New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills Saturday Night Football Preview, Picks, and Betting Guide
Saturday Night Football – New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills AFC Wild Card
New England Patriots (10-7) vs. Buffalo Bills (11-6)
Date: Saturday, January 15, 2022
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Venue: Highmark Stadium
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills Moneyline, Total and Odds
All NFL Betting Lines, Odds, and Prop Bets are available on FanDuel Sportsbook.
Moneyline: Patriots +172|Bills -205
Spread: Patriots +4 (-110)|Bills -4 (-110)
Total: 44 Over (-110) Under (-110)
Odds to win Super Bowl LVI: Patriots +2200|Bills +750
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills Predictions and Picks
- Rhamondre Stevenson over 42.5 rushing yards
- Josh Allen under 243.5 passing yards
- Patriots +4
- Under 44
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills News, Analysis, and Picks
The New England Patriots will face the Buffalo Bills for the third time this season, but the stakes have never been higher. The winner of Saturday night’s wild card game punches their ticket to the divisional round of the playoffs, remaining in the hunt for Super Bowl LVI. The road team won both contests this season, making it four of the past six, a trend the Bills will be hoping to snap at Highmark Stadium.
As is typically the case with Bill Belichick ran teams, there was a strong emphasis on the run game this season. The Patriots toted the ball 46.5% of the time, the sixth-most frequently in the NFL. That focus was even more evident over the Pats’ end of the regular season. New England ran the ball on 47.6% of plays for an average of 154.7 yards per game, above their season-long average of 126.5. Included in that sample is New England’s Week 16 contest against this same Bills team, in which they rumbled for 149 yards.
Damien Harris was New England’s lead back for most of the season, starting 15 of their 17 contests. The third-year RB is questionable heading into Saturday’s wild card game, being limited with a hamstring injury. That could lead to more playing time for Rhamondre Stevenson, who has played at least 46.2% of snaps in three of the past four weeks. More impressively, the rookie running back has rushed for at least 46 yards in six of his previous eight games, averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Harris’s playing status will be impacted by his hamstring injury, leading to a few more touches for Stevenson; we like him to go over 42.5 rushing yards.
We’ve seen the Bills offense transition away from the pass to end the season, throwing the ball 53.3% of plays over the past three weeks after throwing the ball 59.7% of the time since the start of the season. The Pats have been efficient against the pass this year, allowing an average of 187.1 yards per game this season, second-best in the NFL. Weather will impact both teams’ game plan, as it’s forecasted to be a bone-chilling seven degrees at kick-off. All of which lends itself to Allen staying under 243.5 passing yards.
Saturday night’s matchup sets up as a classic smash-mouth football game, a style that both teams are comfortable playing, also making it hard for either team to pull away. Inclement weather forced these teams to adopt a similar mentality going into their Week 13 matchup, a game the Patriots won 14-10. There were a combined 471 yards and 27 first downs in that game. That contest is also part of a bigger sample in which the Bills have kept their opponents to 288 yards in six of seven.
The Patriots are bringing a similar trend into wild card weekend, holding four of their previous five opponents to 298 yards or less. It’s also worth noting that New England has positive net yards in eight of their past nine contests, five of which came on the road.
We’re anticipating a tightly contested battle between opponents who are familiar with each other. Both teams play a tidy defensive brand of football, which should lead to a low-scoring game. This has the makings of a last drive and kick the field goal for the win kind of game. On that basis, we’re taking the points with the Pats and the under.
All NFL game predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid