NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ BUFFALO BILLS

Battle in the AFC East as the 5-2 Buffalo Bills look to go 4-0 in the division and pretty much clinch it with a home win over the fallen from grace, 2-4 New England Patriots.

The Buffalo Bills got back to winning ways last week against the winless Jets but were far from impressive. The Bills Offense failed to score a single TD and instead relied on rookie Kicker Tyler Bass to convert six of eight attempts to score all of the Bills 18 points, the Bills problem wasn’t so much moving the ball as Josh Allen had over 300 yards passing and over 60 yards on the ground but instead it was their inability to convert on third down, something that had been a strength prior to last week. The running game which has been poor all season again failed to deliver against the Jets with Josh Allen as the leading rusher both Running Backs, Devin Singletary and Zack Moss failed to hit 50 yards and that is going to be a problem against the Patriots who have just been gashed on the ground by the Niners to the tune of 198 yards and 4 TD’s and this is in part due to Kyle Shanahan’s unbelievable ability to scheme up the running game but also due to the Patriots inability to stop the run which is something that has been an issue all season but has been well hidden by Bill Belichick who has goaded opposition Offenses into throwing the ball against his talented, playmaking secondary by dropping numbers into the box and then upon the snap dropping them into coverage, this has worked to stop Offenses running the ball as the box looks stacked and the reason Belichick does this is because he hasn’t got the guys in the middle to stop the run consistently so he’s been hoping that by showing the Offense a good Defensive look to throw against pre-snap they’ll take it and whilst I think the Bills are well aware of this I also don’t think they have anyone to take advantage of it unless Josh Allen goes back to running the ball a lot as he did during his first two years in the league but if this doesn’t happen and the Bills can’t take advantage of the Patriots run D they’ll be forced to throw against a secondary which has been pretty good most of the year and still possess an elite ability to take the ball away and have done 8 times already this season.

Whilst the Patriots don’t defend the run well they sure do run the ball well averaging the 5th most rushing yards per game in the NFL and will find themselves up against a Bills run defense who have struggled on the season and a week after giving up over 160 yards to Clyde Edwards-Helaire they then proceeded to give up over 5.4 a carry to the old man of the NFL, Frank Gore who rushed for 60 yards. The Bills improved against the pass last week keeping Darnold to 120 yards and picked him off twice but only started to look good after he threw a bone headed Interception towards the end of the 2nd quarter, before that the Bills were struggling against unarguably the worst Offense in football but, this could be another game for the Bills pass defense to continue their improvement as the Patriots haven’t passed the ball well since their week 2 loss to the Seahawks (arguably the worst pass D in the league) and Cam Newton was benched last week after completing less than 10 passes for 98 yards and 3 INT’s which has taken his season tally to 2 TD passes against 7 INT’s and the absence of Julian Edelman will only make further diminish the Patriots ability to pass the ball and another outing here like the one we witnessed last week could see the former NFL MVP benched for good.

I think this will be an ugly, low scoring game in what is expected to be pretty bad weather in Buffalo this Sunday and it pains me to say that I think the Patriots will edge it, they’re built perfectly on both sides of the ball to stop what Buffalo are good at and punish their weak points and whilst the Patriots to win outright price of 9/5 is tempting I do think this will be a very close game and if we see the Josh Allen from the first 4 games of the season the Bills could run away with it so instead of taking the Patriots as my best bet I’m taking the Under 44.5 points line and here’s why;

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots last 4 games match points totals:

. 41 points

. 26 points

. 36 points

. 31 points

New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills last 3 games match points totals:

. 26 points

. 31 points

. 26 points

In three home fixtures this season for the Bills the match points total has only been above 44 points once.

The Buffalo Bills last two games have both produced less than 44 match points whilst the New England Patriots last three games have been under that total, both of these runs include games against the Kansas City Chiefs who boast the best Offense in football.

Ultimately this is a battle between a bad offense and a faltering one in bad weather. Give me the under.

PREDICTION: PATRIOTS 17 – 16 BILLS  

BEST BET: UNDER 44.5 match points – 1/2 with SkyBet. 2 point bet.

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