Jets vs Bills Week 14 Picks and Predictions: Cook Worth a Look

Last week, we hit Dalvin Cook's dismantling of the Jets' missed tackles for a nice profit, and this week we're running it back with his brother. See why James Cook should have similar success for the Bills with our Week 14 NFL picks.

Last Updated: Dec 11, 2022 8:11 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
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Things couldn't have gone much better for the Buffalo Bills last weekend. First, they extended their winning streak to five and saw divisional foe Miami Dolphins lose to give them sole possession of first. They face the New York Jets this week in another key AFC East showdown. 

The Jets enter this matchup clinging to playoff hopes. They really needed to win a week ago in Minnesota against the Vikings and failed to do so. That puts them in a near-must-win situation here in Buffalo. Of course, they are still technically in it with a win or a loss, but looking at the road ahead, you feel that it will change quickly. 

What's the Best Bet for this AFC East affair? Find out in our NFL picks and predictions for Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets. 

Jets vs Bills best odds

Jets vs Bills picks and predictions

Rinse and repeat for those that read our preview last week. We're taking advantage of something we've viewed as a market opening and attacking the Jets on the ground with our Best Bet. We did this with the Minnesota Vikings and Dalvin Cook last Sunday. It's a bit more complex here, given the Bills have a backfield by committee, but we're targeting his brother, James, in this matchup.

Last week's thought process continues to hold true here. The Jets are missing a lot of tackles, in particular at the second level. Over the past four weeks, they have ranked third with the most missed tackles in the league. That's a problem when facing James Cook. Much like his brother, he has a burst of speed that allows him to get to the second level rather quickly, where he can cause some issues. 

As the season has drawn to an end, Cook has just started to come on with some process short sample returns. Among ball carriers that have had 60 carries or less, he ranks first in effective rushing yards. Effective rushing yards are another way of measuring a back's value as a ball carrier, essentially by saying the higher, this number is, the higher chance a team has to score when the ball is in his hand. 

So naturally, rating highly in this category means you're good at making players miss and getting to the second level. Other metrics bear that out: Cook averages 2.4 yards per carry after contact. That places him 14th among every player in the NFL to take a carry this year. That's mightily impressive for a player who isn't even the lead back.

James has some similar attributes to his brother, and some of his metrics are even more impressive. However, this market is vulnerable because we need to know how many carries he will get. With that said, he's gotten double-digit carries in two of the last three weeks. If he can reach that number again, he will go over this rushing mark and a few other alternate numbers. With that in mind, we'll play a few alternate totals with anytime touchdown. However, the Best Bet on the board is his standard rushing amount, which feels far too short. 

My best bet: James Cook over 38.5 rushing yards (-110 at FanDuel)

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Jets vs Bills spread analysis

Buffalo is going to win this game. An added boost in their step may be that they know they control their destiny in the AFC East now (after a Miami Dolphins loss last week), but I wonder if they needed one. On the other hand, New York is a team primed to falter down the stretch. They've shown some uneven performances over the last weeks, but more than that, they’re now accruing the fourth-most penalty yards in the NFL. But, of course, that number goes up when they travel on the road, and even if everything was even in this matchup, that would be enough of an edge here.

I'm leaning towards the Bills covering here, but it's not anything I'm overly enthusiastic about betting. From 10,000 feet, this matchup is simple. The Jets are built to slow you down, play ball control and beat you with defense. You're just not going to do that against Buffalo. You have to outscore them, and New York isn't capable of putting enough offense to do that. 

What happened when these teams played the first time was more of an anomaly than anything. The Jets put unusual pressure on Josh Allen, and he didn't play well. I don't see either of those things happening this go-around. I'm expecting the aforementioned running game to relieve some of the potential pressure on Allen, and I expect him to refrain from throwing two interceptions again.

Can the Bills do enough to cover? That's the big question. New York may have some defensive success early. If that happens, I'm hoping I can get Buffalo around a 7-point favorite in the live betting markets and will happily grab that if so. 

Jets vs Bills Over/Under analysis

This total feels right, and it's not one I'm going to touch. I envision this as a game where if the Bills establish enough of a comfortable lead, they'll want to pound the rock. Their rushing attack has improved as the season has gone on, and they'll want to take an opportunity to continue to improve upon that here if they can. However, if things get tight and Allen has to turn to the air, more, that totally changes things along with the potential total. The game script has too many unpredictabilities to have a firm handicap on a side here. 

There is a prominent side here when looking at the trends. The total has gone Under in five of the last seven meetings between these two teams. In addition, it went Under in four straight Bills games following an ATS win and Under in four straight Jets games against AFC opponents. 

Jets vs Bills betting trend to know

The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five matchups between these two teams. Find more NFL betting trends for Jets vs. Bills.

Jets vs Bills game info

Location: Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
Date: Sunday, December 11, 2022
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET
Opening odds: Bills -9.5, 44.5

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