New York Jets (6-9) at Buffalo Bills (5-10)
Aside from this being a divisional matchup, this is a completely meaningless game for these two teams. Both are out of the playoffs by a long shot and both could easily have new Head Coaches and starting quarterbacks next season. I don’t like to make big plays on games involving two teams completely out of the playoff race. There’s just no way to predict what kind of energy either side of going to come out with. Meaningless games should be completely meaningless to bettors. However, if I had to pick a side, I would take the Jets.
The first reason is that I think they’re a better team, but this line doesn’t show it. In fact, at -3.5, it says the Bills are slightly better which isn’t true. The Jets rank 26th in net points per drive, 25th in DVOA, and 25th in weighted DVOA, while the Bills rank 28th, 24th, and 24th respectively. At best, these two teams are even, but we’re getting line value with the Jets using the net points per drive method. The Jets’ is at -0.39, while the Bills are at -0.64. If you take the difference, multiply by 11 (the average amount of drives per team per game), and add 2.5 points for home field, you get that this should be a pick em.
The second reason is that the Jets, for whatever reason, dominate this “rivalry,” winning the last 6, including 5 covers, winning those 6 by an average of 16.8 points for game. The third reason is that, again, for whatever reason, the Bills always seem to struggle late in the season under Chan Gailey, going 4-10 ATS during weeks 13-17 since he took over in 2010. The final reason is that, in spite of all the above stuff, we’re getting a chance to fade the public as the public is all over the Bills. The public always loses money in the long run. Still, I can’t make it a significant play.
Public lean: Buffalo (70% range)
New York Jets 17 Buffalo Bills 16 Upset Pick +155
Pick against spread: NY Jets +3.5 (-110) 2 units