New York Jets (2-8) at Buffalo Bills (5-5) in Detroit
In case you haven’t heard, this game is getting moved from Buffalo to Detroit as a result of the massive snowstorm that hit Buffalo this weekend. This line moved from 4.5 to 3 as a result, but I don’t think that’s nearly a big enough line movement. The typical line movement for homefield advantage is 3 and I think this is much more of a neutral site game than that line movement suggests. On top of that, the Bills are at a tremendous disadvantage because they’ve been unable to practice all week. There’s no way they’ll be able to be as focused as the Jets, who got a normal week of practice in this week and didn’t have to deal with a ton of snow effecting their day-to-day lives.
Some might think that because the Bills won by 20 earlier this game in New York against the Jets that the Bills should still be able to win easily here, but that game was very fluky. Easily the biggest reason for the loss was the Jets -6 turnover margin, but turnover margins tend to be very inconsistent on a week to week basis. Teams that have a turnover margin of -4 on average have a turnover margin of +0.1 the following week. Even crazier, teams with a turnover margin of -6 or more have an average turnover margin of +0.3 the following week. The Jets actually won the chain game, moving the chains at a 67.57% rate, as opposed to 65.38% for the Bills. The Bills were way too reliant on turnovers, which they won’t be able to rely on this week.
The Jets have played better over the past 2 weeks since that game, as a result of the switch from Geno Smith to Michael Vick at quarterback. Vick isn’t great, but he’s an upgrade on the horrific Geno Smith. The Jets are actually better on the season in rate of moving the chains differential, moving the chains at a 69.10% rate, as opposed to 72.79% for their opponents, a differential of -3.69% that ranks 24th in the NFL. The Bills, meanwhile, move the chains at a 64.71% rate, as opposed to 69.04% for their opponents, a differential of -4.33% that ranks 26th in the NFL. I’m not that confident in the Jets and I don’t want to put any money on this game given all the externalities effecting it that are so hard to quantify, but I feel like you have to take the points here.
New York Jets 13 Buffalo Bills 12 Upset Pick +125
Pick against the spread: NY Jets +3