New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills Odds & Game Pick (2022)

Jan 7, 2022 - 5:03 PM

The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills will conclude the 2021 regular season Sunday afternoon at — what’s the name of Buffalo’s stadium now? — Highmark Stadium.

While the Jets are pretty much playing for pride, Buffalo can lock up the AFC East and bolster its playoff positioning with a win and some help Sunday.

Are the Bills worth backing as big favorites? Or can the underdog Jets pull off another cover against a Super Bowl contender? Let’s break it down.

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  • Opening line: Buffalo -17
  • Current line: Buffalo -16.5
  • Total: 41.5

Bills have plenty to play for

It’s extremely hard to project playoff matchups, but here’s the gist of it: Buffalo will win the AFC East division with a win. Buffalo can also move up from the No. 4 to the No. 2 seed with a win and some help. They can clinch the No. 3 seed with a win and a Chiefs OR Bengals loss. To get the No. 2 seed, they’d need a win plus losses by the Chiefs AND Bengals.

With the home-field advantage Buffalo offers, you can expect the Bills to give a good effort even with a playoff berth locked up. Motivation shouldn’t be an issue here.

However, I suspect the Bills would prefer to take a big lead into halftime, then pull starters in the second half. That could be feasible against a Jets defense that ranks dead-last in defensive DVOA. Josh Allen and Buffalo’s high-powered offense has the goods to jump out to an early lead.

Jets are still fighting 

Give the Jets credit, they gave Tom Brady and the Buccaneers everything they could handle last week, but their lack of experience and talent in the secondary crushed them in the end.

But the Jets are fighting, or at least they were as of last week. And that effort level made up for a gigantic talent disparity a week ago.

Most encouraging was Zach Wilson’s performance. The BYU product put up one of his better games as a pro, throwing for 234 yards and a touchdown with no turnovers. Those aren’t earth shattering numbers, but it’s progress after Wilson’s rocky start to the season. It’s worth noting that Wilson did not play in the first meeting between these teams.

Defensively, New York continues to be a train wreck. They don’t have great cover corners in the secondary, and they don’t have enough talent in the front seven to pressure the passer. In the first meeting, Allen threw for 366 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-17 Buffalo win. Expect a similar output from Allen in the rematch.

Bottom Line

The Bills are clearly the superior team here, but laying more than two touchdowns in the regular season finale is a risk I’d rather not take.

If you’re interested in backing Buffalo in some form, I recommend laying the points in the first half at anything below double digits. The Bills should have no trouble dominating the Jets early on before coasting into the playoffs. And taking Buffalo in the first half protects you from New York finding a way through the back door.

The pick: Bills -9.5 or better first half

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