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Game Predictions | Bills vs. Patriots | Week 17


The Buffalo Bills (9-6) are 13.5-point favorites heading into Sunday's game against the New England Patriots (4-11) in Highmark Stadium. The game will air at 1 pm on CBS.

For the latest point spreads, check FanDuel.

The Bills currently sit in the sixth place in the AFC. The Bills can clinch a playoff spot with a win plus losses by Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Click here for a list of all 14 scenarios in which the Bills can claim a playoff spot in Week 17.

Here's a list of additional notes for this week ...

  • With a win, the Bills will set a franchise record with their fifth consecutive 10-win season
  • The Patriots are attempting to win consecutive games for the first time in 2023
  • The Bills have won 13 consecutive regular season games in December/January
  • Since 2020, the Bills are 9-1 at Highmark Stadium in December/January
  • Bills are 16-0 since 2020 when Josh Allen does not have a turnover
  • With a loss, Bill Belichick will record 12 losses in a season for the first time as a head coach

Storyline to watch: The Patriots won the first meeting in October, but the Bills are 12-1 in home games vs. division opponents since 2020, including the playoffs, with the one loss coming against New England in 2021. The Bills have won three straight, while the Patriots are coming off a win at the Broncos. Bills quarterback Josh Allen said, "Frankly, it's a game that we need to win. And they know that. We know that. If I'm in the New England Patriot locker room, I'm looking to ruin their season." -- Alaina Getzenberg

Bold prediction: The Patriots will hold the Bills' offense below its average in the red zone. Buffalo is the NFL's No. 1-rated red zone offense with 37 touchdowns in 55 trips (67.3% success rate), while New England's red zone defense ranks seventh in the NFL as opponents have scored 22 touchdowns in 45 trips (48.9% success rate). -- Mike Reiss

Stat to know: Patriots coach Bill Belichick has never lost 12 games in a season as a head coach -- the 2011 Patriots and 1995 Browns each went 5-11.

Matchup X factor: Patriots defensive tackle Christian Barmore. He ranks 10th out of all tackles in pass rush win rate (13.7%) and while the Bills have a good offensive line overall, no one in the interior is elite. Barmore has a chance to make an impact and disrupt Allen. -- Walder

What's at stake: There are five scenarios in which the Bills could clinch a playoff spot, all needing a win over the Patriots. If that happens, they need two of the Bengals, Steelers or Jaguars to lose or losses by the Texans, Colts and either the Bengals or Steelers to clinch. Buffalo's playoff percentage would be at 97.2 even if it doesn't clinch and the Bills would still have a chance at winning the AFC East (28.7%) next week in a head-to-head matchup with Miami if the Dolphins lose. A loss takes the Bills out of the division race and gives them a coin flip shot (50.2%) at the playoffs. There isn't much on the line for the Patriots, who only have a 0.1% chance at the No. 1 pick if they lose.

What to know for fantasy: Since joining the Bills, Stefon Diggs has averaged 10.1 targets and 21.5 fantasy points against the Patriots. Four of the past five games he's had eight or more targets. Since 2021, Diggs has averaged only 11.4 fantasy points during December. -- Moody

Betting nugget: The Bills are 0-7 against the spread (ATS) in their past seven games as a double-digit favorite including the playoffs (0-3 ATS this season).

Moody's pick: Bills 28, Patriots 13

Walder's pick: Bills 27, Patriots 12

FPI prediction: BUF, 87% (by an average of 14.9 points)

The Patriots have not given up, and they won't give up against the Bills.

Florio: Bills, 27-17.

Simms: Bills, 21-10.

The Patriots are playing consecutive road games after beating the Broncos Sunday night. The Bills rallied to win last week against a bad Chargers team, so that will get them back focused again. Their playoff push continues as they handle the Patriots with a strong outing and get ready for Miami next week.

