Monday, November 24, 2014

New York Jets Vs. Buffalo Bills

Market Watch

Originally, the Bills were -4.5 point favorites for this game a week ago. It reopened at -4 after Week 11 action, but everything changed once we saw a change in venue.  On Friday the line got put on the board at -2, and it's bounced around between that and -3 all weekend.  At the moment it has settled at -2.5 with a bit of juice, but it could change as we get closer to kickoff.  68% of the bets are on the Bills.

Bottom Line

At first, we were handicapping this game with heavy snow in mind. Now we have to adjust everything to a neutral field. Who does this favor?

It is interesting that Football Outsiders favors the Jets here, and New York is also one of the top 5 Supercontest consensus plays. Despite the ticket count, there seems to be a general idea out there that the situation favors the "road" team here.

I'm not so sure though. I think a neutral field with good conditions provides a slight advantage to the Bills. Both teams should be able to perform to their capabilities (and deficiencies).

The question is whether those "advantages" are enough for a play on Buffalo?  Normally I'd say yes, but how much confidence do we have in the Bills offense?  Orton has been getting increasingly more shaky as the weeks go on, and it's gotten to the point where their offense ranks near the very bottom in all the important areas.  3rd/4th downs, red zone, passing, rushing, you name it.

The other big unknown is how these teams will react to the whacky week of preparation. That's something we just don't know, but you have to think it hurts the home team more given the change in routine. Or will it? Perhaps it brings the team together and they come out with a great effort.

Overall, the Bills are the better team, thanks is most part to a much better pass defense and more consistent play at QB.  Given this, I'd like to make a play on Buffalo at -2.5, but in the end I have to take a pass. With Orton's recent trajectory, combined with the situational variables, I simply can't take their side with very much confidence.

Read more: Week 13 picks.