Patriots vs Bills: 3 best prop bets for NFL Week 7

10/22/2023
DB+

It is Week 7 of the 2023 NFL season already, and the Buffalo Bills get their first crack at the one of the worst teams in the league, the New England Patriots. It feels really good to say that because it’s true.

It doesn’t feel good to the truth about our props from last week.

  • Stefon Diggs o82.5 receiving yards, -110, Result: 100 receiving yards ✅
  • Tyler Bass o1.5 field goals, +120, Result: 0 for 2 attempts. ❌
  • Damien Harris anytime TD +310, Result: no TDs ❌

Diggs was rare bright spot for the struggling offense against the New York Giants, and Damien Harris was carted off the field with about three minutes left in the first half, so he is immediately excused. I’m still convinced Harris would have scored on one of those goal-line runs to close out the third quarter, but c’est la vie. Thankfully, it looks like he should be ok. Tyler Bass is as dependable and reliable a kicker as there has been in the league not name Justin Tucker. We’ll have to chalk it up to a bad night.

First Things First

Here are a few rules to keep your betting a fun, enjoyable hobby.

  1. Never bet more than you can afford to lose.
  2. Don’t chase a bet.
  3. Don’t bet on what you don’t understand
  4. Check the other sportsbooks’ lines
  5. See Rule #1.

If you think you might have a gambling problem, please contact any of these agencies for help.

National Council on Problem Gambling: 1-800-522-4700.
Gambling Anonymous National Hotline: (888) GA-HELPS (888-424-3577)
Gambling Assistance Hotline: (800) 522-4700

Lastly, these are recommendations, not guarantees. Act accordingly.

Game Script

This might sound familiar, but the Bills’ opponent is ravaged by injuries in the middle of an underwhelming season. The Patriots do know the Bills well, however, and that might present unexpected problems. I swear to everything holy that if we have to live through another win like the Giants game…we will have lived through another win. Too many of us in Bills Mafia are clamoring for perfection, and, even though the Pats are the team who faced Josh Allen and the Bills in a perfect offensive performance, if you’re waiting for a repeat of that perfect game, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. This is an AFC East divisional foe, and it really is true that divisional teams know each other best. This deep knowledge often leads to close-fought games. That said, the Bills are 6-1 in their last seven against the Pats, and the Pats went through a stretch where they got outscored 72-3. I also thought the Bills would destroy the Giants and Allen would rest for most of the fourth quarter. Ugh. Let’s look at the numbers instead of my thoughts.

The Pats have been blitzing at the sixth-highest rate so far this season, but they are middle of the pack at it, registering only the 17th-best success rate. They also use middle-of-the-field closed coverage, a single high safety, 52% of the time. They are successful with that coverage on 41% of plays, which is fifth best. However, the Bills excel versus MOFC coverages like Cover 1 and Cover 3:

  • first in points earned
  • second in TD%, passer rating, points earned/play, and second lowest in Bust rate (when the defense has a play worth 1 point in EPA or more)
  • fifth in EPA
  • ninth in Boom rate (when the offense has a play worth 1 point in EPA or more)

And when the Pats use middle-of-the-field open coverages, they are among the league’s worst, ranking 27th in success rate. Allen and the Bills are still very good against MOFO coverages and are sixth in EPA and eighth in positive play rate.

When the Pats have the ball, they’re limp. By EPA, the Pats are by far the worst team in the league at -70.37. Second worst is the Browns at -58.63. The Limping Belichicks have the highest Bust Rate (along with the widely celebrated terrible Steelers’ offense) and the third worst Boom Rate, so, when they pass, good things don’t happen and bad things do.

To pile on:

  • The Pats have the second-worst passer rating (again the Browns)
  • Their Yards/Att is fifth-worst
  • Seventh-worst completion percentage
  • Fifth worst EPA/Att when rushing
  • worst Points Earned/Play and worst Boom Rate when rushing

It’s like all of your revenge fantasies have come true. Now we just need the Bills to show up and be the team they demonstrated they can be.

Prediction: Patriots 13 – Bills 27

For a thorough breakdown, check out Uber Hansen’s Game Matchups Preview.

DVOA Matchup

Injury Reports

Weather

From the National Weather Service:

Sunday
Partly sunny, with a high near 56. West wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

Recommendations

Gabe Davis Receiving Yards

Book Line o u
DK 33.5 -125 -105
FD 38.5 -114 -114
MGM 33.5 -115 -115

The Pats are ranked 23rd in overall pass DVOA, but they rank a solid first against WR1s. As a general rule, I won’t suggest betting against Diggs, but there should be additional room for Gabe Davis and other WRs as NE has struggled with every other type of pass catcher.

DVOA by receiver:

  • WR1s: 1st, -46.4%
  • WR2s: 30th, 34.6%
  • WR3s: 32nd, 49.4%
  • TEs: 29th, 35.4%
  • RBs: 24th, 24.8%

This is the perfect game for Allen to get receivers other than Diggs involved.

Recommendation: Gabe Davis o33.5 rec yds at MGM -115, 0.5u.

Rhamondre Stevenson Longest Rush

Pats use 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE) at the fourth highest rate (32%). It is their best offensive grouping: their success rate ranks 12th when they run from 12p and that is their highest offensive ranking.

Against 12p, the Bills give up the fifth most broken and missed tackles (15.2%). They are ranked 31st in Yards/Att at 5.2 and allow the sixth most EPA/Rush Att. Lastly, our boys give up the second-highest Boom Rate (16.7%). We’ve profited from this reality before with Travis Etienne’s longest rush, and, while we bleed blue and red, our wallets only know green.

Book Line o u
DK 13.5 -125 -105
FD
MGM 13.5 -125 -105

Recommendation: Stevenson longest rush o13.5, -125, 0.5u

Dalton Kincaid Receiving Yards

Book Line o u
DK 23.5 -110 -120
FD 20.5 -114 -114
MGM 23.5 -110 -120

Trust me, I know, but in my defense, we’ve only had one official Kincaid prop, and New England has given up plays and yardage to TEs.

  • Wk 1: Dallas Goeddert, 0 rec – 0 yds, Long of 0 (Philly gave 22 of their 30 targets to outside WRs)
  • Wk 2: River Cracraft. 2 – 34, Long of 22
  • Wk 3: Tyler Conklin, 3 – 26, Long of 18
  • Wk 4: Jake Ferguson, 7 – 77, Long of 21
  • Wk 5: Foster Moreau, 1 – 6, Long of 6
  • Wk 6: Michael Mayer, 5 – 75, Long of 32

The Pats’ defense has struggled with TEs beyond counting stats. They allow the sixth highest EPA/ play to TEs, the 11th highest Yards/Att, and they allow Boom Play to TEs 34.4% of the time, only PHI is worse at 36.1%, and they have the fourth worst DVOA against TEs. New England also ranks 29th against passes to the middle of the field at 40.5%.

Recommendation: Dalton Kincaid o20.5 rec yards, -114, at FD 0.5u. FD can produce some strange lines, so be sure to check other books. I’m also watching for a Dawson Knox Longest Reception: I’d take the over up to 13.5 yards and probably still think about it at 14.5.

Conclusion

No wise words this week. Just go crush the Pats.

You can find Chris on Twitter (@lowbuffa), getting dirty in #MafiaGardens, or watching football. Go Bills!

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