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Game Predictions: Expert picks for Patriots vs. Bills

20191220-ExpertPredictions-PDC

Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 16 matchup against the Buffalo Bills.

Mike Reiss, ESPN:

Pick: Patriots 16, Bills 13

The Patriots' top slot cornerback Jonathan Jones (groin) is out, and that is significant. Jones has the lowest completion percentage against him of the 24 corners in the NFL who have faced more than 30 passes in the slot this season. Meanwhile, the Bills have run 3-WR personnel 69% of the time, fourth most in the NFL. Bills slot receiver Cole Beasley could have a big day.

Marcel Louis-Jacques, ESPN

Pick: Bills 13, Patriots 10

Bold prediction: As if predicting a Bills win at Gillette Stadium isn't bold enough, I'll go a step further. The Patriots have allowed four 100-yard rushers this season: Joe Mixon, Nick Chubb, Mark Ingram II and Buffalo's Frank Gore. They'll allow a fifth on Saturday, when Bills rookie Devin Singletary crosses the century mark.

Mike Golic, ESPN: Bills

Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots

Mina Kimes, ESPN: Patriots

Dan Graziano, ESPN: Patriots

Trey Wingo, ESPN: Bills

Kevin Seifert, ESPN: Patriots

Matt Bowen, ESPN: Patriots

Mike Clay, ESPN: Patriots

Jason Reid, ESPN: Bills

Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com

Pick: Patriots 16, Bills 14

Tom Brady and the New England offense are down to doing one thing well: not turning the ball over. That's helped the Patriots build up a silly +24 turnover differential, including +3 when they snuck past the Bills in Buffalo back in Week 4. In a chilly game where I don't trust either offense to move the ball, the Patriots will need Josh Allen to provide extra possessions and good field position again. Brady won a Super Bowl in 2001 with a familiar recipe: limited offensive mistakes, a fantasy defense, a playoff bye and good fortune. That appears to be that Pats' only path forward this season, with two sub-standard offenses left on the schedule to dismantle before earning that bye.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:

Pick: Bills 20, Patriots 17

Can the Bills win at Foxboro, where they are 2-16 since 2000? Yes, they can. The Patriots offense is limited, and that's never a good thing against a good defense. The concern is the Bills offense against that Patriots defense. Even so, look for Josh Allen to play well as the Bills pull off the upset.

Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Bills

Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Patriots

Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Patriots

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Bills

John Breech, CBS Sports: Bills

Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports: Patriots

Jared Dubin, CBS Sports: Patriots

Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:

Pick: Patriots 17, Bills 10

At some point, the Bills will unleash Josh Allen as a runner. It likely won't be this week, and that means the Patriots will be able to complete the sweep.

Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:

Pick: Patriots 13, Bills 10

The Patriots are slouching toward the postseason, but they'll shut down the Bills' offense and win this one.

Jenny Vrentas, MMQB: Patriots

Conor Orr, MMQB: Patriots

Kalyn Kahler, MMQB: Bills

Andrew Brandt, MMQB: Patriots

Mitch Goldich, MMQB: Bills

Bette Marston, MMQB: Patriots

Andy Hart, WEEI

Pick: Patriots 20, Bills 16

Las Vegas expects this to be a very low-scoring game, but still has the Patriots as nearly a touchdown favorite. In many ways the game comes down to one thing – Allen's ability to avoid interceptions. If he turns the ball over, things will snowball in the Patriots' favor in the cold. Allen deserves credit for the way he has played. But it's still hard to assume he won't turn the ball over against the best takeaway defense in the NFL. Edelman's health and the inefficient passing game are huge factors. New England's running game is coming off a solid performance, but the Bills' defense is a much bigger challenge. The Patriots haven't lost consecutive games at home since 2008. Of course, this has been a pretty unique season in a lot of ways. Still, in the end, Brady, Belichick and the Patriots get the benefit of the doubt inside Gillette Stadium. So we'll go with a 20-16 win for New England. But there is no doubt that this game could go either way in oh so many ways.

Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:

Pick: Patriots 16, Bills 12

Two strong defenses coupled with two struggling offenses make for a hard-fought battle that will likely be decided by a turnover or two. I like Tom Brady's chances of protecting the ball better than Josh Allen.

Mike Dussault, Patriots.com:

Pick: Patriots 17, Bills 16

With a banged up Julian Edelman it's hard to predict any kind of offensive explosion for the Patriots against a very good Bills defense that has given Tom Brady fits over the last few seasons. Still, the Patriots defense and special teams have been making game-changing plays all season long and they should once again make the difference in a closely-fought game.

Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com

Pick: Patriots 20, Bills 17

This game could look eerily similar to the one these two teams played in Buffalo earlier this season. But with the AFC East crown on the line, it could be even tighter. If neither team makes any glaring mistakes, the outcome could come down to which team has the ball last.

Megan O'Brien, Patriots.com

Pick: Patriots 17, Bills 14

Saturday is a big Nick Folk game. Patriots win by a field goal.

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