Buffalo Bills (4-2) at New York Jets (0-6)
The Jets are not just the last remaining winless team and the worst team in the league; they’re the worst team in the league by a wide margin and one of the worst teams of all time statistically. None of their games have been decided by one score or less. They haven’t been remotely competitive in any of their games, with their best single week first down rate differential being their -6.56% mark in week 2 in a 31-13 loss to the 49ers. They’ve lost by an average of 18.3 points per game and their -110 point differential is the 9th worst through 6 games since the merger. In terms of first down rate differential, the Jets are at -11.68% when adjusted for schedule and no other team is worse than -6.79%.
The Jets can look to last year’s Dolphins, who were 0-6 with a -148 point differential and a -13.68% first down rate differential through 6 games, before eventually going 5-5 over their final 10 games, but the Dolphins had a capable veteran quarterback to turn to in Ryan Fitzpatrick and were well coached by first year head coach Brian Flores, two things the Jets don’t have going for them.
The Jets are getting healthier on offense, which has been the worse side of the ball, as not only will they have Sam Darnold back from a two-game absence, but he could have his top-3 wide receivers all healthy for the first time all year, with Jamison Crowder returning three weeks ago, Breshad Perriman returning last week, and rookie Denzel Mims likely to make his season debut this season. However, even with better health, the Jets still stand out as dead last in my roster rankings.
This week, the Jets host the Bills and are 10-point home underdogs. Earlier this week, I was thinking of making a small bet on the Bills just as a fade of the Jets, who have yet to cover this season, but the injury developments have changed my mind, as not only are the Jets getting healthier, but the Bills, who haven’t played as well over the past two weeks, are going in the other direction injury wise. They may get linebacker Matt Milano back from injury, but wide receiver John Brown, tight end Dawson Knox, guard Cody Ford, cornerbacks Josh Norman and Levi Wallace, and possibly top cornerback Tre’Davious White are all expected to be out this week.
This line has shifted from -12.5 earlier this week down to -10 because of the injury news, but I still don’t like betting on a huge road favorite when they’re banged up and could potentially be sleep walking through the game, with a much bigger game against the Patriots on deck. The Bills are still the pick for pick ‘em purposes now, but if both Milano and White are ruled out, I may flip this pick, as I don’t have a strong lean either way.
Final Update: The injury report is better than I was expecting, as the Bills will have both Tre’Davious White and Matt Milano, while the Jets will be missing their top receiver Jamison Crowder in a surprise inactive (as well as talented guard Alex Lewis, but that was known earlier this week). I still wouldn’t bet on the Bills, but I’m pumping this up to low confidence.
Buffalo Bills 24 New York Jets 10
Pick against the spread: Buffalo -10