Buffalo will try to re-establish itself as the top team in the AFC when it travels to New Orleans for a Thanksgiving Day matchup on Thursday night. The Billshave lost two of their last three games and are now just two games above .500. New Orleans is on a three-game losing skid and has fallen out of the playoff picture.
Bills trying to avoid another upset lossBuffalo appeared to be the team to beat in the AFC when it got off to a 4-1 start this season, including a blowout win at Kansas City. The Bills have dropped three of their five games since then, falling to 6-4 overall on the season. They lost to the Jaguars in a shocker and were then blown out by Indianapolis last week. The Colts raced out to a 14-0 lead and never trailed in a 41-15 final. Buffalo has only covered the spread once in its last five games—it was a 7-point favorite over Indianapolis last week.
Despite all their losses, the Bills still rank fifth in the NFL offensively, averaging 391.7 yards per game. Quarterback Josh Allen has completed 65.7% of his passes for 2,811 yards and 21 touchdowns. However, he has now thrown five interceptions in his last three games and has been sacked seven times over that span. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs has been his top target, catching 60 passes for 773 yards and six touchdowns. Running back Devin Singletary has rushed 83 times for 415 yards, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. They will be facing a New Orleans defense that is No. 10 in the NFL, allowing 342.0 yards per game.
Saints need win to stay in NFC South contentionNew Orleans does not have much room for error if it wants to stay in contention for the NFC South. The Saints are now two games back of Tampa Bay following the Buccaneers’ win over the Giants on Monday night. There is still some hope for New Orleans, though, especially since it already beat Tampa Bay once this season. The Saints have not been able to get much done since that victory, losing three consecutive games heading into Week 12. They lost to Atlanta and Tennessee by a combined four points before losing at Philadelphia by 11 points last week.
The Eagles led 33-7 in the third quarter before allowing New Orleans to do some damage control down the stretch. The Saints rank No. 24 in the NFL offensively, averaging 321.3 yards per game. They have been without quarterback Jameis Winston for the past month since he suffered a season-ending injury. Backup Trevor Siemian has completed 56.9% of his passes for 920 yards and eight touchdowns. Running back Alvin Kamara has rushed for 530 yards on 146 carries, but he has not played the last two weeks. Kamara is officially questionable for this game with a knee injury. Wide receiver Deonte Harris has caught 26 passes for 418 yards, while Marquez Callaway has added 25 receptions for 372 yards and six touchdowns. They are going to face a Buffalo defense that leads the NFL, allowing just 283.7 yards per game.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Buffalo might be on a three-game skid, but it is an injury-free team that still ranks in the top five on both sides of the ball. The Bills are going to turn things around—there is no better time than in front of a national audience against a banged-up New Orleans team. The Saints are down to their backup quarterback and have not been able to come up with wins without Kamara on the field. Buffalo becomes a really solid wager if Kamara is out again, but I like the Bills to get back to their winning ways regardless.
Full-Game Total Pick
New Orleans’ offense was downgraded too much in the betting market when it lost Winston for the season. The Saints have gone over the total in their last four games, despite not having their quarterback or star running back for most of those contests. They have also allowed at least 23 points in each of their last four games, so a matchup against Buffalo’s offense does not bode well. The Bills have gone over the total in four of their last six games and in 10 of their last 14 road games. I am expecting a high-scoring game to wrap up the Thanksgiving slate of football.