Patriots-Bills player props: Josh Allen holds the key
The best prop bet that isn't on the board Saturday night is whether the broadcast crew will sneak a Goo Goo Dolls song into a commercial bumper. They always do during games in the band's hometown of Buffalo.
10,000 Maniacs - Natalie Merchant's original band - are also revered in western New York, but while their name is a pretty good description of the Bills Mafia in all their tailgate glory, we'll use the Goo Goo Dolls to help us find props we hope won't lose.
Allen averaged 41.2 pass attempts and rushed the ball 9.4 times over the last five games, many of which were blowout wins for the Bills. The over on his passing yards, rushing yards, and anytime touchdown are all very interesting.
However, instead of backing Allen's overs, we'll implicitly bet on his usage by fading the Bills' run game - or at least the version that doesn't end in a quarterback "Slide." While Buffalo may look like it's re-dedicated to the rushing attack, its running backs' carries over the last five games are actually deceiving.
The three high-carry games came in comfortable home wins over bad teams with non-threatening offenses. Devin Singletary got the workload, which dragged his projected yardage total up to the mid-40s. However, Buffalo relied on Allen to take control in the two big-time games.
Allen's 40 pass attempts and eight carries per game in last year's playoffs prove that when the Bills are in a must-win situation, they rely on their quarterback for "Better Days."
In the teams' two meetings this campaign, the Patriots held Singletary to 10 carries for 36 yards and 12 carries for 39 yards. Is there a game script that would see Singletary get 20 or more carries Saturday? I don't think so.
Pick: Singletary under 63.5 rushing yards
A TD that’s definitely going to happen
Aside from weather-related concerns, I like the over in this game. There's some value on numerous players as a result of expecting more scoring than the market does.
Since we're facetiously guaranteeing touchdowns, we might as well take Damien Harris, who had three in a lost cause in the teams' last meeting and took a long one right down "Broadway" in the first matchup.
Rhamondre Stevenson (+250) and Brandon Bolden (+360) present both hurdles and opportunities. Both could vulture a goal-line carry, but Bolden's also capable of catching a touchdown. With the possibility of two of the three scoring, adding them to your portfolio might be a good idea.
Pick: Harris anytime touchdown (+120)
A TD that probably won’t happen ... but maybe it does
Our random touchdown scorer might always seem a little "Dizzy," but the one game in which Jonnu Smith significantly out-snapped fellow tight end Hunter Henry was in the wind in Buffalo. With far from ideal weather on Saturday night, the veteran Smith can secure his status as Mac Jones' "January Friend."
If Josh McDaniels deploys the Patriots' run-heavy offense, we can take an educated guess that Smith will be on the field - and thus "Give A Little Bit" of our regular season profits to a touchdown ticket that pays 5-1.
Pick: Jonnu Smith anytime touchdown (+500)
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.