The first eight weeks of the NFL season have served up surprise results, upsets, outstanding rookie quarterback performances, and even unexpected, backup quarterback performances that have captured the imagination of NFL fans. The likelihood of this matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars falling into any of those categories though is slim if not hallucinatory.
According to the NFL odds, the Bills are at least two-touchdown favorites over the Jaguars – the NFL point spread currently on offer ranges anywhere from -14 to -14.5 points, depending on your choice sportsbook. Nobody expects the Jaguars to beat the Bills, least of all NFL oddsmakers that tip this game squarely in Buffalo’s camp.
So, if a Bills win is a foregone conclusion, only the manner of victory is left for deliberation. In other words, can the Bills cover the point spread in victory?
Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, November 07, 2021 – 01:00 PM EDT at TIAA Bank Field
Bills Bounce Back
After the upsetting loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 6, Josh Allen and the Bills got back on track with a commanding 26-11 win over the Miami Dolphins at Orchard Park on Sunday. In so doing, the Bills improved to a 5-2 record on the season and maintained their lead over their division rivals.
The Bills got off to a slow start, and it took a little bit over two and a half quarters for Allen and the Bills offense to shake off the rust from the bye break the week prior. Once they got going though, they were unstoppable as Allen reeled off 23 points in his final four possessions.
The game was tied 3-3 at the half, but the Bills pulled ahead 10-3 in the third quarter when Allen connected with Gabriel Davis for an 8-yard touchdown reception. The Bills would score another touchdown before the Dolphins trimmed the lead to 17-11 as Tua Tagovailoa connected with Mike Gesicki for the 2-point conversion. But that was as close as the Dolphins would get. The Bills added another field goal and a touchdown to put the game out of reach.
It was an important win that kept the Bills in the AFC East driver’s seat and a game ahead of the advancing New England Patriots (4-4 SU). The game itself, though, resulted in a push for NFL picks against the spread. The Bills closed as the 15-point home chalk.
Jaguars Back to Losing Ways
So much for clinching their first win of the season and snapping a 20-game losing streak. Right after the Jaguars upset the Dolphins 23-20 in London, they reverted back to their losing ways in a lackluster 31-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Urban Meyer’s side to a big step back in Week 8, and the fact that they did so against embattled backup quarterback Geno Smith and the struggling Seattle Seahawks made it that much worse to bear. Heck, they made Geno Smith look elite and that takes some doing.
On paper, it was the worst loss of the year for the Jaguars, and the worst account by the so-called Chosen One, Trevor Lawrence in his fledgling NFL career. The No.1 pick in the 2021 NFL draft was touted as a generational talent, a once-in-a-lifetime quarterback that would be the envy of any head coach or team in the league. So far, not so good.
Predictions and Picks
Multiple top-rated sportsbooks opened with the Bills spotting the Jaguars 14.5 points, but some shops came in on 14 points. Early consensus betting trends show the public is backing the AFC heavyweights, and if that trend continues, the line is likely to swell up to 15 points or higher.
The ideal scenario would be if midweek buyback on the Jaguars was to push the line under 14 points. The Bills at -13.5 or -13. would be infinitely more tempting for NFL picks. Though waiting to see how the market moves on this game is always a strategy worth considering, especially when dealing with a double-digit spread that could go either way. The Bills at -14 might end up being the best line that’s available for those on Buffalo’s side of the betting, so grabbing it now before the value is lost would be the smart move.
Having said that the Bills shouldn’t have any problems covering 15 points or higher in this game. If Geno Smith and the Seahawks can beat the Jaguars by 24 points, Allen and the Bills can shred the Jaguars for double that amount surely.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.