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Betting Roundtable: What's Your Best Bet for Patriots-Bills?

Our betting experts reveal the bets they're targeting in Monday's first-place showdown between the Patriots and Bills in Buffalo.

The Patriots head to Buffalo to face the Bills on Monday Night Football in a battle for the top spot in the AFC East.

New England Patriots (8-4) at Buffalo Bills (7-4)

  • Moneyline: New England (+125) | Buffalo (-150)
  • Spread: New England +3 (-118) | Buffalo -3 (+100)
  • Total: 41 -Over (-110) | Under (-110)
  • Game Info: Dec. 6, 2021 | 8:15 p.m. ET | ESPN

The two top defenses in the league will be playing in high winds Monday night, and SI Sportsbook predicts the game total will be low. That’s not great news for your fantasy team, but there’s still plenty of ways to grow your bankroll in this game.

New England enters this game on a six-game win streak, and is looking to dethrone the defending AFC East Champions. The Patriots have dominated the all-time series, 76-45-1, although the Bills swept last year’s matchups, including a 38-9 win at Gillette Stadium in which Josh Allen threw for 320 yards and Stefon Diggs scored three times.

Check the Bills-Patriots Line at SI Sportsbook

Dec 21, 2019; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick shakes hands with Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott after their game at Gillette Stadium.

But things look a little different this year. The Patriots are no longer attempting to move the football with Cam Newton and instead have the likely 2021 OROY, Mac Jones, thriving in Josh McDaniels’ offense. The New England defense, which was decimated in 2020 due to CVOD-19, is back to full-strength and is playing like a Bill Belichick championship team. The Patriots’ defense has allowed opponents a league-best 15.8 points per game and only 6.7 points per game across the last three.

Offensively, the Patriots also surging. They average 28 points per game (sixth-most) and averaged an NFL-best 35.3 points across the last three games.

Yeah, I’d say things are working out for MJ10 in New England.

However, the Bills are once again playing like they belong at the top of the division. The Allen-led offense is averaging 29.6 points per game—second to Tampa Bay—while allowing only 16.5 per game, second only to New England. Buffalo’s defense has dipped in the last three games, allowing 21.3 points per game.

The Bills have no shortage of weapons with Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders, Cole Beasley and the emerging Dawson Knox. Wide Receiver Gabe Davis is the kind of guy I would keep my eye on for this game too. Unfortunately, the Bills do not have a dominant run game and the Patriots are mostly attackable on the ground.

The Patriots are a more balanced team, with a ground game that has been strong while utilizing Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor have all emerged as playmakers.

I’ll be keeping my eye on how Buffalo’s defense fares without Tre’Davious White. That could allow for a few more points to go New England’s way.

So: high winds, low game total, two top defenses and two top-six offenses.

How are we betting this one? Let’s break down what to expect and some best bets from our betting staff at Sports Illustrated.

 Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

 Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

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BEST BETS

SI Fantasy's Craig Ellenport:

Weather may be an issue in Buffalo Monday night and, yes, these are both good defenses, but 41 feels like a low total.

As good as the Patriots' defense has been playing of late, only two of New England's last eight games have gone under 41, and those were against offense-challenged Atlanta and Carolina. A low-scoring game for these two teams would be 23-20, and that's the over.

For player props: Look for Dawson Knox to beat a modest total of 29.5 yards. The Patriots will focus on neutralizing Stefon Diggs, so they'll be fine yielding 30-40 yards to Knox.

BEST BETS: Over 41 (-110); Dawson Knox Over 29.5 yards (-120)

SI Video's Doug Vazquez:

Buffalo’s defense took a big blow with the loss of Tre’Davious White, and I expect the Patriots to take advantage of him missing in the Bills' secondary. The Patriots' receiving corp has been pretty solid lately especially with the emergence of Kendrick Bourne. Buffalo’s run defense has also been pretty stout. Josh McDaniels has started to let Mac open it up a little bit, and even with the wind in Buffalo I think this trend will continue.

BEST BET: Mac Jones over 203.5 Passing Yards (-120)

SI Betting/Fantasy's Kyle Wood:

The Patriots, undefeated away from New England, are road underdogs for a reason. The best version of the Bills is a Super Bowl team and the worst version loses to the Jaguars. The low point total suggests a game that's won on the ground, which favors New England. If I were to make a pick on this game, I'm going Patriots +3 (-118). But I really like the value on Damien Harris anytime touchdown (+150). He has seven touchdowns in his last seven games and even though Rhamondre Stevenson has led the team in rushing the last three games, Harris has a nose for the end zone.

BEST BETS: Patriots +3 (-118); Damien Harris anytime TD (+150)

SI Betting's Matt Ehalt:

I believe the Patriots are good—I just don't know how good. What is their best win? The Browns at home? The Chargers on the road (who are OK but not great and still are the Chargers)? I feel like the Patriots have beaten a lot of non-contenders to get to 8-4, and that ends tonight. The Bills have to win this game. The Patriots don't, especially with a rematch looming in Foxboro on Dec. 26. I think both teams score tonight, but I like the Bills to win by a touchdown behind a strong game by Josh Allen. However, I'm banking on the Patriots having some success in the run game and will target that prop.

BEST BETS: Bills -3 (+100); Over 41 (-110); Damien Harris anytime TD (+150)

SI Betting and Fantasy's Jen Piacenti:

I’m drinking the Kool-Aid. The Patriots are legit, both offensively and defensively. The Bills are without Tre’Davious White, and New England has three receivers that can be a threat at any time. Heck, Kendrick Bourne will even play running back if you ask him. Mac Jones’ inexperience helps him here - he has no memory of the beatdown they suffered last season. As far as he knows, the team wins. Buffalo has had some bad losses this year vs. much-less talented teams. They aren’t as consistent as the Pats. So, if you’re giving me three points? Yep. I’m taking New England. I’m also taking Gabe Davis for an anytime TD. This time, the Pats will be able to take out Stefon Diggs, and the Bills will need to get sneaky. Davis is the end zone threat they will use to try to put New England away.

BEST BETS: New England +3 (-118); Gabriel Davis anytime TD (+540)

MMQB's Conor Orr:

I like Josh Allen over 35.5 rushing yards. The Patriots will present the most difficult coverage fronts the Bills have seen this year and, given the potential weather threats, it's going to be harder for Buffalo to spread the Patriots out and keep their defense on its heels with merely the threat of Allen running. Allen has gone over 35.5 rushing yards in all but five of his games this year, and one was exactly 35 yards. He's going to want to establish that threat early in order to force the defense to bend.

BEST BET: Josh Allen Over 35.5 rushing yards (-125)

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