Buffalo Bills (5-2 SU, 5-1-1 ATS, 3-4 O/U) at New York Jets (3-5 SU, 5-2-1 ATS, 4-4 O/U)
When and Where: Thursday, Nov. 2, MetLife Stadium. East Rutherford, N.J., 8:25pmET
Line: Buffalo -3.5
The Buffalo Bills are a 1/2 game out of first place in the AFC East after defeating Oakland, 34-14 at home on Sunday. They’ll take on a feisty Jets team that lost to Atlanta, 25-20 at home and have now lost three straight. The Bills defeated the Jets earlier this season, 21-12 at home on Sept. 10. In that game, Tyrod Taylor threw for 224 yards with two TDs, while LeSean McCoy rushed for 110 yards to lead the Bills to the win.
How are the Bills 5-2?
Buffalo traded away WR Sammy Watkins to the Rams and just gave up on DL Marcell Dareus, sending him to Jacksonville for a sixth-round pick. They had very little experience at receiver and were supposed to be a one-dimensional running team. Yet, here they are at 5-2, after crushing Oakland at home. With the score tied at 7-7 and just 32 seconds left in the first half, linebacker Matt Milano turned the game around with a 40-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown off a Jalen Ricard miscue. The Raiders never seemed to recover from that or the slippery conditions in Buffalo as they turned it over four times. Taylor had a very efficient game for the Raiders, completing 20 of 27 for 165 yards and a TD. He also had a rushing TD, while McCoy was sensational with 151 yards rushing on 27 carries with a score.
Considering the fact the Bills lack a dominant receiver, Taylor has had a solid start with 1,343 yards passing, with eight TDs and just two picks. He’s done well managing the game and using his speed to scramble out of tough situations. McCoy is 29 and near the end for most running backs, but still has juice left with 763 yards and three touchdowns. The Bills’ defense has been great against the run, allowing 80.1 yards per game (3rd) and not-so-great against the pass (266.4ypg).
Jets find ways to lose
The Jets’ front office all but gave up on this season, but the players and coaches haven’t. The problem is sheer talent as the Jets just don’t have enough it to overcome teams like Atlanta. They gave the Falcons all they could handle. At the half, New York led 17-13 on a 24-yard pass from Josh McCown to receiver Robby Anderson. But the Falcons crept back on two Matt Bryant field goals (one as time expired in the first half) and then closed the deal, early in the fourth quarter. That’s when Matt Ryan hit Mohammed Sanu for an 8-yard touchdown with 12:22 left in the game. That put the Falcons up 22-17 and the Jets didn’t have enough to overcome it, falling 25-20.
McCown had a solid game, completing 26 of 33 for 257 yards with two TDs and no picks. Anderson caught six of his passes for 104 yards. But the running game was dreadful as the Jets were held to just 43 yards on 22 carries. For a 38-yard old quarterback, McCown has been a revelation with 1,840 yards passing with 12 TDs and seven picks (70.5%). The Jets have survived and have been competitive, with the 26th-ranked defense (361.4ypg) and the 23rd-ranked offense (307.9ypg).
Buffalo Bills are:
- 5-1-1 ATS last 7 overall.
- 4-1 ATS last 5 after an ATS win.
- 2-7 ATS last 9 in November.
I was a believer in the Jets as a cover team but this is different. Both teams are playing on short weeks but the Bills don’t have to travel far to meet up with their AFC East rival in New Jersey. The Jets are also 2-6 ATS last 8 against the Bills in this series.
So the Bills can put up points but it usually comes off turnovers. The first game went well under and the Jets are 5-1 Under their last six against the Bills. The Bills are 11-5 Under their last 16 in November. The Jets are 5-1 Under their last 6 against the AFC East.