NFL Free Pick: NE/BUF

The playoffs are on the line for the New England Patriots this Sunday, as they head into Ralph Wilson Stadium to take on their AFC East rivals, the Buffalo Bills.

Who will we give the nod to in our free pick for this game?

Our team of writers and handicappers break down the matchup and hand out a Free NFL Pick for Week 17.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Patriots –6 point spread favorite. The over/under for this game has been set at 40 total points.

Key Trend: The Patriots are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games when playing Buffalo, and 5-1 against the number in their last six games when playing on the road against the Bills. Buffalo is just 3-6 against the spread in its last nine games.

Key Stat: The Patriots have the edge in points per game (26.5 to 22.4), points against (20.6 to 21.9), passing yards per game (233.1 to 195) and rushing yards per game (140.7 to 112.1).

Game Outlook: We fear that this could be a sucker play because the line isn’t that big, but don’t be afraid to lay the points in this game. The Patriots have scored over 40 points the past two weeks in a driving rainstorm and a blizzard – they’ll be fine in Buffalo. The key for this game will be how Bill Belichick designs his defense in order to stop the Bills. Belichick will stuff the box with extra defenders to stop Marshawn Lynch and force Trent Edwards to throw to beat them. The Bills are coming off a big straight up win as an underdog last week in Denver, but the Broncos defense couldn’t stop the run and it opened up things for Edwards in the passing game. They won’t have the same success this week and the Patriots will roll. While Buffalo does have the opportunity to play spoiler, we’re not going to go against a New England team that needs a victory (and a Dolphins loss) in order to win the AFC East and make the playoffs. This is going to be a motivated Patriot team on Sunday and not even an upstart Buffalo squad will stand in their way. For the rest of our NFL Free Pick, see below.

Our Free NFL Pick for the Week 17 matchup between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills is

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -6

TheSpread.com Projected Final Score

New England Patriots 24

Buffalo Bills 17

We also predict that this game will GO OVER THE TOTAL (41 Sports Interaction.com) SET BY ODDSMAKERS

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Posted: 12/28/08 11:30AM ET

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