NFL Thursday Night Football Picks: Bills and Jets

Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills are in New York tonight, looking to make a statement against the Jets


Buffalo lost back-to-back games heading into its bye week but the Dolphins last week offered a perfect remedy to that mini-slump, and the Bills earned their third win of the season in a convincing fashion. It’s earned them some street cred this week in Ryan’s return to New York, with action split fairly evenly on what sets up as a close game. The Greek is offering the Jets at -1.5 and after looking over the matchup, I decided to back the home fave.


Each of these teams do a good job taking away the No. 1 and 2 WRs; are average against slots and TEs, and their weakest links are stopping RBs in space. The Jets are trying to stay committed to the run but they’ve been dealing with injuries to Colon (IR) and Mangold (probable) on the O-Line, and the injury to RB Powell (doubtful). The Buffalo O-Line ranks 21/28 in run blocking and pass protection, but Tyrod Taylor can scramble and Shady McCoy is averaging 10 yards per catch on 13 receptions. He’s just getting warmed up, too.

On the other hand, the Jets run D is No. 1 and their front seven is No. 2 against the rush, 27th against the pass. If they can bring an occasional spy in for Taylor and/or an eighth man in the box to handle McCoy and Williams, Buffalo is not going to have a lot of success moving the ball.

SDQL Stat: McCoy’s record in games where he gets 50-plus RY and 3-plus receptions against a good D that allows 21 or less PPG (Jets allow 20.2) is just 2-10 ATS (SDQL Text: LeSean McCoy:RY > 50 and LeSean McCoy:receptions > 2 and oA(o:points) <= 21)


The Bills have lost five-straight games SU/ATS since the start of 2013 immediately following a game where they had a 100-yard rusher. McCoy and Williams each had 100-plus yards last week. In divisional road games off a home game with a 100-yard rusher, Buffalo is 2-6 SU and 1-6-1 ATS.

Divisional road teams in lower totalled games that just rushed for 250-plus yards are 3-12 SU/ATS and 3-11-1 O/U. On average, they were small dogs like Buffalo and they were outscored 23-14. Only two of these 15 games ended with more than 43 total points.

Divisional road teams off a home game where they rushed for 200-plus yards (no bye) are a 59-percent play AGAINST ATS and a 59-percent UN bet. Lower totalled games, the road teams record falls ATS and the UN hits 68-percent.

Thursday HFs off a home game where they didn’t turn the ball over once have been pretty dominant, with nine of 13 teams winning straight-up by more than a TD. Two of the ATS losses were by 3-point HFs, the other two by double-digit HFs. The three losers scored between 16-20 points (NY’s TT is 21.5 tonight). Games with a lower total, the home team went 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS. The Steelers were in there three times from 2008-11, holding their opponent to 10-3-3 points. Are these Jets on that same level as the Steel Curtain?


QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is good to go and his top two targets, Brandon Marshall (toe) and Eric Decker (knee) wouldn’t want to miss this game. The Bills top deep-threat, Sammy Watkins (ankle), is also starting but you get the feeling that this game will be won or lost in the trenches. Whether it’s high or low scoring, my numbers suggest the Jets at home have a much better shot at winning. I split my bet two ways, averaging the juice down to -118:

Jets -1.5 and Jets on the moneyline at -125

Top picks from MTi and Sportsbook Breakers went 3-1 ATS in last week’s newsletter. Download your copy of the Week 10 NFL Report at the Killer Sports link on our home page (click here). Sorry, the download is only available via laptop or pc, not on a mobile. For more information on what the newsletter offers, click here!