8:15 p.m. ET: Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
This Monday Night showdown features two AFC rivals in unfamiliar situations. The Bills (11-3 SU, 9-5 ATS) have won four straight and are 7-1 over their last eight games. Last week Buffalo crushed Denver 48-19, easily covering as 6-point road favorites. The Bills are the 2-seed in the AFC and need to keep winning to fend off the Steelers, Titans, Browns and Colts. Meanwhile, the Patriots (6-8 SU, 6-8 ATS) have lost two straight, including a 22-12 loss to the Dolphins last week, failing to cover as 1-point road favorites. New England has officially been eliminated from the playoffs for the first time since Bill Belichick’s first year in Foxborough in 2000. The Bills are + 67 in point different while the Patriots are -12.
This line opened with the Bills listed as 6.5-point road favorites (the early lookahead was Bills -4.5). The public, along with some early sharp money, have pounced on Buffalo, pushing this line up to -7. The Bills are a massively popular play tonight, receiving roughly three-out-of-four spread bets. The fact that this line hasn’t inched up to -7.5 signals some reluctance by the books to hand out the hook (+ 7.5) to brave contrarian Pats backers. Essentially, we are witnessing a sharp line freeze at Pats + 7.
The Patriots have buy-low value as a home divisional dog (63% ATS this season), a primetime dog (60% ATS) and a December dog of a touchdown or more (5-3 ATS this season). New England will also be one of your top contrarian plays of the week as the public is absolutely hammering Bills Mafia.
The total has ticked up slightly from 45 to 46. The Bills are one of the best over teams this season (10-4) while the Pats have been great to the under (10-4). Primetime unders are 58% this season. This also matches a profitable late season divisional under system. The Patriots lost to the Bills 24-21 in Week 8 but covered as 3.5-point road dogs.