Buffalo Bills Have Enough to Dethrone the Kings?
Strange but true football fact: a mere 20 months ago, the Buffalo Bills ended the longest playoff drought streak in franchise history, one of the longest in NFL history. Appearing in the postseason for the first time in the 21st century, they lost a defensive struggle in the wild card game to Jacksonville. The team struggled to a 6-10 record last season. Once again the Bills find themselves chasing the Patriots, the perennial kings of the AFC East and reigning Super Bowl champs, whose troika defines the team: owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick, and QB Tom Brady. The Bills hope their own trio, each much younger and newer in his job–owner Terry Pegula, coach Sean McDermott, and QB Josh Allen–can bring the same championship energy and pedigree to Western New York.
But new faces in new places have the New York Jets Super Bowl odds at +6000, in the middle of the pack. New head coach Adam Gase is an offensive innovator who brought the Miami Dolphins back to the playoffs in his first year in 2016 after an 8-year absence. Gase was the offensive coordinator for Peyton Manning’s record-shattering season in 2013 in Denver. New GM Joe Douglas was a college offensive lineman, who learned the personnel ropes as a scout and developed a championship team around a young quarterback as VP of Player Personnel in Philadelphia. Douglas hopes to repeat that performance further north on I-95.
Perhaps the biggest reason for good vibes are in the backfield. QB Sam Darnold, having shown flashes of rookie brilliance in the final month of last season, moves into his sophomore campaign with a full offseason in a new offense. Look for Gase’s quarterback whispering to continue Darnold’s upward trajectory. Le’Veon Bell was rewarded handsomely by the Jets to bring his 9,000 career yards from scrimmage to East Rutherford. Those looking for Jets prop bets have a chance with Bell’s set at 1032.5 rushing yards and 9.5 touchdowns. MVP Odds have Bell at +5000 and Darnold at +8000. First round draft pick Quinnen Williams hopes to rise above the mediocrity that has beset the Jets defense.
The Jets open the season with two eminently winnable games hosting the Bills and Browns, before they hit the iron of their schedule–playing the Patriots twice, once at the Eagles, and finally the Cowboys to get them through mid-October. The rest of the schedule is relatively soft until back-to-back December matchups with the Ravens and Steelers. The Over/Under Jets wins is 7 games, with a -165 over bet and a +140 under. With only the reigning Superbowl champion New England Patriots projected to be above the Jets in the AFC East, the Jets AFC East odds are +650, and the Jets Playoffs Odds sit at +550 as a Wild Card entry.