New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills Prediction: Did This Total Get Too Low?

NFL expert Mike Spector analyzes the Week 18 AFC East clash between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills.
Mike Spector |
Tue, January 4, 3:14 PM EST | 4 min read
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New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills Prediction: Did This Total Get Too Low?

While many teams have numerous scenarios to determine their playoff fate, the Buffalo Bills’ future entering Week 18 is simple. If they beat the New York Jets, they will win the AFC East title and be guaranteed anywhere from the No. 2 seed to the No. 4 seed. Will Buffalo take care of business and earn their second straight division title, or will the Jets play spoiler in the regular-season finale?

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INJURY REPORT

NEW YORK JETS:

QUESTIONABLE: WR Elijah Moore, RB Michael Carter

DOUBTFUL: OT George Fant

OUT: DE Kyle Phillips, WR Jamison Crowder

BUFFALO BILLS:

Questionable: OT Ryan Bates 

OUT: CB Tre’Davious White, Ike Boettger, DT Justin Zimmer, RB Christian Wade

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New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills Prediction

With many teams in the NFL seemingly playing out the string, including the team they share a stadium with, the New York Jets have looked competitive the last five weeks, despite four losses in that span. Last week, New York was one fourth-down conversion away from knocking off the defending Super Bowl champions. However, a curious quarterback sneak on fourth-and-two failed and gave the ball back to Tom Brady, who promptly marched his team down the field for the game-winning touchdown. The Buccaneers scored the final 18 points of the game after the Jets raced out to a 24-10 lead. 

New York has now lost 12 or more games in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1995-96 under Rich Kotite. In addition, the Jets have lost 26 of their last 32 games and have a 4-13 home record since the start of last season. Their loss against the Buccaneers dropped them to 0-4 SU following a win.

Buffalo pessimists will look at Josh Allen tying a career-high with three interceptions last week and argue he needs to be better than that against a mediocre Atlanta defense. Allen’s three interceptions led to ten Falcons points, and his 120 passing yards were his fewest in a start since 2018. However, Bills optimists will point to a dominant running game that has been non-existent for most of the year and suggest Buffalo did well to win a game by two touchdowns when their Pro Bowl quarterback was not at his best.

The Bills ran for a season-high 233 yards and 150 yards after contact. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Buffalo’s most rushing yards after contact since they began tracking the stat in 2007. In addition, they moved the chains 19 times on the ground, which was their most rushing first downs since 2000. 

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Allen played a big part in the running game, as he totaled 81 yards and two rushing touchdowns. However, the Bills would likely prefer not to run him as much, so it will be interesting to see if they get Devin Singletary and Zack Moss more involved this week.

The over/under has been on a constant decline since early Monday morning. The total opened at 45.5 points but has since dropped to 42.5. Of course, weather is always a potential factor in Buffalo this late in the year. Still, early forecasts suggest the area will be hit with nine inches of snow Wednesday into Thursday, with Sunday’s forecast calling for rain. Unless the winds gust at 40-50 mph as they did in their Monday night game against New England, rain should not impede these offenses too much.

Buffalo wants nothing more than to race out to a big early lead, then have the comfort of resting starters in the second half. Thus, we should see an aggressive game plan early. However, with the possibility of the game coming to a halt in the second half if Buffalo does get out to an early lead, the safest play is on the first half over. 

The over has cashed in New York’s last four games against teams with a winning record and is 17-8-1 in Buffalo’s last 26 games following a straight-up win. Thus, we like the chances of points being scored in this game, especially early, and look to take advantage of an under-inflated total.

New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills Pick

  • PICK: OVER 22.5 FIRST HALF POINTS (-110)

Mike Spector
@MikeSpector01

Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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