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Week 17 NFL Upset Alert – Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots

That noise you hear is the Week 17 NFL upset alert going off as Buffalo visits the division rival Patriots. You’d have to be brazen to believe that Buffalo is going to beat New England straight up, but the cover is very much in play here. These Bills have been storming opponents on the ground all year, and New England is very vulnerable to a strong rushing attack.

The playoff situation for this game is fairly simple. The Patriots have to win to clinch the second seed in the AFC, and a loss by the Broncos would give them the first overall seed as well. As we saw last weekend, New England is not about to go in to the post season quietly. They have been beating almost everyone in their path and are coming off a rousing 41-7 decimation of Baltimore. This is perhaps the greatest season we’ve seen out of Tom Brady and Bill Belichik.

Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are 8.5 point favorites over the Buffalo Bills in the NFL’s week 17.

Starts: 12/29/2013 4:25PM
Gillette Stadium, One Patriot Place
Foxborough, Massachusetts


Of course, the numbers won’t reflect that. Brady doesn’t have the staggering numbers of Peyton Manning and the Patriots defense has been suspect all season long. Injuries to a vast majority of important stars can explain both of those statistical products but they haven’t really impacted the Patriots in the standings. The Patriots are 4-2 SU in their last 6 games since their bye week. Unfortunately, that strong real-life record has coincided with a dismal 2-4 ATS record over those 6 matchups as well. The Patriots’ spread record in and of itself should be setting off the Week 17 NFL upset alert bells, but the Bills also have something to do with that as well.

Buffalo has been a relatively up and down play all year, going just 3-3 SU and ATS in their last 6 games, but they’ve also racked up a mind boggling 663 rushing yards in their last four games. That’s a crazy output which includes a 67 rushing yard total against Tampa. Teams that can rush the ball effectively can control the pace of a game, keep their opponent’s offenses on the sidelines and grind out the clock. New England has allowed 131.7 yards rushing per game this year, ranking them 29th in the league.


Sun, Dec 29th 2013
JAX +11.5
Sun, Dec 29th 2013
MIN -3.0
Sun, Dec 29th 2013
TEN -7.0
Sun, Dec 29th 2013
CLE +7.0
Sun, Dec 29th 2013
New York Giants
NYG -3.5
Sun, Dec 29th 2013
New York Jets
MIA -5.5
Sun, Dec 29th 2013
ATL +6.0
Sun, Dec 29th 2013
CIN -6.0
Sun, Dec 29th 2013
New England
BUF +8.5
Sun, Dec 29th 2013
Tampa Bay
New Orleans
TB +13.0
Sun, Dec 29th 2013
DEN -13.0
Sun, Dec 29th 2013
San Francisco
Sun, Dec 29th 2013
Kansas City
San Diego
SD -9.5
Sun, Dec 29th 2013
St. Louis
STL +10.5
Sun, Dec 29th 2013
PHI -6.0

The one reason you should be wary of Buffalo is their quarterback situation. Thad Lewis looks like he’ll finish the year for the oft-injured E.J. Manuel, but he’s not a reason to bet against the Bills. Buffalo’s ground game has been astoundingly effective against good defenses down the stretch, and New England’s inability to stop the run all year will keep this game close. I don’t know if Buffalo has the closing power to beat Tom Brady in a fist fight, but they can certainly stay within range by grinding up the turf. That’s why the point cushion here is creating a Week 17 NFL upset alert, and why you should be siding with the road dogs.

Week 17 NFL Upset Alert – Buffalo +8.5

Posted in NFL