Last Updated Jan 10, 2023, 6:29 PM

New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills Picks, Predictions, Odds

The final week of the NFL regular season will resume with a meaningful AFC East clash between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills. Coverage begins from Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park at 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS.


The Bills have already clinched the AFC East title, with Buffalo currently boasting a four-game lead over Miami and New England in the division standings, who currently find themselves tied for the final Wild Card spot in the conference at 8-8.

However, the Patriots have a leg-up in the tiebreaker over Miami. So, this is a win-and-in scenario for Bill Belichick’s squad. And with the outcome of this matchup potentially carrying implications for Buffalo’s seeding arrangement, I’m expecting to see a hard fought battle between these squads.

New England appeared to be destined for its 13th playoff berth in the last 14 years, as the Patriots opened the season with a solid 6-4 run, which included a modest 2-2 split in four matchups with rookie Bailey Zappe under center in the absence of starting QB Mac Jones.

The backbone of this Patriots’ squad has always been its defense, though, and they simply haven’t played well down the homestretch, highlighted by New England surrendering a lofty average of 24 PPG across their last six contests, resulting in a bumpy 2-4 skid, and now, they’re just one loss away from potentially missing the playoffs.

While on the other hand, Buffalo doesn’t necessarily need to win this game. But after a very emotional week, and having their previous contest cancelled, I’m expecting a strong performance from the Bills in Week 18, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

The Bills have scored 28+ points in five of their last seven games, and with the over-under for this matchup currently stationed south of OU 44, a similar scoring output from Buffalo would only require New England to score about 20 points in order to cash ‘over’ tickets in this contest, maybe even less.

Which shouldn’t be a problem for Mac Jones and co., considering the Patriots have now scored 23+ points in three of their last four games. But on most occasions, that’s still not enough to compete with this Bills squad that’s generated a lofty average of 29 PPG since Week 10.

Score Prediction: Bills 27, Patriots 20
Best Bet: Over 43.5 (-110)

Take the Over!


More Odds | Super Bowl Odds | Expert Picks


Date: Sunday, January 8, 2023
Matchup: AFC East
Venue: Highmark Stadium
Location: Orchard Park, New York
Time-TV: CBS, 1:00 p.m. ET


Typically, when a team continues to play decent football in the absence of its starting quarterback, it means good things for that squad they eventually return to full strength. Which is exactly what New England did, highlighted by the Patriots yielding a solid 2-2 mark with Zappe under center in Weeks 4 through 7.

However, their offense hasn’t improved all that much since the return of Jones. And now, they’re starting to show signs of weakness on the defensive side of the script, considering the Patriots have now surrendered 21 points in five of their last six games, resulting in a record of 4-4 across their latest stretch.

Regardless of the quarterback, New England’ offense has actually played pretty well all season, highlighted by the Patriots averaging 20 PPG in their 12 contests with Jones under center, and 26 PPG in their four with Zappe. So, I won’t be totally stunned if they catch Buffalo half-asleep this Sunday, and sneak into the postseason on their own merit.

But with the way their defense has been playing, the Patriots will probably need some help from a handful of their fellow AFC running mates in order to reach the playoffs this year.

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The Bills are 10-1 SU in their last 11 home games. (Getty)


When everything is firing on all cylinders for this squad, the Bills are probably the most complete squad in the AFC, highlighted by Buffalo currently ranking Top 5 in the league in scoring on both sides of the ball at 28 PPG and 17.5 PPG, respectively.

However, this Buffalo squad certainly isn’t bulletproof, which was on display in their trio of losses throughout the year, along with their four narrow wins by margins of four points or less against the Baltimore, Kansas City, Detroit, and Miami.

There’s no shame in escaping with close victories in matchups against top shelf squads. But hypothetically, if Buffalo let a few of those close ones slip away and, instead, took a backseat within the AFC Playoff Picture down the stretch, we’d probably be far more critical of this turnover-prone Bills squad, especially following the season-ending injury to Von Miller.


  • The Patriots are 1-5 ATS in their last six games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in six of New England's last nine games.
  • The Patriots are 2-4 SU in their last six games.
  • The Bills are 3-6 ATS in their last nine games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in nine of Buffalo's last 13 games.
  • The Bills are 6-0 SU in their last six games.
  • The Bills are 10-1 SU in their last 11 home games.
  • The Patriots are 1-4 ATS in their last five games against Buffalo.
  • The Patriots are 1-5 SU in their last six games against Buffalo.
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