Okay For Real This Time, Bills Will Stomp Jets In Week 14

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I was on the wrong side of this New York Jets (7-5) at Buffalo Bills (9-3) Week 14 matchup when they first met earlier this season. The Jets upset the Bills 20-17 as 11-point underdogs at home in Week 9.

Buffalo was marching down the field on its opening drive to take a 7-0 lead — at the very least, 3-0 — then Bills QB Josh Allen threw one of the worst interceptions in the red zone you’ll ever see. From then, I knew this bet was FUBAR.

The vibes were off even after the Bills took a double-digit lead in the second quarter. But, I’m going back to the well with Buffalo because I have a hunch the Bills will play better this time around.

Actually, I have a bunch of analyses.

Betting Details (DraftKings)

Buffalo’s defense is healthier than last time

The Bills had cluster injuries in their secondary and it helped then-Jets QB, and castoff, Zach Wilson have a career day. Wilson completed a career-high 72.0% of his passes (18-for-25) for 154 yards, a 1/0 TD/INT ratio, and a career-best 101.1 QB Rating.

However, Buffalo was missing All-Pro CB Tre’Davious White and All-Pro safety Jordan Poyer. Bills first-round rookie CB Kaiir Elam and highly graded edge rusher Greg Rousseau both left mid-game with injuries as well.

Even after Wilson played well vs. a solid, yet banged-up Buffalo defense, Wilson got benched two weeks later for backup QB Mike White. Wilson laid an egg vs. the Patriots in a 10-3 loss in Week 10 and took zero accountability.

Bold move for a QB. So bold that Jets coach Robert Saleh benched and deactivated Wilson. This fool isn’t even the backup, Joe Flacco is. New York fans much prefer White over Wilson but White still ain’t the answer …

Fading Mike White, Part II

It made sense to bet against White last week in his second start of the season, the first on the road, vs. the Vikings. White actually played pretty well in Week 13 and had a shot to win the game.

But, White’s limitations in high-leverage situations surfaced. New York was 3-for-16 in third down attempts, 2-for-5 when going for it on fourth down, and 1-for-6 in the red zone.

White had the fifth-worst completion percentage over expectation last week, per NFL’s Next Gen Stats. Basically, he wasn’t throwing anyone open. He was managing the offense against a below-average Vikings defense.

New York Jets QB Mike White is leveled by Buffalo Bills DT Ed Oliver at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
New York Jets QB Mike White is leveled by Buffalo Bills DT Ed Oliver at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Remember, Mike White was a thing last year too. White stepped in for an injured Wilson last season from Weeks 7-10. He won brownie points with the Jets faithful after they upset the Cincinnati Bengals 34-31 in Week 8.

White’s final game of 2021 came against the Bills who sent him back to the bench for Flacco. Against Buffalo in Week 10 last season, White completed just 54.6% of his passes with 0 TDs, 4 INTs, and a 33.4 QB Rating.

Two of those four INTs were thrown to White and Poyer. On top of that, New York struggles in pass protection and Buffalo has a top-10 defensive pressure rate. The Bills are going to be in White’s face all day.

Furthermore …

Oddsmakers are begging for Jets money, again

I made this point for the Jets-Bills Week 9 handicap and Buffalo failed me. It’s rare for a winning team to be this big an underdog this late in the season.

Since 2017, favorites of -7.5 or greater vs. teams with a winning record are 7-2 ATS with a +8.3 ATS margin. Those big favorites are 6-1 ATS in division games over that span.

But, the public is taking the bait. At the time of writing, DraftKings is reporting via VSIN that nearly two-thirds of the bets placed are on the Jets. Whereas a slight majority of the cash is on the Bills.

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen scrambles against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen scrambles against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Typically, it’s wise to follow the money when it’s counter to the public because professional bettors put up a lot more dough than you or I. Also, the Jets have struggled vs. AFC East teams since Saleh was hired last season.

New York is just 3-7 ATS in division games over the past two years with a -10.5 straight up (SU) and -3.0 ATS margins. Buffalo is 6-3-1 ATS vs. AFC East teams with a +14.2 SU and +6.9 ATS margins since 2021.

Finally …

Buffalo is at peak motivation

Any chance of the Bills sleeping on the Jets was ruined after New York upset Buffalo in Week 9. The Bills will be out for revenge and need this game for playoff seeding.

Buffalo can still earn a wild-card round bye by finishing first in the AFC. But, the Bills will need to hold off the Miami Dolphins who are right behind them in the AFC East with an 8-4 record and beat them earlier this season.

The Bills get to play in front of their home fans for the first time since that crazy 33-30 overtime loss to the Vikings in Week 10. Buffalo’s home game the following week vs. the Browns was relocated to Detroit because of a snowstorm. The Bills are going to put it on the Jets Sunday in Buffalo.

BET: Bills -9 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to -10

The Buffalo Bills' odds vs. the New York Jets from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Tuesday, December 6th at 1:40 p.m. ET.
The Buffalo Bills’ odds vs. the New York Jets from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Tuesday, December 6th at 1:40 p.m. ET.

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Written by Geoff Clark

One Comment

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  1. Geoff, I’ve written a program that calculates the points two teams have scored against each other, against mutual opponents and against opponents of opponents, and then gives a weighted average.

    For Buffalo vs the Jets the teams are virtually a dead heat at 21 points each.

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