Buffalo Bills (0-0) at New York Jets (0-0)
NFL: Sunday, September 8th, 2019 at 1:00 pm ET (Metlife Stadium)
Line and Odds: New York Jets -2.5 Over/Under: 40.5
Free ESPN NFL Picks New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are hoping to get more production out of its offense this season. Buffalo’s offense scored just 16.8 points per game in 2018, ranking 30th in scoring offense. They gained an average of 4.7 yards per play last season, which ranked 31st in the NFL. The Bills’ offense averaged 26.2 yards per possession, ranking 30th in total yards per drive. The Josh Allen-led passing offense ranked 31st in yards per pass attempt, averaging 6.2 yards per throw. The running game was ranked slightly higher, averaging 4.2 yards per rush (21st in the NFL). Last month, the Bills organization let go of starting RB LeSean McCoy. Buffalo will look to replace his production with rookie Devin Singletary, free agent Frank Gore, and free agent T.J. Yeldon. In addition to their lack of yardage production, they also struggled with turnovers. Buffalo turned the ball over on 15.5% of their drives, ranking 29th in turnover percentage. If these statistics aren’t bad enough, Buffalo also had significant problems on high leverage downs. The Bills converted just 31.6% of their 3rd down attempts and 38.9% of their 4th down attempts. They ranked 30th in 3rd down conversion percentage and 31st in 4th down conversion percentage.
Defensively, the Buffalo Bills had some impressive moments last season. The Bills’ defense gave up 23.4 points per game, ranking 18th in scoring defense. However, that number does not tell the whole story. Buffalo’s defense ranked 4th in the NFL in terms of expected points added. They gave up 4.9 yards per play, which ranked 3rd-best in all of football. Buffalo gave up 24.6 yards per drive, which ranked #1 in the NFL. They did all of this despite having to deal with an offense and a special teams unit that constantly put them in bad situations. The average starting field position against the Bills defense was the opponent’s own 32 yard line. No defense in the NFL had to deal with worse field position. Buffalo ranked 3rd in yards per pass attempt allowed and 8th in yards per rush attempt allowed. The biggest thing the Bills could improve defensively is their red zone defense. They gave up touchdowns on 70.8% of their opponents’ red zone trips, ranking 29th in defensive red zone touchdown percentage.
New Jets coach Adam Gase is hoping to oversee a big improvement in the New York offense. New York scored 20.8 points per game in 2018, ranking 23rd in scoring offense. The Jets offense averaged 4.9 yards per play last season, which ranked them 29th in yards per play. They ranked 28th in yards per pass attempt and 29th in yards per rush. New York averaged 6.5 yards per pass attempt and 4.0 yards per rush. In fact, the Jets running game ranked 32nd out of 32 offenses in terms of expected points added from rushing. The rushing offense should take a dramatic step up with the addition of Pro Bowl RB Le’Veon Bell. This offense turned the ball over on 14.7% of their offensive drive, which ranked 27th in offensive turnover percentage. Sam Darnold and the Jets passing game ranked 29th in offensive interception percentage, throwing a pick on 3.6% of their total throws. They were especially poor in key offensive situations. The Jets converted 32.2% of their 3rd down attempts, which ranked 29th in third down conversion percentage. New York scored touchdowns on 44.4% of their red zone trips, ranking 30th in red zone touchdown percentage.
The Jets defense is another example of a defense that is not as bad as their points allowed would suggest. New York gave up 27.6 points per game last season, ranking 29th in points allowed. However, they ranked 16th in terms of defensive expected points added. The Jets ranked 20th in yards per play allowed, giving up 5.7 yards per play. New York’s defense allowed 30.1 yards per possession in 2018, the 8th-best mark in the NFL. The strongest aspect of the Jets defense is their performance on 3rd down. New York’s defense allowed 1st downs on just 33.8% of their opponents’ 3rd down situations, making them the second-best 3rd down defense in the NFL. They were also 10th in defensive red zone touchdown percentage, allowing touchdowns on 52.5% of their opponents’ red zone trips. Much like the Bills, the Jets offense and special teams units put their defense in a tough spot. The average starting field position the Jets defense faced was their opponents’ own 31 yard line. That was the 4th toughest avg. starting field position a defense had to deal with in 2018.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
Buffalo is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games against NY Jets.
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Buffalo’s last 7 games on the road.
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Buffalo’s last 9 games when playing on the road against NY Jets.
NY Jets are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of NY Jets’ last 5 games.
NY Jets are 1-9 SU in their last 10 games.
ESPN NFL Scores Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets
I’m taking the Buffalo Bills +2.5 in this matchup. I expect the Bills to have one of the best defenses in the league this year. Sean McDermott (head coach) and Leslie Frazier (defensive coordinator) are 2 of the best defensive minds in the game. While Buffalo has made changes to the offensive personnel, Josh Allen gets a 2nd year with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. The continuity between the head coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator all returning will be advantageous to the Bills early in the season. On the other hand, the Jets have undergone a big amount of change. Sam Darnold has to learn a completely new offense and the entire coaching staff for the Jets has been changed. It remains to be seen whether those changes will work out, but I believe it will take some time for everyone to get comfortable in their new spots in the Jets organization. I expect a low scoring game, so I’m happy to take the better defense and 2.5 points. Take Buffalo in this contest.