MNF - WHAT. A. GAME. - Analysis and Picks

Monday night football! What a game we have on deck for tonight. Let’s do a little recap of Sunday’s action. I actually had a pretty nice day. I went 4-2 on my official plays. I couldn’t have been more off with that under in the Eagles/Jets game. Neither defense could stop a cold in that one. The Ravens loss kept it from being a great day on my end. But other than those two, we have 4 relatively easy winners on Sunday! No to mention another Dolphins victory!!

Now let’s get into this MNF game! We have such a great matchup on our hands tonight. The red hot, New England Patriots are traveling to the Buffalo to take on the Bills. The game will be a large deciding factor in the AFC East and the winner will be in the driver’s seat! But more than that, the winner of this game will have a great chance to earn the #1 seed in the AFC which comes with a bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. So, this already great matchup has a little more on the line than usual.

Line: Buffalo Bills -3

Total: 41

Let’s start off with the setting for this one. The game is being played in Buffalo and the weather will certainly play a factor. It looks like the rain/snow should be done by kickoff, but the real thing to keep an eye on is the wind. I am seeing average wind speeds of 28 mph with gusts up to 45 mph right around the time of kick off. That is seriously significant wind and will impact the abilities for the QBs to throw the ball downfield. I’ll be honest with you; I live about 45 minutes outside of Buffalo and the wind has been insane these past couple of days. When its piping, it seriously feels like my house is going to blow away, so I’m not sure how throws/kicks are going to do.

On top of weather, lets just talk about the atmosphere that’s going to take place in Buffalo tonight. That place is going to be absolutely insane. Bills fans are a different bread of human being. They are for the most part complete scum bags from my experience, but I can’t knock them for the passion they have for their team. I’m sure the tailgating lots have had people in them since this morning. This Bills crowd is going to be fired up and I’ll honestly be curious to see how Mac Jones handles it. Let’s not act like he didn’t play in the SEC, so he’s been in hostile environments in the past. But the combination of the weather and crowd will certainly play a factor.

Now let’s get into the on-field match up. This game features two great defenses. According to points per game, these are the 1st and 2nd defenses in the entire league. Both defenses are especially good against the pass according to the numbers. The Bill’s defense did have a major injury last week losing star corner Tre White. This might be a huge absence for them down the road, but I actually don’t think it will be the biggest issue tonight. As I have already highlighted, the weather is going to make it very difficult to pass the ball. However, a positive note for the Bills, they finally have a healthy front seven. They are getting back Star Lotulelei up front and Tremaine Edmunds returned last game after missing the previous two. The Patriots weakness in their defense seems to be the Run D. They are ranked 18th in the league in rushing yards, which is middle of the pack. However, the Bills are a team that doesn’t rely heavily on the run game as they rank 20th in the league in rush yards. The weather may have them running it a bit more today so it will be interesting to see if they can move the ball on the ground when the Pats somewhat know it’s coming. I also think the Pats passing D is a touch overrated, so yards can still come from the air.

Now let’s flip sides of the ball and investigate these teams’ offenses. The patriots have been very solid this year. Mac Jones has done well taking care of the football and currently has the team on a 6-game win streak. They haven’t gone up against the greatest of competition through this 6-game stretch, but impressive, nonetheless. I think the patriots will look to get their two running backs involved early and often. It will be interesting to see that battle up front and if the Patriots are able to establish that run. I think its going to be a lot of check downs and tight end work in the passing game. Belichick has played in these types of games before, so I am sure the game plan will highlight the Patriots strengths in this one. One of the key factors in this game to me will be, can the Patriots take care of the football? The Bills are 2nd in the league in forcing turnovers so it will be a tough task.

The Buffalo Bills offense has been somewhat confusing this year. They have been able to blow out bad teams and really hang some points up. But they also have laid a few offensive duds including the Jags and Colts game. Josh Allen’s play has been somewhat questioned as at times this year and it looks like he has taken a little step back. However, he was still second in MVP odds coming into the week, so let’s not get crazy. I think Dawson Knox and Cole Beasley will play important roles in this one. The Patriots will be without safety Kyle Dugger due to COVID as well as nickel corner Jonathan Jones who was lost in previous weeks. I think this will open Beasley and Knox in the slot for an effective short passing game that will almost be an extension of the run. Allen does have a rocket for an arm, so the wind should be less of a factor for him. I also expect Allen to run the ball a decent amount tonight. It will be huge to make sure he too takes care of the football as turnovers in this one could be detrimental.

The Patriots come into this game with a 6-game winning streak. They have also covered the spread in all 6 of these games. The Bills last 5 have been an up and down. The three games they won, they also covered. The two games they lost; they fail to cover. Last year in the season series between the two was a clean sweep for the Bills, but that was before Mac Jones, so I don’t know how much we want to consider that.

This leads me to my final prediction on the game. This is an incredibly tight match up with so much on the line. I have highlighted the weather many times, but the total has already gone from 44 down to 41. So, we missed the boat on playing the under. I don’t think I can get on board betting the under at 41 and to be honest I usually always miss when trying to bet a total solely based on weather. So, I am staying away from the total. Gun to head, I would probably bet the Over and root for some chaos. Bad weather also leads to turnovers, which can lead to quick points.

I am going to have a play on a side in this one. My pick for this game is the Buffalo Bills. I am comfortable taking the line at 3 but will wait until closer to game time hoping to get a 2.5. I think Buffalo is going to be electric for this game. The fans are going to be insane, its going to be cold and windy and that favorites the Bills big time in my mind. I think Mac Jones is going to be very uncomfortable tonight. He is a kid from Florida that played his college ball in Alabama. I am not sure he’s ever played a game in these conditions. His arm strength isn’t the greatest, so that wind could really screw him up. If the Bills can take care of the football, establish a bit of run and throw the ball effectively they should get it done in my opinion. This also feels like a good opportunity to sell high on the Pats. I haven’t exactly bought into them and still have my doubts, but their record is undeniable, and many others have bought in. I think I’m going to look to target some Cole Beasley props as well if any of you guys are degenerates like me.

Pick: Bills -3 (Wait till closer to kick off and try to get a 2.5)

Thanks as always for reading! Lets hope for an epic game tonight. Cheers folks!

Twitter: @Bminus3

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