Patriots vs Bills Prediction & Picks (Week 17): Will Buffalo wrap up the AFC’s #2 seed?
After a highly emotional week, the Buffalo Bills will take the field on Sunday afternoon looking to wrap up the #2 seed in the AFC and perhaps end the postseason hopes of the New England Patriots.
The matchup between New England (8-8, 4-4 away, 2nd in the AFC East) and Buffalo (12-3, 6-1 home, 1st in the AFC East) is set for a 1:00 pm ET kickoff at Highmark Stadium and will be televised on CBS.
On Monday night in Cincinnati, the Bills had to see something no one wants to see as their teammate, safety Damar Hamlin, suffered a cardiac arrest on the field during the matchup against the Bengals.
With the game being postponed and eventually canceled, the Bills will not go into Sunday with the #1 seed at stake, as the Kansas City Chiefs clinched it with a win over the Las Vegas Raiders.
But with a win over New England, Buffalo will wrap up the #2 seed in the AFC, and if both they and the Chiefs make it through the divisional round, the AFC Championship Game would be held at a neutral site instead of in Kansas City, as per the scenarios laid out by the NFL to deal with the cancelation of the Bills-Bengals game.
On the other side, a New England win will clinch a playoff berth, an accomplishment that seemed unlikely after back-to-back losses to the Raiders and Bengals in Weeks 14 and 15.
Read on for our Patriots vs Bills prediction, as well as our New England vs Buffalo picks and analysis.
New England Patriots vs Buffalo Bills Odds
Odds are via FanDuel as of Saturday, January 7, 2023, at 9:20 pm ET. This article may also include odds from our other recommended legal sports betting sites.
- New England Patriots +7.5 (-105)
- Buffalo Bills -7.5 (-115)
- Over 43.5 (-110)
- Under 43.5 (-110)
- New England Patriots +310
- Buffalo Bills -390
Patriots Face Long Odds to Secure Playoffs-Clinching Win
Even with a loss to the Bills, the Patriots may well still make the playoffs. Entering Sunday’s pivotal clashes, they occupy the seventh and final spot in the AFC playoff bracket, ahead of the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers, who are also both 8-8.
If the Pats lose but both the Dolphins (at home vs the Jets) and Steelers (at home vs the Browns) also lose, New England will land in the postseason.
That’s a lot to ask of both the Jets and Browns, so the best route for New England is to do it themselves. But how likely is it that they will do so?
The Patriots have not shown that they are particularly capable of beating the NFL’s better teams. And when they met the Bills at Gillette Stadium in Week 13, they were thoroughly outplayed in a 24-10 loss.
The Pats certainly deserve some credit for picking themselves up after two tough losses to pull out a 23-21 win over the Dolphins at home last week, but they also benefitted from Miami’s quarterback issues.
Entering this week, New England is 2-6-1 ATS against teams who currently have a win percentage of .500 or better, and the Patriots are 2-6-0 ATS as an underdog this season.
New England Patriots vs Buffalo Bills Prediction and Picks
Patriots vs Bills Prediction: Bills to win
Patriots vs Bills Picks: Bills -7.5 (Best Value: Caesars Sportsbook & BetMGM) & Bills team total over 25.5 (BetRivers)
There’s no doubt that things will be rather emotional for the Bills, and that is only understandable. With Hamlin now seemingly out of the woods and well on the road to recovery, there has to be a lot of relief, but he will be at the forefront of their thoughts all day long.
Personally, I don’t plan to bet on this game, because I don’t feel right doing so.
But many still will, and if you do, my expectation is that the Bills will be every bit as dominant as they were in the first matchup. Look for Buffalo to lock up the #2 seed and make New England have to wait and hope for good news from Miami and Pittsburgh.
Other NFL Week 18 Content at Betting News
- NFL Week 18 Odds
- NFL Week 18 Picks