NFL Thursday Night Predictions
Will The Buffalo Bills Playoff Stampede Continue?
The Bills have wrangled inside position for an AFC playoff spot by sticking to fundamentals and teamwork. Coach Sean McDemott’s been one of the steadiest bench bosses in 2017, inspiring his squad while implementing a risk-averse strategy.
Buffalo still aren’t favorites to win the AFC East, but New England can’t ignore the Bills. A Buffalo win tonight will lift them alongside the Patriots, who enjoy a bye week.
No one can accuse the New York Jets of tanking – the team has already outplayed expectations, because many predicted that the Jets would be as winless as the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers. The fact that the Jets remain in competition for a playoff spot suggests a bright future and a winning culture, despite a roster that lacks the high-end talent to compete with the elite. The Bills shouldn’t expect the Jets to cede an easy win at MetLife.
NFL Thursday Night Picks
- Game: Buffalo Bills at New York Jets
- Pick: Bills Beat -3.5 Spread, Under 42.5
- NFL Odds Courtesy of Sports Interaction
Bills at Jets – Vital Trends
Turnovers Will Determine The Outcome
The Buffalo Bills have made a name for themselves this year by refusing to give games away. Buffalo leads the NFL in turnover margin, earning a +14 by taking the ball away 17 times and turning it over only thrice. New York’s one of the worst teams in the NFL for offensive turnovers, allowing 14 this season. The Jets defense has done well to get the ball back, taking the ball away from opposing offenses 13 times. Buffalo will enjoy a big advantage if they remain stingy on turnovers.
Buffalo Offense Pounds The Ground
Neither team shines brightly on offense, with the Bills ranked 15th in PPG and the Jets ranked 21st. Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor edges New York’s Josh McCown for pivot play, mostly because of the lack of INTs thrown by Taylor. LeSean McCoy will get plenty of reps tonight while attempting to repeat his week one dismantling of the Jets run defense, which allowed 176 yards, including 110 by McCoy. The Jets don’t have similar weapons to deploy against Buffalo’s superb defense.
Bills Defense Among The Best In The NFL
The Bills allow an impressive 16.4 PPG, third best despite allowing 338 passing yards per game over their last three meetings. Buffalo’s run defense remains tight, allowing more than 100 yards only twice this season. New York isn’t in the same ballpark defensively, giving up 23.3 PPG – 22nd in the NFL. The Jets are better at protecting the air than preventing the run, which has been their Achilles heel. New York concedes 128.25 yards rushing per game, and it won’t get easier with McCoy and Taylor ready to rumble.
History Favors The Bills
Buffalo is 7-3 over their last ten meetings against the Jets, including a 2-2 record when visiting their southern New York neighbors. This season, the Bills have been extremely impressive against the spread, beating the spread five times, with only a single loss and one push. They also play well on the road, beating the Falcons in Atlanta and losing tight matchups in Carolina and Cincinnati. As such, the Bills have a notable edge in current and historic trends.
NFL X-Factors On Thursday
Thursday nights have been extremely unpredictable in the NFL, creating difficulty for favorites attempting to beat the spread. A lot would have to go wrong for Buffalo to continue this strange trend, and the Jets will need to play extremely well to overcome the Bills defense, which travels well.
The over/under for this game is based entirely on the Bills defense and conservative offensive scheme. Similar to ATS predictions, projected totals have been unusual, including an insane 80-point game between the 49ers and the Chargers. However, the Bills have been disciplined this year, and it’s unlikely they’ll unravel because of short rest.
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