys and Jets, he tried to keep things going with Tampa in 2017 but was released after missing three kicks in a primetime game in which the Bucs lost — to the Patriots — 19-14. He was dormant until a quick AAF stint in 2019, then attended a few NFL tryouts in the summer of 2020, ultimately ending up with New England.
Since then, all the 38-year-old has done is hit 76 of 84 field goal attempts, including an NFL-record 57 straight from under 50 yards at one point. He’s tied with Justin Tucker with 24 made field goals this year, and that’s only partially due to how well he’s kicked. He’s also helped by an offense that has the second-worst red zone touchdown rate at just 38.7%, which results in a lot of chip-shot opportunities. Buffalo is also the fourth-best defense at preventing touchdowns once their opponents reach the red zone, so the stars are aligning for another multi-FG game from Folk.
JOSH ALLEN UNDER 270.5 PASSING YARDS
Josh Allen currently trails only Patrick Mahomes in passing yards this season, putting up 3,183 in 11 games (289.4 per game). Despite this, I like his under based on recent trends in addition to the matchup in this one.
Allen topped this number in five of Buffalo’s first six games but has gone over 270 in just one of their last five, which was their OT thriller against Minnesota. His average over the past five games has been around 240 yards, and I think that’s his ceiling as he faces one of the best secondaries in football. Allen will impact the game in other ways (his over for rushing at 44.5 yards is probably a good bet), but I don’t think he throws for 271 yards in this one.
ANYTIME TD SCORER: DAWSON KNOX +300
Dawson Knox has been up and down this year but has topped six targets and 50 yards receiving in two of Buffalo’s last three games. He has just two touchdowns on the year, but also had two scores in last year’s playoff game against the Patriots, so we know he’s given them trouble in the past.
The Patriots have given up eight touchdowns to tight ends this year, which is the second-most in the league behind only Arizona. With so many other weapons to worry about, and the league’s seventh-ranked red zone defense bearing down on his QB, Knox should find himself open for a score at some point in this one.