Jets vs Bills Week 18 Picks and Predictions: New York Keeps it Close in Buffalo

The New York Jets are huge underdogs against the Buffalo Bills. Even though they lost big-time in their last meeting, we expect the Jets run game - and the possibility of the Bills resting players late - to keep it within the spread in our betting picks.

Josh Inglis - Betting Analyst at
Josh Inglis • Betting Analyst
Jan 9, 2022 • 15:23 ET • 5 min read
Zach Wilson New York Jets NFL
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The Buffalo Bills have a lot to play for entering their Week 18 home matchup versus the New York Jets as hefty 16-point favorites. A win would secure the Bills the top spot in the AFC East and a top-four seed in the playoffs while New York is playing for next season. Both teams are said to be playing their best players.

With a win highly probable for the home team, the real question is if Buffalo can avoid a fourth-quarter backdoor cover if Sean McDermott throws in the reserves late in the game.

Find out in our free betting picks, predictions and NFL odds for Jets vs. Bills.

Jets vs Bills odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Buffalo was -17 on the look-ahead, opened at -17, and has been bet down to -16. The total has fallen four points — 45 to 41 — from the look-ahead number. