Bonus Deep Dive Blog

Had a interesting back-and-forth with the very sharp @BPicksSports today about the Thursday Night Football game. Spoiler alert, we landed on opposite sides. Figured it would be fun to publish it all to help you in your handicap tonight, enjoy…

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BP Sports

I can’t see any way Jets cover 3

White Whale

I’m oppo… Love the Jets tonight

Basically the Jets are better than anyone thinks, the Bills looked amazing last week but it was more due to OAK incompetence and of course the short week for the Rook HC is trouble… all leads to backing the J-E-T-S in the season wins buster.

BP

I agree with the Jets being underrated. But here is my issue is that Buffalo has had 300+ yards rushing in two games, and the Jets run D grades out worse than Tampa Bay and Oakland who they just ran over. Week 1 the Jets allowed 190 on the ground to this team. Bills also +14 in turnovers — and the Jets have given up the ball 5th most in the league, at least 1 each game and more than once 5 times.

WW

Very interesting, all this may lend some credibility to the under… the TNF game Week 2 last year is throwing me off a little on this I’ll admit. I was all over the Jets and the Jets alt spreads in that game and got rewarded big time so I may be colored by past success in this spot.

The Jets have a nose to taking away the ball and BUF has been lucky in the TO department. I’ve watched more Jets games than I care to admit and a lot of their turnovers have been fluky/lucky but sometimes that’s just the way it goes for a team and there’s no good reason to think it stops tonight.

BP

Tyrod has been a fine game manager for them without Clay, JMat (mostly) or a WR1 (Now Kelvin) he is completing 64% and is 8–2 TD-INTs. Bills bend but don’t break on D which scares me a bit though being honest, 350 yards per game but only 16 points. Teams move the ball but they don’t break much. Micah Hyde might be one of the best offseason pick ups no one is talking about. Hyde has 5 INTs. Could easily see another with the Jets tendency to throw it up and take a chance.

And Tyrod will have time. Jets are 31st in the NFL at getting pressure. MoWilk is actually worst in NFL at 3.1%.

WW

When I dig deep into the numbers, the Bills and Jets come out as almost dead even teams for me. I’m seeing Bills at -0.7 net YPP, adjusted for opponent and Jets -0.8 net YPP. Add to this Bills have faced a pretty easy schedule lately while the Jets just went toe-to-toe with both of last seasons SuperBowl teams.

Teams are not playing well in the Meadowlands against the Jets. Dolphins and Jags (althought both in terrible travel spots) went to NJ and lost. Pats and Falcs both won in tightly contested games. Jets 4–0 at home ATS this season (by the closing number).

BP

I agree with that — but Jets allow 128.3 on the ground, Buffalo, who was terrible weeks 2–5 on the ground , still averages 124.6.

WW

How about the TNF rookie head coach angle? A lot of the Bills over-achievement can be credited to Sean McDermott who is entering this situation of a short week for the first time. They will have to rely heavily on the game plan they used against the Jets Week 1, meanwhile the Jets have improved significantly as a team since that matchup.

BP

Rookie head coach in prime time — as I’ve learned from you can be problematic. But my concern is the run game really and how the Jets will handle that. Especially if Benjamin plays. They’ll be forced to choose to stack the box and trust their rookie safety convo who, in watching film, have been prone to giving up some big plays (as most rookies do) and trusting their front 7 who hasn’t been good this year at all.

Tyrod makes bad decisions under pressure. You can beat the Bills when you make them beat you in the air. They average like 200 YPG throwing. But with Tyrods legs, he could be running all around everywhere.

Also scares me the Jets will abandon the run game like they did last week. They had a 37–21 split Pass / Run. They run for 95 YPG putting them in the bottom third. And all the Bills do is force turnovers.

WW

Any concern on your part with the Bills coming in overconfident? Hyde getting an POM award today, Taylor having a huge piece about himself on ESPN, seems like there is a opportunity for them to enter this game thinking pretty highly of themselves meanwhile the Jets had they lapse and should be re-focused. After they won three in a row they were drinking their own Kool-aid and dragging journos who said they wouldn’t win a game, they have to be back down to earth after the way they lost their last few.

