Not long ago, the Buffalo Bills beat the New York Jets five times in a row, and with another victory to open this season, the Bills are now 6-2 both straight up and against the spread over the last eight meetings. In the 115th edition of this original AFL rivalry, Buffalo battles the Jets on Thursday night in New Jersey.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 23.3-19.8 Jets (NFL picks on every game).
Why the Bills can cover the spread
The Bills are quietly one of the best bets in the league this season, at 5-1-1 ATS, after beating Oakland last week 34-14, easily covering as two-point favorites. Buffalo spotted the Raiders an early 7-0 lead, then scored the next 27 points of the game to take control. Later, after allowing Oakland to get within 27-14, Bills running back LeSean McCoy iced the victory with a 48-yard touchdown bolt.
On the day, Buffalo outrushed the Raiders 166-54, won the turnover battle 4-0 and held a 36-24 advantage in time of possession. And that's usually a pretty good way to win a game and cover a spread in the NFL.
The Bills now lead the league in turnover margin at +14.
At 5-2 Buffalo has a shot to snap that playoff drought that's now reached 17 seasons. If the playoffs started today, the Bills would be the No. 5 seed in the AFC.
Why the Jets can cover the spread
The Jets had won three games in a row, but have now lost three straight, including a 25-20 decision to the Atlanta Falcons last week. However, they covered as six-point home dogs against the Falcons, and they're 5-0-1 ATS over their last six games.
New York drove its opening possession 75 yards for a touchdown against Atlanta and clung to a 17-16 lead into the fourth quarter. But a missed field goal led to a Falcons touchdown, and a muffed punt led to an Atlanta field goal, as for the third week in a row the Jets blew a lead and lost.
Two weeks ago, New York led Miami 28-14 but lost 31-28, and three weeks ago, they led New England 14-0 but lost 24-17. If the Jets could just play four full quarters, they might be fine.
Buffalo beat New York 21-12 back in Week 1, outgaining the Jets 408-214, outrushing them 190-38 and covering a seven-point spread. And there isn't much reason to believe Thursday's result will be much different. The smart money here bets the Bills.
NFL betting trends
The Bills are 6-2 SU and ATS in their last eight games against the Jets.
The total has gone under in five of the Bills' last six games against the Jets.
The Jets are 5-0 ATS in their last five games at home.
All NFL odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.