The final of the Monday Night NFL matchups completes the football sports betting calendar in Week 16. The Buffalo Bills take a victory celebration to New England, where they’ve displaced the Patriots as one of the elite NFL teams and AFC East champion.
|Game: Buffalo Bills (11-3) vs New England Patriots (6-8)
Location: Gillette Stadium
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Over/Under||Team Total|
They don’t really have a true backup for FB Reggie Gilliam but they should be able to scheme around his absence on Monday. He’s been ruled out by the Bills after missing practice this week with a variety of knee and hamstring issues. (He’s good and banged up.)
The only other new injury the Bills report this week is a groin pull suffered by backup RT Ty Nsekhe in their win Saturday over the Denver Broncos.
Coach Sean McDermott was aloof when asked about whether WR John Brown would be playing after being activated from injured reserve. Since he participated in practice, it stands to reason he’ll go, but is worth checking in with NFL news reporters on Monday at around 4:00 p.m. ET. That’s the deadline to push him to the active roster, otherwise, he doesn’t show up on the inactives list.
Someone who might not be on the inactives list is special-teams’ S Jaquan Johnson (ankle) who missed the last two weeks. He is now only listed questionable and worked back to full practice by week’s end, so he could be expected to play.
The week’s news of WR Stefon Diggs’ foot and CB Tre’Davious White suffering a stinger resulted in just noise, as they’re both clear of the final injury report and are expected to handle their usual workload.
New England Patriots
Five ankles, four shoulders, three knees, a couple of backs, two calves, a neck, one quadriceps, a thigh and, surprisingly, only one hammy — that’s what chef Bill Belichick is serving up this week at the Patriots’ Injury Cafeteria.
Bill’s habit of making a wall of questionable players is now making the rounds in social media as he’s crossed the threshold of 20 players. Yes, just a couple short of two starting lines. Every time a reporter asks him if it’s time to start quarterback Jarrett Stidham, he puts a new player on the list. (Spoiler: Not this week. He’ll stick with Cam Newton.)
Last week, we correctly identified RB Damien Harris as the one player among 15 or so who could likely be scratched, and he was effectively the only one. This week, no one sticks out as a likely candidate to be anything other than active, but it’s not a safe assumption New England will be putting forward their best players now that they’re eliminated from the playoffs.
For instance, they moved CB Stephon Gilmore to the injured reserve for a knee injury suffered in their loss last week to the Miami Dolphins. While it was reported at the time the injury wouldn’t be serious, he’s not seeing the field again in 2020. The same is being said of WR Julian Edelman who likely won’t be added to the active roster to which he was designated, this week or next.
They moved DT Carl Davis back onto the injured reserve after he’d been seemingly on the cusp of clearing concussion protocol. He hasn’t played since Week 11.
And, the Patriots will lose two other depth players to the IR-C this week. Both TE Jordan Thomas and DT Isaiah Mack will not be able to clear in time to play Monday night.
While there’s been some two-way action on this game, it’s been clear so far that if books post the Bills as 6½-point favorites, someone’s going to take out that number. So with Buffalo laying a touchdown even, the total opened at 45 and moved up to 46.
Siding with the Bills here, but it’s not likely a 6½ will appear. For now, it’s a cheap touchdown, so lean to the Buffalo Bills -7 even. Surely this screams out to be included in whatever teasers you might be considering.
The total isn’t particularly appealing, but for the sake of a pick we’d have a slight lean to under the total of 46 and wonder how many points the Patriots will score of the 20 to which they’re projected.