Week 8 NFL Picks: Jets are the Best Value on the Board

Jason Lake

Saturday, October 25, 2014 6:02 PM GMT

Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 6:02 PM GMT

We usually expect underdogs to have all the betting value against the NFL odds. Week 8 changes things up a bit, and it’s all because of the arrival of one special – and problematic – player with the New York Jets.

Jason’s record after Week 7: 22-29 ATS, 7-11-1 Totals

Profit: minus-29.68 units

It’s not too often in NFL betting that you see a favorite walk away with the BeeVee trophy – the Best Value on the Board. Betting value is something we normally see in underdogs who are getting too many points from the NFL odds. But favorites can be undervalued, too, and in Week 8, we believe the New York Jets are the most deserving team for the coveted BeeVee. No doubt this will go in the trophy case right next to that Vince Lombardi Trophy for Super Bowl III.

Here’s the scenario: New York (1-6 SU, 1-5-1 ATS) is favored by three points at home this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills (4-3 SU, 3-4 ATS). All other things being equal, we’d probably prefer Buffalo in this matchup given how both teams have performed this season. But things are no longer equal. The Jets now have one of the most dynamic offensive players in the game, while the Bills have lost both their flashiest player and his sidekick.

 

A Nugget of Purest Green
As you’ve figured out already, we’re talking about Percy Harvin for the Jets. We don’t want to overstate his importance in the grand scheme of things – after all, the Seattle Seahawks were reportedly willing to cut Harvin (22 catches, 8.4 yards per carry) if they hadn’t been able to find a willing trade partner. But he’s a talented player nonetheless, and he gives the Jets something they desperately needed.

New York’s offense can’t get much worse. The Jets rank No. 28 overall in offensive DVOA (No. 29 pass, No. 11 rush), and they only have one receiver with a positive passing DYAR: Eric Decker (24 catches), who ranks No. 21 among wideouts. After that, it’s Jeremy Kerley (22 catches) at No. 69 in passing DYAR. Tight end Jace Amaro (27 catches) is just barely a positive player in DYAR, ranking No. 23 at his position.

Harvin, believe it or not, was a negative player in passing DYAR (minus-32) for the Seahawks. But he made up for it with his running (plus-51 DYAR), particularly on the jet sweep. And Harvin’s biggest beef with Seattle was that he wasn’t being used as a deep threat. That figures to change at least somewhat now that he’s in the Big Apple. On top of that, Harvin is expected to replace Walt Powell fielding punts; New York has had the least efficient punt returns in the league this season.

 

Built to Spill
As for the Bills, they go into Sunday’s contest (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) without their motor, C.J. Spiller (4.2 yards per carry), who was put on injured reserve with a broken collarbone and won’t be back until Week 16 at the earliest. Again, we don’t want to overstate the importance of Spiller’s absence – running backs are fungible, after all, and Spiller had an unsightly minus-32 rushing DYAR. But he was plus-32 DYAR catching balls in the flat, and he was also Buffalo’s kick returner. Spiller took one back 102 yards against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2. He’ll be missed.

The Bills also have to make do without RB Fred Jackson (4.3 yards per carry) while he recovers from a groin injury. Jackson’s not as flashy as Spiller, but he has a plus-27 DYAR with zero fumbles this year. Losing both Spiller and Jackson will be tough on what was already the No. 29-ranked offense (No. 28 pass, No. 29 rush) in the league. Kyle Orton can’t save this franchise all by himself, you know.
 

The Five Stars
Injuries/Suspensions/Travel/Rest: NYJ
Defense/Special Teams: BUF
Coaching: NYJ
Market Bias: BUF
Betting Line Value: NYJ

Verdict: 1-star pick on NYJ

Free NFL Pick: Bet 1.4 units on the Jets –3 (+105) at Matchbook for your NFL picks

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