The Buffalo Bills are at a desperate point of their season, teetering on irrelevance with one more misstep. Could it come as soon as Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET) against a New York Jets team that rarely reaches the end zone, but has surprised many bettors since it lost quarterback Aaron Rodgers four plays into its season thanks to a defence that has proven to be among the best in the AFC?
Once again, the bookmakers aren’t counting on it as they have installed Buffalo as a touchdown favourite despite losses in three of its last four games.
Bet on Jets vs. Bills
Even Buffalo’s veneer of homefield invincibility was crushed last week when the Denver Broncos slapped a 24-22 loss on them in Orchard Park, their first loss at Highmark Stadium this season. While the balance of talent certainly tips Buffalo’s way, even with copious injuries across its defence, it’s worth remembering that the Jets won the last matchup between the division rivals, a 22-16 overtime win in East Rutherford back in early September.
Jets vs. Bills odds
|Jets Moneyline Odds||+275|
|Bills Moneyline Odds||-350|
|Spread odds||Bills -7.5 (-115)|
|Over/Under||39.5 points (over -110, under -110)|
|Time/Date||Nov. 19, 4:25 p.m. ET|
About the Jets (4-3 SU, 4-4-1 ATS, 3-6 o/u)
This is about as lopsided a team as you’ll find in the NFL. The Jets make it miserable for opposing offences to operate, but Zach Wilson and their offence routinely leave them short on the scoreboard.
New York is coming off a 16-12 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders and ranks 29th in overall offence, with Wilson’s passing attack ranked 30 out of 32 teams. Meanwhile, the defence is sixth overall and particularly tough against the pass, with a superstar secondary led by cornerback Sauce Gardner and safety Jordan Whitehead giving the Jets the No. 3 pass defence in the league.
The Jets also have benefitted from a positive turnover differential while the interception-prone Bills are at -3 in that department this season.
Wilson had a decent run earlier this season but has thrown just one touchdown pass in his last five games and has thrown six picks this season. Some Jets fans have clamoured for Wilson to be replaced by Tim Boyle or Trevor Semian as if either of those two would make much of a difference.
The red zone is more like the dead zone for this unit. The Jets have gone 36 possessions without scoring a touchdown, which spans 11quarters and an overtime. It represents the longest such streak in NFL history.
A healthy Bills defence would have eaten this unit up, but as we’ll see, this Bills group is far from whole these days and the Jets got a dose of good news late this week when receiver Garrett Wilson told reporters he would play despite missing several practices due to an elbow injury.
About the Bills (5-5 SU, 3-7 ATS, 3-7 o/u)
If the Bills lose this game, they could be looking at their worst season in at least five years. They haven’t had a losing record 11 games or more into a season since 2018, the only time in coach Sean McDermott’s past six seasons they missed the playoffs. The upcoming schedule is rather daunting, so this game registers as a must-win.
The front office was so concerned about a disappointing offence, that it fired offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey and replaced him with quarterbacks coach Joe Brady after the Denver loss. It remains to be determined whether that change will keep quarterback Josh Allen from throwing the ball to the wrong team. Allen leads the NFL with 11 picks and has been intercepted at least once in six straight games, the most dismal stretch of his career when it comes to ball safety.
The good news for Buffalo is that its defence is beginning to get healthy. The team removed All-Pro safety Micah Hyde and starting cornerback Christian Benford from the injury report this week.
While the focus has been on Allen’s wayward throws, the defence hasn’t reciprocated with the banged-up secondary. The Bills have zero interceptions and have forced just four fumbles in their last six games.
Teams this season have been so concerned about Gardner, one of the best cover guys in the league, that they have been susceptible to Whitehead, who is tied for third in interceptions in the NFL. In fact, Allen is largely responsible for Whitehead’s career year as he threw three picks to him in that season-opening loss in East Rutherford. Whitehead also picked off Allen in the Jets’ 20-17 win in 2022.
Given all that, it’s worth considering taking Whitehead to do it again in this game (at +625 odds no less) since the book has adjusted to Allen’s miscues (setting the over-0.5 line on his interceptions at -150). If you’re worried about Allen and the offensive coaches zeroing in on Whitehead, consider taking Gardner to pick him off at +425.
Either way, the combination of Allen having issues with ball security and a talented secondary raises some betting opportunities in this one.
Under 39.5 total points scored in BUF/NYJ
The Jets are without OT Duane Brown (hip) and TE Kenny Yeboah (hamstring), who are on injured reserve, and LBs Chazz Surratt (ankle) and Sam Eguavoen (hip). DE Will McDonald IV (ankle) is listed as questionable.
The key blows to Buffalo’s defence were the season-long injuries to LB Matt Milano (knee) and DT DaQuan Jones (pectoral), but they otherwise have been getting healthier. DT Jordan Phillips (knee) and WR Trent Sherfield (ankle) are the only Bills players listed as questionable here. McDermott even said this week Jones has a slim chance of returning by the season’s end.
The unseasonably warm weather continues in western New York, as kickoff temperatures are forecast to be about 7 C with moderate winds from the west-northwest ranging from 16 to 32 km/h.
- This one opened at Bills -7, moved down to -6.5 at some places and then was bet back to a touchdown by week’s end, probably a measure of the public’s continued faith in Buffalo.
- The total, meanwhile, declined most of the week, from an opening of 40.5 to as low as 39 in some places. It is 39.5 at Bet365.
- The Bills’ offence is averaging seven points in the first half since Week 5. A daring bettor willing to take New York -0.5 in the first half is rewarded here with +240 odds.
- Buffalo is 1-4 when set as a 7-point favourite or more this season.
Player Prop Trends
- Allen is completing just 39% of his passes since Week 6 and it’s hard to see how the new offensive coordinator will be able to reverse that trend. Under 22.5 completions (at -125) is supported by the trend here.
- Breece Hall has hit the longest rush over in seven straight games. His number is 14.5 (at -115) here.
- Gabe Davis has hit the longest reception over in seven of his last nine games at home. It is set at 18.5 here (at -115).
Wagers to consider
- The Bills have been a sucker bet since Week 5 and, once again, they’re installed as an unrealistic favourite here. While the game might not be pretty and Jets fans will continue to yell at their TVs watching Wilson run the offence, the even number is too good to pass up here. Consider taking the Jets and the points.
- The Jets’ defence isn’t just good, it has been among the best-performing units in the league of late. Meanwhile, the Bills’ defence has begun to get back some key contributors. While the total is set relatively low, it may not be set low enough given the trends of the offences and defences in play here. Consider taking the under-39.5.