NFL Wild Card Prop Bets: Patriots Vs Bills

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen hollers out signals during a 2021-22 regular-season game.
Image Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Wild Card prop bets will be a highly traveled avenue for this weekend’s six playoff games. And the three prime-time tilts will surely be quite popular, starting with Saturday night’s New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills contest.

Below are our five favorite NFL Wild Card prop bets for Patriots vs Bills, with supporting arguments on both sides — if such arguments can be made.

Odds via DraftKings and PointsBet USA, and updated as of 8 p.m. ET on January 13.

Buffalo Bills: QB Josh Allen

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen throws a pass downfield in a 2021 game.
Image Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The prop: 45.5 Total Rushing Yards
The odds: Over -115/Under -115

Allen had a solid regular season, racking up 4,407 passing yards. But he got a lot done with his feet, too, adding another 763 rushing yards, which works out to 44.9 ypg. So oddsmakers pretty much went with that number, minus a couple tenths of a yard, for the Bills QB this week.

Allen eclipsed 45.5 rushing yards seven times this season, and often by a lot (his lowest output in those seven starts was 50 yards). And in four of Buffalo’s final five regular-season games, Allen ran for 63 or more. He rolled up 109 yards in a Week 14 overtime loss at Tampa Bay; 64 in a Week 16 win at New England; 81 in a Week 17 home win over Atlanta; and 63 in a Week 18 home win over the Jets.

There were three more outings in which Allen approached this week’s total (41 or more yards). He also got close (39 yards) in the Bills’ 14-10 home loss to the Patriots in Week 13, a game played in throttling winds.

The common denominator for most of Allen’s best rushing outputs: He dropped back to pass a lot, creating situations in which he might scramble for positive yardage. Of the seven games in which Allen surpassed 44.5 rushing yards, he threw 42 or more passes in five of them. Allen had just 30 passing attempts in that wind-swept home loss to the Pats.

While Saturday night will be bone-numbing cold, with temperatures in the single digits, winds are expected to be light. Still, this is a significant chunk of rushing yards for a QB, especially in a playoff game that will be played in less than ideal conditions. But if you think Allen will be chucking the ball around frequently Saturday night, the Over may be the play, too.

New England Patriots: QB Mac Jones

Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots celebrates the touchdown by Rhamondre Stevenson #38 against the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium on November 14, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Image Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The prop: 205.5 Total Passing Yards
The odds: Over -115/Under -115

Jones had a more than serviceable rookie campaign, which perhaps might land him NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. He threw for 3,801 yards while starting all 17 games, averaging 223.6 ypg. He surpassed 205.5 yards, his total in this week’s NFL Wild Card prop bets market, a dozen times.

But oddsmakers clearly aren’t sold on Jones taking to the air much in his first playoff game. And much of that thinking likely is tied to his opponent. In Week 16 at home against the Bills, Jones mustered just 145 yards on 14-for-32 passing. Week 13 at Buffalo was an anomaly: With wind gusts exceeding 40 mph, Jones only threw three passes, completing two for 19 yards in a 14-10 win.

Saturday night will be bitter cold in Buffalo, but as noted above, it’s not expected to be very windy. The rookie Jones will most assuredly have to pass a lot more than in Week 13. But “more passes” doesn’t exactly mean “more yards” —  particularly against a Bills pass defense that ranks No. 1 in the NFL in yards allowed (163 ypg), yards per attempt (5.7) and completion rate (56%).

Buffalo Bills: WR Stefon Diggs

Bills receiver Stefon Diggs slips a tackle by Jets Brandin Echols.
Image Credit: Jamie Germano-USA TODAY Sports

The prop: Total Receiving Yards 65.5
The odds: Over -125/Under -105

What we were really interested in on the NFL Wild Card prop bets board is Emmanuel Sanders markets. He missed the last two games with a knee injury, but it appears he’ll return this week. He’s got a load of playoff experience, but at the moment, several books aren’t offering any props on Sanders. That might be something to look out for come Friday or Saturday.

In the meantime, we’ll lean into Diggs, the Bills’ No. 1 wideout. This was a prop worth doing some shopping on. Multiple books have Diggs’ total receiving yards at 71.5; another is at 68.5. At PointsBet USA, the total is 65.5, though the Over has some juice to it.

Diggs played all 17 games this season, finishing with 103 catches for 1,225 yards (11.9 ypc). He had 69 or more receiving yards 10 times, including 85 yards on seven catches (12.1 ypc) in the Bills’ 33-21 win at New England in Week 16.

Over 65.5 certainly looks tempting, and it definitely beats betting Over 68.5 or 71.5 elsewhere. But there is this to ponder as a counter-argument: Diggs cleared 65.5 yards in just three of nine home games this season. Also noteworthy: Diggs, who had 85 receiving yards in a Week 18 blowout of the Jets, hasn’t beaten this prop number in consecutive games since Weeks 9-10.

New England Patriots: Rhamondre Stevenson

Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel (43) tackles New England Patriots runningback Rhamondre Stevenson (38) during the third quarter at Hard Rock Stadium.
Image Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

The prop: 39.5 Total Rushing Yards
The odds: Over -125/Under -105

Here’s an interesting market on the NFL Wild Card props bet board. If lead RB Damien Harris is fully healthy Saturday night — he’s questionable as of Thursday night with a hamstring injury — then Stevenson might not get the touches he needs. But if Harris doesn’t play (or isn’t at full strength), 39.5 could be a bargain.

Although Stevenson is the backup, he’s played in 12 games and started two this season. Most of his work came in the second half of the season. From Weeks 9-18, he ran for 46 or more yards six times. He put up 100 yards on 20 carries in a Week 10 home rout of Cleveland, and had 107 yards in the Pats’ 50-10 Week 17 home bashing of Jacksonville.

Stevenson also had 78 yards on 24 carries in New England’s 14-10 Week 13 win at Buffalo, nicely supporting Harris, who had 110 yards on just 11 carries.

While Buffalo fields a lockdown pass defense, it ranks in the bottom third of the league in total rushing yards allowed (123.7 ypg) and rushing yards per carry (4.5). Keep an eye on Harris’ status; if he remains iffy, this could be an Over worth playing (although the number will certainly jump if Harris can’t go).

Buffalo Bills: First Quarter Spread

Devin Singletary #26 of the Buffalo Bills in action against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on November 14, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Image Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The prop: First Quarter Spread
The odds: Bills -1 (+110)/Patriots -1 (-130)

This is an interesting prop in that there’s a little plus-money offered on the favorite. Buffalo led at the end of the first quarter in 13 of its 17 games this season, including seven of nine at home. And in all 13 instances, the lead was 3 points or more.

One of the rare occasions Buffalo didn’t lead after the opening 15 minutes: In Week 13 at home against New England. In that high-wind game, the Bills trailed 8-7.

The Patriots were a middling first-quarter team this season, leading seven times, trailing seven times (all by at least 3 points), and tied three times. But if you throw away that 50-10 home pummeling of Jacksonville in Week 17, New England’s last three first quarters — all vs. quality opponents — went like this:

— Trailed 14-0 at Indianapolis, Week 15
— Trailed 7-0 at home to Buffalo, Week 16
— Down 14-0 at Miami, Week 18

Bills -1 (+110) might be worth a look.