The Daily Sweat: If Bills are contenders, they need to show it against the Patriots

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  • Buffalo Bills
    Buffalo Bills
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  • New England Patriots
    New England Patriots
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The Buffalo Bills have been favorites in 10 of 11 games they've played this season. They've been a favorite of at least 6 points in 9-of-11 games. 

The Bills are a darling of oddsmakers. The problem is, the results haven't really matched up. The Bills are 7-4, not even in first place of the AFC East. They've had some bad losses including one at the Jacksonville Jaguars, which might be the worst loss for any team this season. They haven't been bad. Just not great. They're just priced on the odds like they're great. 

The team that is in first place of the AFC East is a familiar one. The New England Patriots are 8-4 after winning six in a row. Despite their hot streak, the Patriots are 3-point underdogs at the Bills at BetMGM

That's a lot of respect for the Bills, which isn't new this season. How you view this game might depend on how you analyze how each team will handle the weather. 

According to the forecast, there will be winds of about 25 miles per hour. There is a 75 percent chance of precipitation on Monday though it should subside by kickoff. On one hand, Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen and his big arm are set up well for success in wind and cold. But they also have no offensive balance. The Bills not only don't run it well, they don't have much interest in trying. The Patriots have a lot more offensive balance and even though their quarterback Mac Jones is from Jacksonville and played at Alabama, perhaps their offensive approach is suited for a December game in Buffalo. 

The Patriots are underdogs but maybe they shouldn't be. They have been the better team for a few weeks. The defense has been on a roll. If you believe they're benefitting from a soft stretch of the schedule that's fine, but they've looked very good in beating those teams. 

It seems like the right move to grab the Patriots getting a field goal. The Bills just haven't been the contender everyone figured they would be, not to this point in the season anyway. If Buffalo is going to be that team, Monday night would be the time to prove it. 

Josh Allen and the Bills face the Patriots with first place in the AFC East on the line. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Josh Allen and the Bills face the Patriots with first place in the AFC East on the line. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Here is the first look at the betting slate for Week 13: 

What about the props for MNF? 

Before betting any props, make sure you take a last look at the weather. Assuming a tough night in Buffalo for offenses (I'll be on the under of 40.5, in part because of the weather but also a nod to both defenses being very good), build your props card accordingly. 

Mac Jones' passing yardage total is 202.5 and I'll take the under. I don't think the Patriots will want to pass it much. Buffalo does have a good defense and it could be a grind-it-out game. It seems like that's how New England would like it to go. I also like the under of Stefon Diggs' receiving yards, which is 62.5. The Patriots do a good job taking away what you do best, and Diggs is clearly the Bills' best skill-position player. 

What is the NBA schedule? 

There are 10 games on the card. The best game is either the Denver Nuggets at the surging Chicago Bulls, or the Atlanta Hawks at a surprising Minnesota Timberwolves team. The Bulls are 4.5-point favorites, and it's hard to go against such a hot team. Minnesota is favored by 2.5. 

Are there any good college basketball games? 

There is an early Big Ten game, as Illinois travels to face Iowa. Iowa is a 2.5-point favorite. The Illini has been pretty good since Kofi Cockburn came back from an early-season suspension. They've won their last four. Iowa was undefeated before losing to a very good Purdue team. Iowa hadn't played a tough schedule though, and grabbing 2.5 points with Illinois seems like the way to go. 

What's the best bet? 

It's a toss up between underdogs. Just go ahead and take both the Patriots and Illinois basketball and don't forget to take a little bit on the moneyline for each. 

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