The Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots will kick off Week 13 at Gillette Stadium on Thursday night.
Bettors are wondering if Josh Allen is 100% as his passing yard total is dropping, while the backfield in New England could be all Rhamondre Stevenson’s..
Bills vs Patriots props
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Bills vs Patriots TNF props
Rhamondre the bell-cow
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported earlier this week that the New England Patriots feel Damien Harris is week-to-week and not expected to play Thursday. That means it will be the Rhamondre Stevenson show vs. Buffalo.
#Patriots RB Damien Harris, who is dealing with a thigh injury, is not expected to play this Thursday, source said. He's considered week-to-week going forward, an indication he'll miss some time.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 29, 2022
In the two games that Harris missed this year, Stevenson carried 34 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns. He took 71% of the team’s running back carries and amounted to 88% of the team’s RB rushing yards. He’s also seen 7.6 targets per game since Week 7, second only to Austin Ekeler. However, with the injury to Harris, his rushing total of 60.5 yards is my favorite prop.
The Buffalo offense hasn’t looked like its early-season self and a lot of that is likely due to Josh Allen’s elbow injury. The spread is sitting at four points which could mean a fairly neutral game script with a Patriots team that is running at 47% at home (10th). Jakobi Meyers isn’t at full health and the Pats face a defense that ranks 25th in success rate vs. the run over the last four weeks.
We should see Stevenson early and often Thursday night.
Rhamondre Stevenson Prop: Over 60.5 rushing yards (-115)
Miles per Allen
Since coming out of the Bills’ bye in Week 7, Josh Allen is 4-1 O/U on his rushing prop and averaging 8.5 carries per game — up from his career numbers of 6.9 carries per game. His accuracy has also been off, posting a completion percentage of 59% since the bye. He’s thrown for over 260 yards just once since Week 8 — including two games indoors — and he's using his legs more to make up for his elbow issue.
Josh Allen led the Bills to victory using his legs, gaining +32 rushing yards over expected & throwing for 97 yards on extended dropbacks (4+ seconds time to throw).— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) November 24, 2022
Allen (2022, QB Ranks):
???? +204 RYOE (3rd)
???? 460 yards on extended dropbacks (2nd)#BUFvsDET | #BillsMafia pic.twitter.com/7kmpVLsHrk
His passing yard prop is down 10 yards on his season average and that could certainly be due to his elbow issues. Allen is getting it done on the ground to make up for his issues in the passing game but there hasn't been a correction in his rushing totals.
This week, his rushing total sits at 41.5 yards which is actually a three-week low and bang on his season average of 41.3 yards.
Allen ran for 66 yards on six carries in last season’s playoff game vs. the Patriots which included a Buffalo 27-3 lead at halftime. Only five other teams are allowing more QB rushing yards per game than New England as Zach Wilson, Sam Ehlinger, and Justin Fields have all led their team in rushing vs. the Patriots over their last five games.
With Allen’s throwing arm not 100% and him looking to take off more, I’m riding his Over 41.5 rushing yards this week and expect him to continue to run all over the Patriots.
Josh Allen Prop: Over 41.5 rushing yards (-114)
Isaiah McKenzie has seen six carries over the last five games and has rushed for 36 yards and a touchdown over that stretch. He is taking end-around and turning them upfield in Ken Dorsey’s motion offense. This end-around helps set up runs between the tackles as it keeps the outside defenders honest.
McKenzie is the only Buffalo wide receiver to handle a carry, and now that he is completely healthy and coming off a career game with 10 targets, 96 yards, a score, and two carries, it’s likely Dorsey will want the ball in the hands of his 4.42 40-yard receiver.
McKenzie has seen at least one carry in four of his last five games with the only game he went carryless being Week 11 where he saw just 27 snaps and was dealing with an illness prior to the game.
The Patriots have a Top-10 rush defense, so the offensive game plan could get a little creative with the run game and McKenzie could benefit. Running vs. the Patriots is nothing new to the WR as McKenzie had three rushes for 39 yards in last year’s Wild Card game vs. the Pats, and another rush in the Week 16 meeting.