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Bills vs. Patriots opening odds: Buffalo favored by 7.5 points

Can the Bills sweep a motivated Patriots squad?

NFL: Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

There’s finally a reason to breathe and smile this week for Buffalo Bills fans. With news that Damar Hamlin is awake, breathing on his own, and speaking to family members and teammates, it now feels appropriate for us to celebrate and look forward to this weekend’s games. The Bills host the New England Patriots in their first game since play was suspended on Monday Night Football.

Our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook have the Bills favored by 7.5 points heading into tomorrow’s contest.

After an emotional week that adds to an already-emotional season for Buffalo, it would be understandable if the team were to come out flat and exhausted. But the point spread indicates that the expectation is for the Bills to win this game by more than a touchdown. Defensively, aside from losing Hamlin for the season, Buffalo’s injury report is as clean as it’s been all year — and they got rookie cornerback Christian Benford back from IR this week, too. But the question remains: will head coach Sean McDermott and his team opt to rest players depending on the outcome of the Kansas City Chiefs-Las Vegas Raiders game? If the Chiefs win Saturday, the Bills are unable to win the No. 1 overall seed.

The Patriots do have incentive to play well this Sunday. With a win, New England will make the playoffs. However, if they lose, they’ll need some help to get in. They received the first part of that when the Seattle Seahawks defeated the New York Jets last weekend. Then, the San Francisco 49ers eliminated the Raiders from contention. This week, they’d need losses from the Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, and Pittsburgh Steelers. I’d expect a fully motivated effort from both teams.

How do you see this week’s game playing out? Will the Bills be too emotionally drained to pull out the win? Are the Patriots going to make the playoffs with a win, or will they need help? Stay connected to Buffalo Rumblings for the remainder of the weekend to keep up to date on the Bills and the game.