Thursday night features an AFC East clash between the Buffalo Bills traveling to meet the New York Jets. Let’s look at what the NFL odds makers are offering and see if we can cash in our NFL picks.
Buffalo Bills (4-4 SU, 4-4 ATS)
The Bills needed a win desperately last week but so too did their opponents the Miami Dolphins. It was a pivotal matchup of AFC East rivals, both of whom are trying to stay relevant in the postseason discussion, but getting the old gang back together proved to be a winning recipe for Buffalo. Second-year pro Sammy Watkins shook off an ankle injury and had the big-play game everyone was waiting for when he hauled in a 44-yard pass to move the Bills out in front en route to a 33-17 victory.
Watkins would end the day with 168 receiving yards and a touchdown but he was not the only member of the walking wounded that Buffalo would welcome back. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was a welcome sight as he was surgical in his 11-of-12 passing for 181 yards including the touchdown strike to Watkins. However it was the dynamic duo of Karlos Williams, back from a concussion suffered in Week 4 against the Giants, and LeSean McCoy that shredded the Dolphins defensive front. Williams had nine carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns, becoming only the fifth player in NFL history to have scored a touchdown in his each of his first five games. Not bad for a fifth round pick out of Florida State. McCoy contributed 112 yards but none more impressive than his 48-yard sprint to the endzone in the opening quarter. The Bills got healthy again and it proved to be too much for the reeling Dolphins.
New York Jets (5-3 SU, 4-3-1 ATS)
While the Jets celebrated a 28-23 win over the Jaguars there was no celebration for anyone who included them in their NFL picks yesterday. The NFL odds makers installed New York as 7 ½ point home favorites over the toothless Jags and the Jets allowed Blake Bortles to march 72 yards in only three plays at the tail end of the game to bring Jacksonville to within five points and blow a cover that should have been money in the bank.
New York was scorched by the deep pass as Jags’ quarterback Blake Bortles was 11-of-17 for 286 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on passes of at least 15 yards. It was the most completions of 15 yards or more in a game by any quarterback against any defense over the past four seasons. Bortles would end the day with 383 yards on a Jets’ pass defense that ranks 15th in the league. That is a mark that is rather surprising as the Jets bolstered their secondary in the offseason with the addition of All-World cornerback Darrelle Revis. Nevertheless, the Jets came out on top and are second in the division trailing only the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
NFL Betting Analysis
This is the first of two critical meetings between the teams and the importance of these games cannot be underestimated. The Bills now have their offensive weapons back which should make for a very dangerous foe. Buffalo appears to have a two-headed monster in the backfield, not relying exclusively on LeSean McCoy as they had planned, but have gotten a boon in the play of rookie Karlos Williams. The Bills are ranked 2nd in the league in rushing averaging a whopping 141.6 yards per game on the ground.
However the Jets do one thing very well and that is defending the run. New York is ranked tops in the league allowing only 80.6 yards per game. They neutralized New England’s ground attack a few weeks ago to the point that the Patriots virtually abandoned it completely. However I believe the pieces are now in place, and finally together on the field, for Buffalo to defeat New York. The Jets do not do anything on offense particularly well which bodes well for the Bills. On the flipside, you can surmise that the deep threat of Sammy Watkins may be neutralized by Darrelle Revis shadowing him throughout but Robert Woods and tight end Charles Clay have proven they can get the job done as well.
NFL Pick: Play Buffalo +3 at JustBet