Bills vs. Jets Betting Odds & Predictions: Back Buffalo as a Short Dog?

Bills vs. Jets Betting Odds & Predictions: Back Buffalo as a Short Dog? article feature image
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Photo credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Sam Darnold vs. Bills

Bills at Jets Betting Odds

  • Odds: Jets -2.5
  • Total: 40.5
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: CBS

All odds above are as of 8 p.m. ET on Thursday and via PointsBet.

Second-year quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Josh Allen will look to start their seasons with a win Sunday. Our NFL experts break down this division matchup, hitting on key injuries, matchups to note, favorite bets and more.

Bills-Jets Injury Report

The Bills are the healthier team, as the Jets are dealing with injuries to a few players in Robby Anderson and starting corner Trumaine Johnson. Anderson has a calf injury, but he got in a limited session on Wednesday, and there’s nothing at the moment to indicate he’ll miss this game.

Head coach Adam Gase stated Johnson is “trending towards playing,” which is good news, though it’s never ideal for a cornerback to have a soft tissue injury — especially with speedsters John Brown and Zay Jones on the outside. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Jets -3.5
  • Projected Total: 39.5

I have the Jets graded out as an A- in my Buy/Sell Ratings, while the Bills are a C.

The Jets improved their roster a ton, bringing in free agents Le’Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley while also selecting DT Quinnen Williams third overall to bolster the line. Darnold should also only improve in Year 2.

I’ll be looking to back the Jets early in the season; however, the Week 1 market isn’t posing much value, as -3 is pretty spot on. And despite lopsided action on the Jets so far, the line hasn’t budged. I’m going to pass on them this week and look to potentially target them in Week 2 against the Browns.

The total opened at 38 and has been bet up all the way to 41 at some books. My projected total splits the difference at 39.5, and I do like the under as of now. As I’ve mentioned before, totals don’t have as significant key numbers, but 41 is one of them.

I might wait to see if this gets bumped up to 41.5 before coming in on the under and get the hook on that key number. If it doesn’t move, I’ll settle on under 41. Sean Koerner

Biggest Mismatch: Special Teams

If you just look at the numbers last year, you’d think the Jets should hold an enormous special teams edge. You can’t get more of a wider disparity than first and worst, which were the rankings of the Jets and Bills special teams, respectively.

The Jets special teams were absolutely money in 2018.

After getting blown out at home in their first meeting, the Jets won by four in Buffalo for one of their four wins on the season. Special teams played a major role in that victory: Not only did the Bills miss two field goals (one blocked), Andre Roberts also had an 86-yard return to inside the Buffalo 10 to set up New York’s only touchdown of the first half.

And in one of their other victories, the Jets beat the Colts thanks to Jason Myers’ franchise-record seven field goals.

Meanwhile, the Bills special teams were nothing short of a disaster last season in every phase.

But don’t expect that disparity to persist this season. In fact, I project the Bills special teams to finish higher than the Jets. Let’s take a look at each unit.

Jets’ Special Teams

Gone is Roberts. Gone is Myers. That’s two Pro Bowlers who helped lead the Jets’ No. 1 rated special teams unit last season.

Replacing them won’t be easy, especially considering the unproven talent the Jets brought in to fill the voids. New York claimed former Miami Hurricane WR Braxton Berrios off waivers from the Patriots to apparently take over return duties. How they didn’t keep Greg Dortch on the final 53-man roster to handle the return duties is a baffling move that I think the Jets will regret.

Speaking of waivers, the Jets’ new kicker was also just claimed off waivers this week. After being released by the Vikings for preseason struggles, Kaare Vedvik will take over field goal duties in New York.

Also, the Jets lose two of the most unheralded special teams contributors in Charone Peake (recently cut) and Eric Tomlinson (recently claimed off waivers by the Giants).

This unit should take a massive step back.

Bills Special Teams

As I mentioned, the Bills special teams were awful last year. It’s one of the reasons they brought in a new special teams coordinator in Heath Farwell, who should bring in some much-needed energy and new looks for the coverage units.

Oh, and the return units should get an immediate boost from the signing of Roberts (assuming he can go on Sunday with a quad injury), who Buffalo pilfered from New York.

Buffalo also re-signed the reliable Steven Hauschka, who had an uncharacteristic down year. He had some bad luck, multiple punters as holders and dealt with an injury late in the season. He’s still the seventh-most accurate kicker in NFL history. Expect a bounce-back year for the former NC State kicker.

Punter does remain a major question mark with Corey Bojorquez, who really struggled in the preseason. Consequently, the Bills tried out four punters this week, so it remains to be seen who ends up booting balls for the Bills.

Even with potential punter problems, this unit should be exponentially better than the train wreck in 2018.

Throw in a little regression for each unit and I actually expect the Bills to have a superior special teams unit this season. That’s an enormous 180 from last season and could make all of the difference this week in a matchup of two very similarly-rated teams. Stuckey

PRO System Match

Underdogs have historically performed well in division games as increased familiarity among opponents keeps games competitive, and it’s been profitable to bet small dogs in these matchups to win outright.

Even though teams matching this Pro System have a losing record of 105-112-2, bettors have still been able to turn a profit due to plus-money bets. A $100 gambler would have returned a profit of $4,172 following this strategy since 2003.

The Bills +3 are a match for this system in their season opener. John Ewing

Expert Pick

Stuckey: Bills +3 or better

Not only has the special teams gap closed between Buffalo and New York, I actually think the Bills will have a superior unit in 2019. That matters in a close game between two average teams at best.

That will obviously help the Bills, who I like in this game catching three points in MetLife to open the season.

Whichever team is able to get more pressure on the other’s second-year quarterback should win this game.

Allen and Darnold were absolutely horrendous under pressure in 2018, which happened frequently in front of two subpar offensive line units.

Only Josh Rosen had a worse QB rating last season.

Now, neither team will have anything close to an elite offensive line this year, but I do think the Bills did more to improve their protection, primarily through the acquisition of center Mitch Morse. Buffalo also upgraded at receiver, although it’s still not an overwhelming group. And the Jets defense just isn’t at full strength right now with a plethora of injuries and suspensions.

Meanwhile, the Jets offensive line is still a mess until it proves otherwise. It could be a long day against a solid Bills DL. Buffalo added Ed Oliver via the draft to an already formidable group that retained the likes of Shaq Lawson and Jerry Hughes. In addition to an improved defensive front, I expect the Bills to bring pressure from all over, as I don’t think they really fear a Jets downfield passing attack that includes a potentially hobbled primary receiver (Anderson) and a suspended starting tight end (Chris Herndon).

Both teams have excellent safeties and some talent at corner, but the Bills defensive front should generate more pressure against a QB who has looked awful when not in a clean pocket. I think the Bills will win this game in the trenches against an undermanned Jets roster.

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