NFL Week 8 preview: Patriots vs. Bills odds, picks, & predictions
The New England Patriots (2-4) will attempt to save their season Sunday afternoon, when they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills (5-2).
The Bills are slightly favored as the home team, and the total of 42.5 is the lowest in the NFL this weekend.
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills
Sun, November 1 2020, 5:00 PM
New England Patriots
Do the Patriots have buyer's remorse over Cam Newton?
The Patriots benched quarterback Cam Newton in the fourth quarter of their 33-6 loss to the 49ers. Newton was replaced by Jarrett Stidham, after he threw three interceptions.
New England’s offense has stagnated over the last four weeks and scored just 28 points in its last three games combined. After a strong start, Newton has been poor since he returned from COVID-19 quarantine, with no touchdown passes and five interceptions in his last two games.
The New England defense has struggled, with no help from the offense, and has allowed 77 points in its last three games.
The Patriots were already shorthanded, because of players who opted out because of the pandemic, and they now rank among the worst team in the NFL against the run. They also have allowed the seventh-most yards per play of any team in the league.
The good news is, Buffalo is one of the worst running teams in the NFL, which could help keep the Patriots in the game early.
Buffalo looking to separate itself from pack
The Bills have lost two of their last three games, after a 4-0 start. It is important for Buffalo to get a win this weekend, as they will face the Seahawks, Cardinals, 49ers, and Steelers over the next five weeks.
Quarterback Josh Allen has fallen back to Earth, after a terrific start that saw Buffalo’s offense score 27 points or more in each of its first four games. The Bills have averaged just 17 points over their last three games, with last week’s 18-point output the high mark.
The Buffalo defense has not been very good, either. It has allowed 25 or more points in four games, and the run defense was shredded by a Kansas City team that gained nearly 250 yards at more than five yards per carry.
Now the Bills will try to slow down a Patriots team that has averaged than 150 yards per game on the ground and is looking to hide its struggles in the passing game.
Patriots and Bills statistics
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New England Patriots
New England vs. Buffalo injury report
For the Patriots, wide receiver N’Keal Harry and defensive tackle Carl Davis are in concussion protocol and are both questionable. Wide receiver Julian Edelman and defensive back Kyle Dugger are both questionable but expected to play with leg injuries.
Buffalo may be without safety Micah Hyde, who is also in concussion protocol, while Josh Norman has yet to resume practice because of a hamstring injury. Offensive lineman Cody Ford has also yet to return to practice, because of a knee injury, and will likely miss this game.
Will the Bills cover the spread against the Patriots in Week 8?
Patriots vs. Bills betting trends
The Patriots are 7-0 in their last seven games against the Bills, and have covered the spread in five. They have only covered in one of their last five games overall, and the total has gone Under in five of their last seven.
The Bills have won eight of their last nine games as a favorite, and are 5-1 ATS in their last six as the favorite. However, they have only covered in three of their last 10 games overall. The total has gone Over in five of Buffalo’s last seven games but has gone Under in five of its last seven at home. These teams have also gone Under in six of their last nine meetings.
Sunday’s forecast is calling for rain and temps near 50, which means miserable conditions for two quarterbacks who have struggled recently. I expect to see both teams to focus on the ground game, the Patriots especially.
The Bills have beaten the Patriots just four times in their last 39 meetings and have not beaten them in their last seven tries. Tom Brady might be gone, but Bill Belichick is not.
Look for the Patriots to win a boring game.