Off back-to-back losses in December for the first time in 15 years, the seemingly invincible New England Patriots suddenly are in danger of not securing a first-round bye for the playoffs.
According to Nate Davis of USA TODAY, in their 15-playoff appearances under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the Patriots have had to play on wild-card weekend only three times, and none since 2009. All three of those wild-card endeavors resulted in the Patriots failing to reach the Super Bowl.
So, while the rush will be on to bet on the Pats with their backs up against the unthinkable, this is far from a layup. Not with the Bills 11-9 straight up and 15-3-2 against the spread as road dogs when playing with revenge against foes coming off a SU favorite loss, including 9-0-2 ATS the last 11. Take notice that they won more than half of those games straight up as underdogs. Couple that with New England’s naughty 2-10 ATS mark as favorites in second-to-last home games of the season when hosting foes with losing records, along with Buffalo’s bawdy No. 2 overall ranked defense (83 ypg better than the Pats), and you have the makings of another possible eyebrow raiser in Foxborough.
Prediction: New England over Buffalo by 6
Marc Lawrence previews the NFL from a Vegas perspective. You can follow him online at Playbook.com or @MarcLawrence.