The New England Patriots are rarely home underdogs during the Bill Belichick era, so when they are, people take notice. Especially when it’s a number this size.
Odds for the NFL Week 13 slate were released Sunday, and the Patriots opened as 5.5-point underdogs to the visiting Buffalo Bills for Thursday Night Football. The Bills are currently two games better in the AFC East, 8-3, while the Patriots are in last place with a 6-5 mark. The Bills have also won four of the teams' last five meetings, the past two by an average margin of victory of 21 points. Plus the Bills didn’t punt in either of those games. Suffice to say, Vegas has confidence they can move the ball and score against New England as this represents an almost nine-point swing from the classic three-point favorite for being the home team.
It will be interesting to see and hear commentary from Pats players about this, and if said spread is used as a disrespect card this week. Players haven’t forgotten the lopsided nature to this rivalry of late, and it’s been a motivating factor all offseason, as evidenced by the photo seen this summer in Mac Jones’ locker of him walking off the field in defeat last January.
For the record: since taking over in New England in the 2000 season, this will be the 21st time the Pats will be home underdogs under coach Bill Belichick. They’re 15-5 against the spread in those games, with 14 of them QB’d by Tom Brady (in which he was 12-2 ATS), thus they’re 3-3 without Brady following their 37-26 loss to the Ravens in September (Baltimore was -3 at kickoff).
The drama is building for the latest chapter in this heated division rivalry. Bills at Patriots kicks off Thursday night at 8:15 p.m. on Amazon Prime Video.