Week 13 of the NFL season gets underway on Thursday with a key divisional matchup in the AFC East as the Buffalo Bills visit the New England Patriots. The Bills are currently tied for the top spot in the division with the Miami Dolphins, while the Patriots are one game behind the New York Jets for the final playoff spot in the AFC. Only two games separate the four teams in the division and it's conceivable all four teams make the playoffs. Thursday will either tighten things up even further, or create some separation. How are bettors betting the game?
Bettors love Buffalo
The Buffalo Bills are currently 3.5-point road favorites against the New England Patriots on Thursday night. That line is down two points from the opening number, when the Bills opened as a 5.5-point favorite. The line movement is a bit surprising when you realize that bettors are actually siding with Buffalo.
Currently at BetMGM, 77% of bets and 75% of the betting handle is backing Buffalo to cover the spread as a road favorite. Despite the massive discrepancy in wagering action, the line is moving against the Bills.
Since Tom Brady departed New England, the Bills are 4-1 against the Patriots. The most recent meeting was a memorable one as it occurred in the wild-card round of the playoffs last season. It was an absolute bloodbath as the Bills opened up a 27-0 lead en route to winning the game by a final score of 47-17. New England was never in the game and in fact, the two teams didn't look like they belonged on the same field.
Buffalo's only loss against the Patriots in the last two-plus seasons occurred last year when the two teams played in frigid, wintry and extremely windy conditions. New England attempted just three passes all game long but still came out on top with a 14-10 score. Thursday night is expected to be cold, but wind and weather aren't a real concern.
The Bills haven't been at the top of their game in recent weeks, and that's reflected in their 1-4 record against the spread in their last five games. These teams both played on Thanksgiving, with Buffalo escaping with a 3-point win over the Detroit Lions and New England losing a shootout to the Minnesota Vikings.
Speaking of shootouts, bettors are siding with the over on Thursday night. Currently at BetMGM, 67% of bets are backing the game to go over 43.5 total points. Thursday nights started the season with a 5-1 record towards the under, but the game has gone over the total in five of the last six weeks.
Popular prop bets
Maybe you're not feeling a side or the total. In that case, you might turn your attention to the prop market. Which props are receiving the most action at BetMGM ahead of kickoff?
The most popular bet is Stefon Diggs to score the first touchdown of the game at +550. Diggs has scored in seven of 11 games this season but is yet to score the first touchdown in any game this season. Sticking with the Bills' offense, the second most popular bet is Devin Singletary to score a touchdown at any point in the game at +125. Singletary has scored in just three of 11 games this season, but has scored in two of the last three weeks.
The third most popular bet of the night is Patriots' running back Rhamondre Stevenson to go over 35.5 receiving yards. Damien Harris has been ruled out by the Patriots, so Stevenson should command a large share of the workload. Last week, Stevenson caught nine passes on ten targets for 78 yards. He's gone over this receiving number in four of the last five weeks.