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NFL Game of the Week: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills


NFL Game of the Week: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

Inform your NFL predictions ahead of the biggest matches this season with Mark Taylor's Game of the Week. This week, the Buffalo Bills host the New York Jets.

New York Jets (7-5) at Buffalo Bills (9-3): Odds at a glance

Market

New York Jets

Buffalo Bills

Money Line

4.500(+350)*

1.230 (-433)*

Handicap

+9.5 1.980 (-102)*

-9.5 1.909 (-110)*

Total Team Points

Under 17.5 1.671 (-149)*

Under 27.5 1.892 (-112)*

Total Game Points

Over 44.0 1.961 (-104)*
Under 44.0 1.925 (-108)*

The East is the place to be in this season’s NFL! Neither of the two East divisions have a losing side and they each provide the only week 14 games featuring two winning teams.

The New York Giants, who narrowly landed last week’s selection in their tied game with Washington, face Philadelphia in the NFC. But we’ll look at the AFC’s New York Jets as they attempt a sweep of Buffalo following their 20-17 home win over the Bills in Week 9.

The Bills have topped many of the statistical indicators, but an unexpected resurgence of talent in their division has made winning the divisional title and securing the coveted bye week in the postseason far from straightforward.

Firm and narrow preseason favourites respectively, for the division and the top AFC seed, the Bills have ridden a rollercoaster of results. Three loses by three points or fewer in the first nine games, two to divisional rivals, reduced their chances of the title to a coin toss and handed the seeding initiative to the Kansas City Chiefs.

But December’s results have turned things in favour of the Bills. A trio of Week 13 defeats for the Chiefs, Dolphins, and the Jets has the Bills back up to 80% to take the division and the prize of top AFC seed is back in their hands.

Even by the most basic of statistical indicators, Buffalo are a top side. They’ve scored 13 more touchdowns than they’ve allowed (only Dallas and Philadelphia can beat that) and they’ve scored 124 more points than have been conceded, bettered only by Dallas and worthy of nine Pythagorean wins.

It’s not a record that has been inflated by turnovers; they give the ball away as often as they take it from the opposition.

Quarterback Josh Allen is having a top-five season and Stefan Diggs is a top-three receiver, finding the end zone in eight of 12 games in 2022. Their offence is powering through, scoring 27.8 points per game against defenses that typically allow 22. 4.

They’ve also got a top-three defence that is highly efficient, especially against the pass, allowing half a yard per pass attempt below the average gains made by their opponents from 2022. Rivals are obliged to take to the air often, on 60% of snaps, but it’s often a futile pursuit, gaining just 17.4 points per game.

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Beat the Jets on Sunday and the Dolphins in a home double-header in Week 15 and the division is all but assured for the Bills.

Six wins was considered the ceiling for the Jets after their 4-13 record in the 2021-22 campaign, but they’ve burst through that and currently hold the seventh and final AFC postseason seeding, ending a long wait since the Jets played meaningful December games.

Their last winning season was in 2015 and the last playoff run was in 2010.

They have a 50% chance of launching a postseason run, but they’d fall to around a 40% chance with a loss here, while a road win would secure the divisional tie-breaker with the Bills and boost their 50% nearer to 80%.

Their weakness is on the offensive side of the ball, prompting second-year head coach, Robert Saleh to install backup quarterback Mike White in place of season starter Zach Wilson.

The Jets throw the ball as frequently as the Bills, but with well below-average efficiency, gaining half a yard per pass attempt below the average concession rate of the defenses they’ve faced. They are slightly above par running the ball and overall score 0.5 fewer points per game compared to the quality of their 2022 opposition.

A trio of Joe Flacco, White, and Wilson under centre has produced a gutsy win in Cleveland, a statement win against Buffalo, and a wide margin rout of Chicago.

But more typical has been a failure to move the ball with purpose and consistency, and a net touchdown differential of plus two. Their points differential of 29 compares poorly with the Bills.

That the Jets are a legitimate seven-win team is largely down to a defence that rivals the Bills for efficiency, excels against the pass and inflicted one of Josh Allen’s worse performances in the earlier meeting between these two teams (a 52.9% completion rate, zero touchdowns, a yard and a half per attempt below his seasonal average and two picks).

It’s a game Buffalo will expect to win. They’ve had three extra days to prepare and scoring rates suggest a 24-17 win for the hosts, making the Jets a value bet to stay within the current 9.5-point spread.

Sign up and get great NFL odds on numerous markets for every game this season with Pinnacle.

*Odds subject to change

 

 


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