Last week, placing NFL picks on the 'under' was a good idea. Knowing the NY Jets have had their issues this season, & the Bills have lost two straight and have trouble scoring, is that the best bet?
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (Bills -4½, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), Sunday 18:00 (CBS, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT): The Turf of Ralph Wilson Stadium is the site of this AFC East game between the third-place Buffalo Bills (5-5 SU, 4-6 ATS) and the fourth- and last-place New York Jets (2-8 SU, 2-7-1 ATS), who actually enter this game off a Bye Week and coming in off a 20-13 upset over the Steelers in Week 10. With the Jets so far out of it and the host Bills just a game behind second-place Miami (6-4) in the division, this meeting will be much more important for Buffalo—who smashed AFC New York, 43-23 (as 3-point Favorites) when these two played in East Rutherford in Week 8—than it will be for the visitors from downstate.
According to the NFL odds, the Bills are a 4½-point Favorites with the Total Points at a low 40 (Pinnacle) with Buffalo -220 (Bwin) on the Money Line (Winner) and New York at +180. The Bills Total Team Points is set at 22 (BetVictor) with the Jets Total Team Points at 18. A random proposition wager for this not-so big Empire State game: The Race to 5 Points sees the Bills priced at -162 (Paddy Power) with the visiting Jets at +120.
Although the Bills (3-7 SU L10 vs. Jets) have had a decent start this season and are still (barely) in the playoff race, Buffalo is in a tough spot coming off back-to-back losses to two of the most improved teams in the AFC—the Chiefs and the Dolphins—and having to ride the back of a weak offense which ranks 20th in the NFL in Passing and 26th in Rushing, despite all their recent skill-position draftees on that side of the ball (QB EJ Manuel, RB CJ Spiller, WR Sammy Watkins). What’s been keeping Buffalo in contention so far has been its defense, which is #7 against the Pass and #9 against the Rush, and against the Jets, Buffalo’s defense should be able to stifle production, as New York has QB issues like mice have cat issues. Well, on the cartoons they do at least.
Playing QB for the Bills lately has been Kyle Orton (146 completions, 1,580 yards, 10 TDs); the veteran has done what he can and electric rookie WR Watkins (45 receptions, 649 yards, 5 TDs, 14.4 ypc) has had his moments. But without a solid rushing or passing attack, Orton is sort of hamstrung, thus the low Total for this game and the need for the defense to always be on. The weather forecast in Buffalo on Sunday is for a High of 52° and a Chance of Rain (National Weather Service)—so it’s just about what one would expect in northern New York in mid- to late November and actually could probably be much worse.
On the injury front for Buffalo, CB Ron Brooks (groin), WR Marquise Goodwin (ribs), DE Jarius Wynn (knee) and RB Fred Jackson (groin) were all listed as Day-to-Day on Monday while RB Spiller remains in the Injured Reserve list with a collarbone injury.
New York Jets
The Jets (1-8 SU L9) come in off their Open Date for the season and off that aforementioned win over the Steelers at Home at MetLife Stadium, but let’s not kid ourselves, this New York Jets (174 PF-265 PA) team can almost hang with the winless Oakland Raiders (152 PF-265 PA) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (158 PF-282 PA) in talk of who’s the worst team in the league this season. And when your QB 1-2 Depth Chart reads ”Michael Vick-Geno Smith,” well, then you deserve any and all wrath you get, bubba.
The Jets have been effective running the ball and do rank #5 in Rushing—thanks in great part to RB Chris Ivory (123 rushes, 548 yards, 5 TDs)—but New York is #16 in Passing and with a decent QB—a common theme in the NFL—this team could probably compete with Buffalo and Miami for 2nd place in the division. And, luckily for the Jets, they play a team this weekend with worse offensive numbers than their own.
New York will head in relatively healthy with CB Darrin Walls (calf) listed as Questionable for Sunday’s fiesta, but few outside gamblers and Jets and Bills fans will care about this lackluster matchup. And a Michael Vick-Kyle Orton showdown doesn’t exactly scream 2014 nor excitement.
Best Betting Approaches and Trends
The recent trends are a mixed bag for these two with the Jets 2-7-1 ATS L10, 2-5-2 their L9 on the Road and 1-8 SU L9 away from home. So, they are not good. But New York is 7-3 SU L10 against the Bills as well as 4-2 SU L6 at Buffalo, but just 2-4 ATS L6. Go figure. But the Bills aren’t much better, going 1-4 SU and 2-4 ATS in their L5 and Buffalo is 2-4 L6 ATS against the Jets. In a theoretically low-scoring affair and on a possibly cold and rainy day, those 4½ points could seem much heavier than 4½.
As far as trends and the Total, the Over is 5-1 in the L6 Jets-Bills games while the Bills are 8-2 Under so far this season and 5-1 Under in their L6. So you can see why the Total is at a precarious 40. This is a hard game to handicap and probably a game just passed over for a better bet, but for the NFL pick, lean toward the Bills Money Line (-220) and the Under 39.5. It may end up being a very boring game in Buffalo.
Free NFL Pick: Under 39.5 at BetOnline