Pick: Bills 30, Patriots 14

I will not be taking my chances with Bill Belichick and the Pats going on the road against a very hungry Bills team thinking about the playoffs. Buffalo is coming off a close win against the Chargers but it was a tough spot -- L.A. just fired its coach, the Chargers were on a mini-bye, the Bills were traveling across the country. Now the Bills are home, get to play a HATED division rival and can potentially clinch a playoff berth (there are like 14 different scenarios including ties, but five legit scenarios for Buffalo to clinch with a win). Sean McDermott's team is undefeated since a controversy-filled bye week and the Bills would love to put the final nail in Belichick's proverbial coffin here. McDermott and the Bills have shown a proclivity for running up the score against the Pats and other division rivals late in the season and I wouldn't be surprised if they did so here.

Pick: Bills -11

Maybe the Bills got their wakeup call with a bad performance against the Chargers. They also won that game, so maybe we're in for another game in which Buffalo plays down to the competition. The Patriots aren't good, but they did beat the Broncos last week. They haven't quit. The Bills should roll to a win, but they also might be having an eye on next week's game against the Dolphins.

Pick: Patriots +13

Scroll to see photos from the Buffalo Bills Week 17 practice as the team prepares to take on the New England Patriots.

... Most of our panelists don't trust the Bills to cover a two-touchdown spread in this spot after they watched them in a close battle with the Chargers, but O'Donnell confidently laid the points with the heavy home favorite.

"New England actually beat the Bills back in October and has won two of its last three games. The Patriots lack elite talent and legitimate game-changers, but they have found ways to stay close in games and, as of late, actually win. But their rival Bills have won three straight, four of their last five, too, and more closely resemble the team we expected to see this season.

"Josh Allen is making the most of his legs and the defense is limiting opposing offenses to fewer than 19 points per game over its last five outings. Twelve is a big number to cover, but with every game being a postseason outing for Buffalo at this stage of the season, I'll back that incentive and momentum expecting a strong performance even if the cover comes late."


Davenport: Bills

Gagnon: Patriots

Hanford: Patriots

Knox: Patriots

Moton: Patriots

O'Donnell: Bills

Sobleski: Bills

ATS Consensus: Patriots +12

SU Consensus: Bills

Score Prediction: Bills 26, Patriots 17

The Patriots have overachieved of late with their defense getting tighter for Bill Belichick on every level. They also have stabilized the offense with Bailey Zappe making clutch plays leaning on the savvy running of Ezekiel Elliott. That said, the Bills already were caught by major surprise in the first meeting and are coming off taking the Chargers lightly in Week 16. Back at home, the Bills grind this one out by spreading the ball around well with Josh Allen.

Pick: Bills win 27-14 and cover the spread.

The Bills have found their stride through a playoff push, and it's possible this is the last time Buffalo will see Bill Belichick as the Patriots' head coach. Belichick is 37-12 against Buffalo all time, and that includes a 29-25 victory in Week 7. Buffalo wins, but it's by no means comfortable. 

Pick: Bills 28, Patriots 17

The Buffalo Bills are on a three-game winning streak that put them back into the AFC playoff picture. The most impressive aspect of Buffalo's run is that Josh Allen hasn't carried the team. The Bills are playing their most complete football since the first few weeks of the season.

Buffalo lost to the New England Patriots 29-25 back in Week 7. The Patriots have also won two of their last three, with victories against Denver and Pittsburgh. New England has a limited roster, meaning Bill Belichick's familiarity with Josh Allen is the Patriots' biggest edge in this matchup.

Score Prediction: Bills 24, Patriots 13

Why Brooke is taking the Bills: I'm sure Bill Belichick and the Patriots would love nothing more than to make the Bills sweat out a potential playoff berth for one more week, but that's easier said than done. Because while the Pats' defense has allowed just 15.7 points and 265.2 total yards per game since Week 10 (both second in the NFL) and the offense has found new life(ish) with Bailey Zappe, the Bills are playing some of their best football of the season -- unlike when these teams met back in Week 7. And this contest is in Buffalo, where Josh Allen is 6-1 with 16 pass TDs against just five picks. Weirder things have happened, but the Bills are carrying too much momentum into a home game with a playoff slot in their grasp to let this one go.

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