Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 8:45 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Buffalo -7½ over N.Y. Jets
4:25 PM EST. The time is now for Buffalo. Both AFC East teams were hopeful entering this season, among the top picks for the AFC Playoffs according to many talking heads. Fast forward 10 weeks into the season and we see a different story.
Zach Wilson continues to struggle in Aaron Rodgers' absence and the Jets' defense continues to be their stalwart program. Same shit, different week. Jets' coach Robert Saleh looks increasingly annoyed at the optics before him, knowing how limited they are with a bad offensive line and a quarterback who can't get over the hump. Wilson might be a viable thrower in this league eventually, he clearly has the arm-talent, but his decision making and shaky disposition in clutch moments has cost New York on too many occasions. One week he'll appear slick and confident, he's even had some game-winning drives, the next week he'll be the reason the Jets lose. It's just all too unpredictable and volatile for their franchise right now, but the ship isn't exactly steady for their opponent either.
Buffalo goes as Josh Allen goes. Lately that hasn't been a good thing. Sean McDermott was visibly upset at Allen on the sidelines last week, conceivably at the end of his rope after Josh Allen threw two more egregious interceptions. As a team, Buffalo looked like the most undisciplined program in pro-football last week. At Orchard Park, a place where they've almost exclusively experienced success the past few seasons, they just couldn't get out of their own way. The offense turned it over four times and went just 3-8 on third downs. Sick of being on the field too long (Denver controlled time of possession 37:21 to 22:39), the Buffalo defense bent and allowed Russell Wilson to complete big first down after big first down. In the final quarter, the Bills were outscored 9-0. It was their fourth loss in six games. And their two wins during that span were unimpressive just-barely-eking-by victories against two bad teams, the Giants and the Bucs. Buffalo hasn't looked competent since their October 1st win at home against Miami.
It's fair to say that Buffalo's stock couldn't be lower, and yet they remain 7-point favorites at home against the very same team that shocked them in Week 1. How can that be?
Here's how it can be: this is a must-win to end all must-wins for the Bills, and they know it. New York is on the brink of missing the playoffs if they keep losing but the back-half of their schedule is more forgiving than it is for Buffalo. After Sunday's AFC East showdown, the Bills' remaining schedule is as follows: PHI, KC, DAL, LAC, NE, and at MIA. Last year's two Super Bowl participants, then two high-octane offenses, then two tough divisional battles - it doesn't get much harder than that. This is a revenge game for Buffalo, too, since they played arguably the sloppiest game of their season in their opener on Monday Night Football against the very same team. Conditions in Buffalo call for some wind, maybe showers, and temperatures will drop to freezing as the game progresses. That has Josh Allen scrambling and creating big plays written all over it. If the Bills are going to answer the call, this is the spot.
Buffalo -7½ -108 (Risking 2.16 units - To Win: 2.00)