- The Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots clash on Saturday, December 21, at 4:30 PM ET
- Both teams feature top-tree pass defenses
- Tom Brady and Josh Allen are strong bets to fall short of their passing yardage totals
No Thursday Night Football, no problem. The NFL has gift-wrapped a three-game Saturday slate in Week 16, which includes an AFC East battle between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots.
If offense is your jam, then you’ll likely want to look away, but just because this game features the lowest total of the day, doesn’t mean there aren’t profitable prop bets available.
Take the Patriots passing game for example. The Bills are a much stronger pass defense than run defense (3rd in DVOA vs 19th in DVOA) and key members of the New England offense are banged up.
Prop #1: Tom Brady Over/Under 233.5 Passing Yards
All odds taken Dec. 20.
42-year-old Tom Brady has dealt with a variety of injuries this season, but his latest elbow problem seems to really be affecting his play. Since Week 12, Brady has completed less than 53% of his passes in each of his four starts. His 76.8 quarterback rating during that stretch is the lowest in the league, and he’s only topped 190 passing yards once.
Tom Brady was not selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time since 2008. pic.twitter.com/b6bVrlJbqH
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 18, 2019
Last week versus the Bengals, he threw the ball 29 times for a season-low 129 yards, and averaged a miniscule 4.4 yards per attempt. His number one option Julian Edelman is nursing knee and shoulder injuries, and TB12 hasn’t topped 150 yards in either of his last two outings versus the Bills.
Pick: Brady Under 233.5 passing yards (-129)
Risk: 2 units to win 1.55 units
Prop #2: Josh Allen Over/Under 185.5 Passing Yards
Brady isn’t the only QB in this matchup likely to struggle. Josh Allen has performed poorly in both career starts against the Patriots, failing to eclipse a 49% completion rate each time out. He’s thrown for 185 yards or less in five of his last eight outings, and the Patriots are allowing an AFC-low 170 passing yards per game.
STEPHON GILMORE HOUSE CALL?#NEvsCIN
— PFF (@PFF) December 15, 2019
New England has limited 64% of opposing quarterbacks below 200 yards this season and are Pro Football Focus’ number one graded coverage unit. Allen will be facing an uphill battle all game long.
Pick: Allen Under 185.5 passing yards (-113)
Risk: 1 unit to win 0.88 units
Prop #3: John Brown Over/Under 51.5 Receiving Yards
The main cog in the Pats elite secondary is Stephon Gilmore. The shut down corner is the defensive player of the year front runner, and hasn’t allowed a touchdown in coverage all season. Gilmore is allowing just 46.3% of passes thrown his way to be completed and boasts a 87.6 PFF coverage grade.
Stephon Gilmore has allowed an NFL passer rating of 32.8 on throws into his coverage this season. The NFL passer rating for throwing the ball away on every play is 39.6. pic.twitter.com/ii9dYaGUNA
— PFF (@PFF) December 17, 2019
That spells bad news for John Brown, who will run the majority of his routes at Gilmore. After a strong start to the season, Brown has been held to 39 receiving yards or less in three of his last four games.
Pick: Brown Under 51.5 receiving yards (-113)
Risk: 1 unit to win 0.88 units