In theory optimism is running high in Buffalo as the Buffalo Bills are in control of the AFC East, but Miami and the New England Patriots are still breathing down the Bills’ neck. Buffalo has a chance to put some distance on the Patriots this week as they welcome New England to Orchard Park this weekend. The Patriots are in a bit of a tail slide right now with three straight losses as the offense has struggled, but Buffalo has been uninspiring as well in recent weeks, and who do you really trust to turn it around? Clearly it’s the Patriots, who should get back on track this week. New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills Betting Odds This is definitely not the New England Patriots teams we have come to expect over the last two decades of dominance. Cam Newton and the offense are broken at the moment and the defense was just gashed on the ground by San Francisco. The offense is far more of a concern because Newton just doesn’t look as comfortable throwing the ball as he did early in the season. Since returning from his COVID-19 diagnosis, Newton has completed 26 of 40 passes for no touchdowns and five interceptions across two games. He has rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on 15 attempts, which should be the path the Patriots take this week against the Bills. New England has a plethora of running backs it can use to control the clock this weekend and the Bills was lit up on the ground by both the Titans and Chiefs in recent weeks. The Patriots defense will be fine as long as Bill Belichick is the head coach, but if Newton can get the offense going with his rushing this weekend, it’ll be the first step to turning around the season. Buffalo desperately needs the Josh Allen of the first four games of the season to return if it has any hope of making the playoffs. The Bills failed to score a touchdown on any of their five drives into the red zone last week against the Jets, a major issue. Allen has been pedestrian at best in the last three weeks and he’s starting to force the ball too much at times and putting too much pressure on himself. The Bills also don’t use their running backs nearly enough so if Allen isn’t in rhythm early, it’ll be a long day for the Buffalo offense. The Bills defense played better last week with Matt Milano back in the lineup, but the injuries in the secondary are a major concern because it affects how aggressive the Bills can be attacking the quarterback, opening up chances for better teams to pick them apart through the air. As poor as New England has played in recent weeks, the defense has still been a strength, especially against the pass. The Bills are one of the most pass-happy teams in the NFL and they don’t have a running back that really strikes fear into you between the tackles. It seems a reach to think the Bills can score 23 points against New England considering the Bills haven’t done so in three weeks. I’ll take Buffalo to score less than 23 points this week at -106 odds. The Patriots haven’t scored 20 points in their last three games, but the Bills have allowed at least 20 points to every team that isn’t the Jets this season. Newton won’t need to throw the ball much given Buffalo’s lackluster rushing defense, so I’ll take New England to score more than 20 points for -104 odds. Patriots to win The Bills are four-point favorites at home on the NFL betting sites in New Jersey, but nothing about the way Buffalo is playing makes me confident that they can stay within two scores of New England. The Bills have looked a mess on offense without John Brown and their inability to score touchdowns in the red zone last week against the Jets is a major red flag. Not even the Bills defense’s dominant second-half performance fills fans with confidence because it was the hapless Jets after all. For all the struggles the Patriots’ offense has had in recent weeks, Cam Newton has a chance to run all over a Bills defense that struggles to keep contain on the edges and slow down the running game. I’m going to stretch my value at the New Jersey online sports betting sites and take the Patriots laying 6.5 points at +340 odds on the road in Buffalo.