The Buffalo Bills (8-3) and New England Patriots (6-5) meet this Thursday night in an important AFC East matchup. The last time they met was in the wild card playoffs and the Bills scored a touchdown on all seven possessions in what was arguably the best offensive performance in NFL history.
The Bills also did that in snow and single-digit temperatures. The key thing was no extreme wind like the teams had in their first meeting in the 2021 season, a 14-10 upset by the Patriots where they only attempted three passes.
The weather should be a non-factor in this one, so Bill Belichick is going to have to find some way to force the Bills off the field. Buffalo has not punted once in either of the last two games against the Patriots.
The Bills are a 3.5-point road favorite in a game with a total of 43.5 points at many New York betting sites. We have some player prop picks for this matchup to make it even better.
Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots
Thursday, December 1, 2022 – 08:15 PM EST at Gillette Stadium
Josh Allen (Bufallo Bills)
- Over 268.5 Passing Yards
- Over 1.5 Passing Touchdowns
For nearly two decades, the Bills could not get past the Patriots in the AFC East because they lacked the quarterback. But ever since Josh Allen had his breakout season in 2020, Bill Belichick has not been able to figure him out unless Mother Nature interjects with crazy wind.
Allen is the only quarterback to go into New England since Belichick became the coach in 2000 and finish a game with 300 yards passing, zero sacks, and zero interceptions. In fact, Allen has done that two years in a row in New England.
Allen has 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last four games against the Patriots. He had more touchdown passes (five) than incompletions (four) in the playoff game last January.
There is talk about Allen not looking 100% with the elbow, but he still threw a frozen rope 40 yards down the field to Stefon Diggs in Detroit on a game-winning drive. The Bills have scored at least 28 points in three straight games since the elbow injury.
What if some of the bad play the last two weeks was the result of barely practicing because of the massive snowstorm, or that the Bills had a very short week to go to Detroit on Thanksgiving?
They’ll be fine, and given the weather looks like it will be fine this time, the Patriots are going up against the offense that has embarrassed them the most in the last three years. Take Allen to hit his overs in yards and touchdowns for your NFL picks.
NFL Prop Pick: Josh Allen Over 1.5 Passing Touchdowns (-160) at Bovada
Mac Jones (New England Patriots)
- Over 20.5 Pass Completions
- Over 0.5 Passes Intercepted
We can confidently say that Mac Jones will throw the ball more than three times in this game. He had 38 attempts in the playoff game with 24 completions last year.
This season, Jones has completed over 20.5 passes in 6-of-8 games. In one of the games he didn’t, he was benched for Bailey Zappe. The other time he had 20 completions against the Colts in an easy 26-3 win. He’s usually over 20.5 since he likes to complete a lot of high-percentage throws and usually completes over two-thirds of his passes.
We also can acknowledge that the Buffalo defense hasn’t looked great in the last few games. Jacoby Brissett (Browns) and Jared Goff (Lions) both had over 240 yards with five total touchdowns and zero interceptions between them.
Losing Von Miller, for the time being, won’t help Buffalo’s cause, but we are going with a game script here of Buffalo leading the game and ultimately winning. That means Jones has to pass more, and since he usually makes mistakes against good defenses, an interception is likely as the NFL odds suggest it is.
In the two games where Jones had to throw the ball against Buffalo, he threw two picks in each. We like him to throw one in this matchup too.
NFL Prop Pick: Mac Jones Over 20.5 Pass Completions (-105) at Bovada
NFL Prop Pick: Mac Jones Over 0.5 Passes Intercepted (-145) at Bovada
Running Back Props
Rhamondre Stevenson (New England Patriots)
- Anytime Touchdown Scorer
- Over 14.5 Rushing Attempts
- Over 4.5 Receptions
The Patriots have had some rushing success against Buffalo, among many other teams. The good news for bettors is that Damien Harris is out with a leg injury, so it should be the Rhamondre Stevenson show.
Stevenson had 24 carries for 78 yards in his first meeting against Buffalo, but that was the windy night where the Patriots had 46 runs and three passes.
When these teams last met in New England, Stevenson did not play, and Harris had 18 of the 20 running back carries. He also scored three touchdowns. Harris and Stevenson were only able to combine for 17 carries for 57 yards in the 47-17 playoff loss.
But Harris being inactive makes things pretty clear on which back will get almost all the touches this time. Stevenson is also developing into a great receiver with over 4.5 catches and over 55 receiving yards in four of his last five games. That’s why we also like his over in catches to hit.
We are iffy on New England’s ability to run well with some offensive line injuries, but we still trust the number to go over on Stevenson’s carries, and he should be able to score a touchdown for this offense.
NFL Prop Pick: Rhamondre Stevenson Anytime Touchdown Scorer (-120) at Bovada
NFL Prop Pick: Rhamondre Stevenson Over 14.5 Rushing Attempts (-130) at Bovada
NFL Prop Pick: Rhamondre Stevenson Over 4.5 Receptions (-130) at Bovada
Isaiah McKenzie (Buffalo Bills)
- Over 32.5 Receiving Yards
This is either the best value pick in the game or a major trap. McKenzie looked great in Detroit on Thanksgiving. He had a season-high 10 targets, his six catches were his most since he had seven in Week 3, and his 96 yards were also a season-high. He caught a good touchdown too.
Just four days earlier against Cleveland, McKenzie had one target and no catches, so you never really know what the Bills are thinking with him. But the reason to like him here is that he had the best game of his career in New England last December.
Cole Beasley was out for COVID, so McKenzie stepped up in the slot and finished with 11 catches on 12 targets for 125 yards and a touchdown. It is his only 100-yard receiving game in the NFL.
In the playoff rematch, he only had three catches for 29 yards, so he would have just been under his line here. But the Bills also needed to throw just 25 passes as they routed New England.
With defenses keying in on Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis showing some limitations with his routes and hands, McKenzie is a good third option at wide receiver for Allen. He should utilize him in this game.
NFL Prop Pick: Isiah McKenzie Over 32.5 Receiving Yards (+100) at Bovada
Hunter Henry (New England Patriots)
- Anytime Touchdown Scorer
Fans were split on whether or not Henry’s touchdown should have been reversed to an incompletion in Minnesota on Thanksgiving. The NFL has been difficult at keeping consistency on these catch rulings, and it sure seems silly to deny his effort to reach out for the end zone and get his hand under the ball.
If he ever lost control, he still kept it off the ground when he rolled over. At the very least you’d like to see that get ruled as a catch to the 1-yard line.
Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs (+120) would be the best conventional pick for a receiver to score a touchdown in this game, but if you are looking for a value pick, then maybe the Patriots go back to Henry here.
His prowess in the red zone in Los Angeles was one of the reasons they brought him to New England. He caught one touchdown that stood in Minnesota too, so the team is looking for him in the red zone.
NFL Prop Pick: Hunter Henry Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+350) at Bovada
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.