Buffalo Bills (6-9 SU, 8-7 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (11-4 SU, 7-8 ATS)
NFL Week 17
Date and Time: Sunday, December 29, 4:25pm
Where: Gillette Stadium - Foxboro, MA
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BUF +10/NE -10
Over/Under Total: 47
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This weekend we will have the final AFC East contest of the 2013 season when the Buffalo Bills travel to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots. Buffalo is last in the division while the Patriots have won the AFC East title yet again and are primed for a first round BYE in the AFC playoffs. The Patriots are huge 10 point favorites at home, and the total points have been set at 47. Buffalo really has nothing to play for, while New England has an outside shot to be the number one seed in the AFC postseason. The easy choice is to take New England to blow this game away, but this Patriots team isn't as high powered as years past.
Coming into this season, I actually expected the Patriots to not even get to 10 wins. With Wes Welker gone, Gronkowski injured, and Aaron Hernandez living the thug life, I had no faith in this offense. The Patriots proved my doubts wrong, and Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have probably done their best job ever this season. I am in awe of how they handled all the adversity and once again positioned themselves to be one of the top teams in all of the NFL. During the offseason and early in this season, a Super Bowl run seemed way out of the question for the Pats....not anymore.
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This matchup between Buffalo and New England is nothing to write home about. Yea, they played in week one and the Patriots needed a last second field goal to win the game, but that was 16 weeks ago. These teams are very different. Brady has the Patriots offense clicking better than they did that day, and Buffalo really hasn't improved all that much...if at all. New England has gone from struggling to put up points, to being the 7th best passing team in the NFL and averaging over 34 points per game. If New England keeps this up, I can see them not only winning this game, but covering this spread with ease. Covering a double digit spread in pro football is never easy, but I think New England could in this case...if they play Patriots football.
The Bills have their hands full this Sunday. New England is actually playing for something, therefore, they will not be resting any starters. Buffalo runs the ball well, and they defend the pass pretty well, but I just don't see how they will be able to hang with New England. The Patriots confidence is only getting stronger and stronger, and this is the time of year, they tend to shine. If Buffalo plans to win this game, and cover the 10 points, they will need to run the ball and control time. They did a good job of this in week one, which is why they were able to nearly pull off the win.
Bob's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Tough one to call here. These same two teams battled to the very end in week one, but now that Buffalo has nothing to play for, and New England is hitting their groove, I don't see this game going the same way. I like New England big this time around. Look for a 31-13 type game here. PICK NEW ENGLAND -10
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