New England Patriots (6-1) at Buffalo Bills (4-3)
In a season with a severe lack of top level teams, the New England Patriots might be on their own level at the top of the league as long as they are healthy. Despite not having Tom Brady or a healthy Rob Gronkowski for the first 4 weeks of the season, the Patriots are 7th in first down percentage and have been unstoppable offensively in the past 3 weeks with Brady and Gronk back, winning all 3 games by at least 11 points. Their defense hasn’t been bad either, entering this game 10th in first down percentage allowed. They rank 3rd in first down percentage differential and first in point differential and they’re healthier than they’ve been all season right now.
The Bills are also in a tough spot with another tough game on deck, as they head to Seattle next week. The Patriots, meanwhile, go on bye. The early line has the Bills as 7 point underdogs in Seattle and teams are 90-49 ATS since 2012 as 6 point underdogs before being 6 point underdogs again. However, this line is too high at 7 for me to be at all confident in the Patriots. The Bills are still a solid squad, entering this game 15th in first down percentage differential. They’ll be without LeSean McCoy in this one, but they get top defensive lineman Marcell Dareus back, after he missed the first 4 games with suspension and the last 3 games with injury. I’m taking New England, but it’s a no confidence pick.
New England Patriots 24 Buffalo Bills 16
Pick against the spread: New England -7