NFL Week 18 Best Bets: Jets vs. Bills Picks for January 9

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Zach Wilson #2 of the New York Jets. Dustin Satloff/Getty Images/AFP.

The Buffalo Bills (10-6) look to clinch the AFC East with a win over the New York Jets (4-12). Buffalo beat the Falcons 29-15 on Sunday while the Jets gave Tampa Bay a scare before losing 28-24 in the final seconds. But what about the NFL odds?

New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills 

Sunday, January 09, 2022 – 04:25 PM EST at Highmark Stadium

The Bills (8-6-2 ATS) are a 17-point favorite over the Jets (6-10 ATS) at many of BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks. Favorites of at least 17 points are 13-15-1 ATS and 27-2 SU since 2001, but the Jets (+17.5) did take down the Rams last season. Can Robert Saleh’s group end the season on a high note? The Bills are the only team to push twice on spreads this season.

Week 10 Recap: Bills 45, Jets 17

In the last meeting between these division rivals, the Bills led by as many as 35 points before winning 45-17. The great Mike White experiment died a quick death for the Jets as the backup threw four interceptions in his last appearance of the season. Joe Flacco had to come off the bench and throw a late touchdown to Elijah Moore, who the Jets have also lost to injury. The Jets really had no answers for Buffalo’s defense.

On the other side of the ball, Josh Allen carved up Saleh’s defense to the tune of 366 passing yards on just 28 attempts. His average of 13.07 yards per attempt is the highest game in his NFL career. Allen also shredded Saleh’s San Francisco defense in a 2020 meeting.

But in Week 10, it was play-action passing where Allen was so dominant. Allen threw for 305 yards on play-action plays alone, the second-most yards in a game since 2016. He used play-action on 57% of his dropbacks, the highest in a game by any quarterback this season according to Next Gen Stats.

If there is any positive to take from that, it means the Jets held Allen to 61 yards passing on his 11 pass attempts without play-action. But the Bills like to use it, they have been running the ball more in recent weeks, and it is just something New York will have to defend better this time.

Allen has passed for over 300 yards in each of his last three meetings with the Jets. He is coming off a rough passing game in the snow against Atlanta where he only completed 11-of-26 passes for 120 yards and 3 interceptions. But Allen was able to use his legs and rush 15 times for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns. Allen had a season-low 3 rushing yards against the Jets in Week 10, but he is always a threat to take off at any time.

Bills and Big Wins

This is a very large spread for a division game. Since 1990, division games with a 17-point favorite are 9-15-2 ATS and 23-3 SU. Compare that spread record to a 12-14 ATS record in non-division games in that time.

This is also the second meeting between these teams, though that did not matter for the Bills one year ago. In late-season rematches with the Patriots and Dolphins, the Bills crushed their rivals with victories of 29 and 30 points to enter the playoffs hot. The Jets also haven’t shown much confidence in adjusting this year. The Jets lost by 19 points against the Patriots before losing 54-13 in New England in the rematch.

Buffalo’s last 17 regular-season wins have all been by at least 10 points, which only trails the 1941-42 Bears (20 games) for the second-longest streak in NFL history. Including the playoffs, Buffalo’s last 10 wins have all been by at least 10 points, the longest streak in the NFL since the 1998-99 Rams. This team knows how to win big and lose close. With a division title and home playoff game on the line, it is hard to see Buffalo losing this one.

One positive for the Jets would be that since the five-turnover disaster against the Bills, the Jets have gone seven straight games without multiple giveaways. The Jets’ only turnover against Tampa Bay was a fumble on the final snap in desperation mode.

New York’s only loss by more than 15 points during this time was the 30-9 loss to the Saints. But even that game saw Taysom Hill scramble for a 43-yard touchdown with the game already out of reach. He could have easily gone down for a 23-9 finish but continued his run to score.

Strangely enough, the Saints are the only team the Bills have been able to beat by more than 17 points since their Week 10 rout of the Jets, but the transitive property does not work in the NFL. After all, the Jaguars beat the Bills but lost to the Jets. The Titans and Bengals also beat the Chiefs, but both lost to the Jets. No one is going to predict the upset here, but we’re just talking about a three-score spread.

Prediction

The Bills should have no problems in winning this game to claim the AFC East for the second year in a row. However, this is a large spread to cover, and the Jets have been playing with some competence as of late. Even when the Colts took a 42-10 lead on the Jets in one of the worst defensive performances of the season, the Jets fought back to a 45-30 final and nearly cut the lead to a single touchdown.

I trust Saleh to get a good enough fight out of his team for this final game of the season and cover the huge spread for your NFL picks.

NFL Pick: Jets +17 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Jets +17 (-110)
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*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.