BP

Rookie OC in the national spotlight too. Bills always play down to the Jets. Every year they do it in this spot. It’s nuts.

WW

I see a lot of similarities, in terms of situational spot, to the Bills @ Cincy game Week 5. Bills off two big wins where their offense moved freely and their D was stout, got high on their accomplishments and a hungry (albeit bad) team gave it to them.

BP

Brandon Shell also a tough injury for Jets. Leaves a nice hole at RT that Buffalo could take advantage of

WW

Yeah, I saw that and it scares me a bit. Something about the Bills D though is vulnerable, as long as you don’t beat yourself (which I know the Jets tend to do) you can move the ball on them. I like the rapport McCown has right now with ASJ and Kearse, I think the backs can contribute in the passing game.

Kind of all hinges on the Jets staying TO free and forcing the Bills to cough up the ball once or twice

BP

Bills offense has really stopped QBs. Only 1 QB has a top 12 finish against them in any week. Jets can’t really run and Bills defense could eat tonight.

I don’t think the Jets can win a grind it out game. They need to keep the pace up and not let Buffalo settle in. The NBA analogy here for me is if the Jets allow Buffalo to set up in their half court sets, they’re screwed. If they get out in transition, they have a chance.

WW

In terms of grand scheme of things I do think the Jets are frauds and the Bills will be an AFC Wild Card team but in this spot I think the Jets surprise em.

Bills feel like a 9–7 or 10–6 team at this point while the Jets are looking like 6–10 or 7–9

BP

Kelvin Benjamin also could change this game too. Fun fact: of the 168 first downs the Jets have allowed, 16% or 27, have come via penalty.

WW

If that’s what tips the scales for the Bills I’ll be floored. Not expecting him to get more than 50% of the snaps and really provide an impact until the Saints game next week.

BP

What I think is most impressive about the Bills is they have no Clay, had no Deep Target. All the drops by Zay Jones. Basically said hell with it were gonna just pound you and grind out wins and they’ve been successful.

WW

Yeah I agree on that, at face value both the Jets and Bills cleaned their rosters of what seemed like a lot of talent pre-season and yet here they sit with 8 wins between them through 8 weeks.

So how do you see the game playing out in terms of ebbs and flows… Bills score early and put them away? Kind of a re-run of Week 1 or last week vs the Raiders?

BP

Grind it out game, Bills score 10+ unanswered to start the second. Jets make it close but Bills Run game grinds them out, similar to Week 1.

Here’s how I see the game… -2.5 to me is picking the winner so I don’t care about the spread here when capping. If they win by 1, is what it is but am not going to play for Jets to lose and cover.

In my opinion, based on the above, there are more ways the Bills can win tonight than the Jets can. I see your path and I agree it’s definitely viable. If this was hold em, I think the Bills just have more possible card combinations to win than the Jets.

How do you see this playing out, Whale? Give me your final score and closing statement… and of course — I always want your favorite alt line.

WW

I like the Jets to get a big break early (KO Return, big TD reception, Def TD) and put a little pressure on the Bills offense who have trouble opening up space for McCoy. Close game or tie at HT with relatively low score. Jets keep their noses ahead in the 2H and put the Bills away in the 4Q with a key stop or turnover.

We’ll say Bills with a chance to win or tie give up a fumble after completing a key first down. Jets put it away 23–20, I’ll back NYJ -2.5 at +170.

BP

-2.5 at +170 seems like great value for Jets backers. Pick up 25 points of value there off the straight ML, and get the hook if they win by 3.

Jets stay in the game throughout the first half and get some big plays that lead to some fluky points. The Bills end up pulling in the second half as key injuries to MoWilk, Claiborne, and Shell catch up to them. Bills win 31–20, as the Jets give Bills -3 backers a late backdoor scare as a garbage time TD drive comes up just short.

Whale — always love doing this with you and thank you for having the BP team. We look forward to many more deep dives in the future. And as always, BoL.

WW

Alright man, you’ve given me a lot to think about… BoL tonight.

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