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New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills Point Spread - Pick

New England Patriots (9-2 SU, 7-4 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bills (6-5 SU, 6-4-1 ATS)
Week 13 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: New Era Field, Buffalo, New York
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: NE -8/BUF +8
Over/Under Total: 49

The New England Patriots come to New Era Field on Sunday for an AFC East matchup with the Buffalo Bills. Both teams are coming off a win. With New England, it's actually seven straight wins following a 35-17 win over the Dolphins on Sunday. They look to make it eight in a row this week in their first matchup against their divisional foes the Bills this week. Following a three-game losing streak, the Bills were able to score an upset 16-10 win over the Chiefs on Sunday, moving their record to 6-5 and just as importantly, restoring some hope for the Bills this season, as they are still in the wild-card hunt.

Buffalo had wasted a good 5-2 start with three straight losses before the nice win against Kansas City. Against a desperate home Chiefs team, the Bills were able to secure the win and it was hard to see coming based on how they had looked recently. In their previous three games leading up to last Sunday, they had given up a massive combined 135 points, so holding a home Chiefs team to ten points was a critical positive development. The offense wasn't sterling, but did enough. A win here would really go a long way toward getting the streaky Bills back on the right track.

After flirting with going with Nathan Peterman, the Bills are back with QB Tyrod Taylor behind center. He wasn't great on Sunday, but he was efficient and didn't make many mistakes. He connected with rising receiver Zay Jones for the Bills' only touchdown on the day, with four Steven Hauschka hitting four field goals. Running back LeSean McCoy ran for only 49 yards on 22 carries, with Taylor adding 27 yards, but the run-game wasn't very good on Sunday. Charles Clay led all receivers with 60 yards. The offense may not have lit up the scoreboard on Sunday, but when a team breaks a three-game losing streak, you don't want to nit-pick on how they did it.

On Sunday, a slip-sliding Buffalo defense was able to perform a lot better in holding Kansas City to ten points. They kept the KC run-game in check, with Kareem Hunt held to 17 yards on 11 carries. Alex Smith didn't get off well and was picked off by corner Tre'Davious White on a late drive. Both Lorenzo Alexander and Cedric Thornton had sacks. Preston Brown was his typical disruptive self, with defensive ends Shaq Larson and Jerry Hughes very active on the day. They started to look like the defense that helped the Bills get off to a 5-2 record and less like the dysfunctional group that they were for the past three weeks leading up to this spot.

At first glance, the Pats are 9-2, having another really good season. But after a 2-2 start, the defending Super Bowl champions were looking ragged. A defense that was getting dominated aerially and a one-dimensional offense looked to derail the Pats' chances of repeating this season. But over the course of the last 7 weeks, things have gotten better. The defense has not allowed more than 17 points in 7 weeks, with their offense making better use of their full cast of weapons. They showed nice balance on Sunday against Miami, with the aerial attack and ground-game both doing a lot of damage. The defense, meanwhile, was stout, while making a lot of plays over the course of the game.

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Against Miami, Tom Brady threw 4 TD passes and again smoothly ran an offense that has become more versatile in recent weeks. He hit Rex Burkhead and Brandon Cooks with scores, while also connecting twice with TE Rob Gronkowski for touchdowns. Cooks had 83 yards receiving with "Gronk" adding 82 yards. The ground-game was also dynamic, with Dion Lewis galloping for 112 yards. Burkhead, who caught a TD pass, added one on the ground along with 50 yards rushing. The line played very well for New England, with a run-game getting off and Brady insulated from the pass-rush.

The defense has really turned it around for New England. Earlier, every QB they faced was having a feeding frenzy against this group. For that unit to go on a 7-game stretch where no opponent surpasses 17 points in quite a turnaround. The secondary has made more plays, especially with Duron Harmon and Stephon Gilmore, who both had picks on Sunday and who will both be facing their old team for the first time this week. The pass-rush was immense for the Patriots on Sunday, with Trey Flowers and Elandon Roberts both getting two sacks, as Jonathan Jones, Kyle Van Noy, and Eric Lee also got to the quarterback.

Buffalo getting back on the winning track on Sunday could make them tough in this spot. It's a road game within the division for New England. This is the middle of a rough patch for the Patriots, who have a quirk in their schedule where they will be playing 5 games on the road in 6 weeks. Waiting for the Patriots to come down to earth, however, has been a costly game to play. By the same token, I see the Bills being in a good spot to give the Pats a little push.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Buffalo Bills plus 8 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the New England vs. Buffalo game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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