Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)


Patrick Werkmeister

In this heated AFC East rivalry, Mac Jones and the New England Patriots look to steal one on the road in Buffalo against Josh Allen and the Bills. Last week, New England was defeated 33-24 by the Miami Dolphins, whereas the Bills easily took care of the New York Jets, 27-10. With this being the third meeting between these teams this year, both teams are currently 1-1 and are quite familiar with one another. Just like their first meeting in Buffalo in the regular season, weather will be an overwhelming factor. With this in mind, here is what I love in this Wild Card matchup.

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Patriots (+4)
The Patriots opened this game as four and a half-point road underdogs and that is where this line currently stands. While Buffalo is an impressive 3-0-1 ATS and 4-0 SU in their previous four games, the Pats are a stellar 8-3 ATS in their last 11 matches. Additionally, New England is 7-1 ATS in their past eight games in Buffalo. Although the Pats were able to shut down the Bills offense and get the W in the first matchup, Buffalo won the most recent meeting in New England by a score of 33-21. However, with mastermind Bill Belichick on the sidelines for the Pats, they will make this a close game at the very least. If the Patriots offense can mitigate turnovers, unlike their last meeting with the Bills, they should easily cover this margin. Although this Bills defensive unit has been a serviceable bunch this season, they haven’t always answered the bell when a game enters crunch time. Take the Pats plus the points, where they will out scheme Josh Allen and the Bills offense.

Rhamondre Stevenson Over 41.5 Rushing Yards
After running for 78 yards for 24 carries on the ground in the first matchup vs the Bills, Rhamondre Stevenson has stepped up as a primary back for the Pats with starter Damien Harris dealing with an injury. With how dominant the Pats offensive line has been, he won’t need nearly as many carries to pass up this yard mark. Rhamondre has been an absolute stud for New England where in 11 games played, he has 606 yards rushing and five touchdowns. While New England is known for its running back by committee approach, Stevenson will still see plenty of action as they will likely go with a run-first approach in these arctic temperatures. Although the Bills hold fairly good numbers against the run this season, Rhamondre is an extremely serviceable back who runs hard. In every meeting between these two this year, the Pats have run well over 100 yards. With one of the best offensive lines in the league, coach Belichick will be guaranteed to grind it out and really test this Bills rush defense. With his carries volume and how hard he runs, he should be able to easily hit this mark. Take Rhamondre Stevenson to run by this total rushing yardage prop.

Josh Allen Any Time TD (+170)
With the limited amount of scoring options the Bills have on the ground, QB Josh Allen will be a top red zone threat for Buffalo. Although their offense has looked lost on a few occasions this year, in order to give them a chance Josh Allen must use his legs. Not only is he a gunslinger in their offense, but he is one of the best athletes at the position with his unique power running abilities. Additionally, New England ranks in the bottom third for rushing yards allowed, and they have proved to be a soft rush defense vs most opponents. This prop has tremendous value given he is their only reliable rushing option to reach the end zone. Take him to score one in what should be a run-heavy game for both sides.

Same Game Parlay:

Josh Allen Anytime TD Scorer, Mac Jones under 197.5 Pass Yds, Josh Allen Over 47.5 Rush Yds, Rhamondre Stevenson Over 41.5 Rush Yds and Patriots +4.5.

SGP Odds +6085

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