Patriots-Bills betting odds: Is Buffalo being disrespected?

Patriots at Bills Betting Odds

● Odds: Patriots -7

● Total: 42.5

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● Time: 1 p.m. ET

● TV Channel: CBS

Odds as of Saturday and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

Who could have predicted this would be a battle for the top of the AFC East?

The Bills are off to a 3-0 start, but are 7-point home underdogs to the Patriots. Is Buffalo being undervalued?

Our experts break down the most important angles of this game, complete with Sean Koerner’s projected odds and staff picks.

Patriots-Bills Injury Report

Both team’s injury reports are filled with players who were limited in practice, suggesting they’re trending toward playing. Even Julian Edelman (chest) hasn’t missed a practice this week, and Tom Brady (calf) was removed from the Patriots’ injury report after being limited on Wednesday.

The only player who missed practice for New England was OL Marshall Newhouse, who sat out due to an illness after being limited on Wednesday. — Justin Bailey

Biggest Mismatch

Patriots Pass Defense vs. Bills Pass Offense

New England’s defense isn’t as good as the numbers it’s put up. Obviously.

The Pats have yet to allow an offensive touchdown while holding opponents to a league-leading 3.8 yards per play. That’s simply unsustainable, as they’ve clearly benefited from an extremely easy schedule that’s included the Steelers, Dolphins and Jets — three teams with zero combined wins.

That said, the Patriots defense — which hasn’t allowed a touchdown since the AFC Championship Game and is the first in NFL history to not allow a rushing or receiving TD in the first three games — is undoubtedly elite.

And it all starts with their cornerbacks.

For my money, the Patriots have the best group of cover corners in the NFL, which enables them to do so many things in their man-heavy scheme. (Nobody runs more man-to-man than New England.)

Having three lockdown corners with a solid group of three experienced safeties who all come on the field at the same time for dime packages makes throwing on NE on a consistent basis almost impossible. There are really no holes in this secondary.

Josh Allen is having a nice year. So is John Brown. But the Bills have only played the Bengals, Jets and Giants. The Giants might have the worst secondary, and Buffalo didn’t eclipse 21 points against the Jets or Bengals, who don’t boast dominant defensive backfields. And despite the competition, the passing numbers are just mediocre.

This is a big step up in competition for a passing attack that averaged a meager 5.6 yards per pass last season (31st in the NFL). Don’t expect the Bills to get much of anything through the air on Sunday. — Stuckey

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

● Projected Spread: Patriots -6

● Projected Total: 44.5

The Patriots probably shouldn’t be getting a full touchdown on the road. They have an insane +89 point differential, which ties for third-best since 1940 over the first three games. But the Bills will be the Patriots’ first real test as the winner of this game will take over the top of the AFC East.

Bookmakers floated Patriots -7.5 to open — a strategic opening number that paves the way for instant feedback on where sharps stand with a key number like 7 fully exposed on the underdog. Despite 80 percent of tickets and 73 percent of money pouring in on the Pats as of writing (see live public betting data here), the line has moved to -7 at some books while others have opted to leave it at -7.5, requiring a bit more juice to back the Bills.

It’s pretty clear the sharp money has been hitting Bills +7.5 here.

This total also has some value. It opened at 44, which was right in line with my number. However, heavy action on the under has forced books to lower it to 42.5, which opens up some value on the over — especially considering the most valuable key number (43) is now exposed.

While the public perception of this matchup being a defensive struggle makes sense on paper, the expected game flow would lean toward the over here.

Allen has improved as a passer; part of that is simply the Bills giving him more weapons to use in the passing game. The Bills will be required to come out firing here in order to hang with Brady and the Patriots.

On the flip side, the Patriots haven’t been pushed at all this season — they’ve blown out all three of their opponents so far. If the Bills keep this close, it’ll only force the Patriots to keep their foot on the gas the entire game.

I love the idea of parlaying Bills +7.5 and the over 42.5 here. There’s a stronger correlation between those two bets than people realize. Sean Koerner

Expert Picks

Stuckey: Bills +7 or better; Under 42 or better

Brady is a ridiculous 30-3 against the Bills and has more wins in Buffalo since 2001 than any Bills QB. but this isn’t your older brother’s Buffalo punching bag squad — this is a Bills team with some confidence on offense and a top-five defense.

But as I said, Allen shouldn’t find too much success through the air. And since the Patriots can man up on the outside, they can dedicate the necessary resources to bring pressure and to stop a rushing attack that doesn’t really scare anyone. Allen will have to make a few plays with his legs to extend drives. Still, the Bills aren’t going to go nuts offensively.

The Patriots offense has been rolling, but I wouldn’t take too much from the three bottom feeders they played.

A Brady-led offense is always going to find a way to score points, but the injuries along the offensive line, at tight end and now in the backfield with Pro Bowl fullback James Develin (who was critical in their rushing attack) leave this unit wounded. And on the road against one of the league’s best defense could be a struggle.

The Bills can cover and they can pressure — two requirements to throw Brady off of his game. Like New England, Buffalo also has one of the NFL’s best safety groups. They can support the run, help in coverage and create takeaways on the back end without giving up the big play. Look no further than the fact that Buffalo hasn’t allowed a completion of 50 or more years in an NFL-high 30 straight games.

Yes, Buffalo’s schedule has also been a cake walk, but it’s allowed the fewest passing yards of any team since the start of last season. The Bills have potential Pro Bowlers at every level on a top defense.

The 2019 Patriots reminds me of the ones from the early 2000s — the defensive-led teams that won Super Bowls with Tedy Bruschi, Richard Seymour, Willie McGinest, Ty Law and others. I don’t think this offense is going to blow elite defenses away, but their own defense is good enough to secure another ring when it’s all said and done.

In a battle of two unbeatens, expect a rock fight in Orchard Park. The Pats probably find a way, but the Bills defense won’t make it easy. The last time these two played (at the end of 2018), these were the final stat lines of each respective QB:

● Allen: 20/41; 217 yards; 1 TD; 2 INT

● Brady: 13/24; 126 yards; 1 TD; 2 INT

It might not be that ugly, but it won’t be pretty.

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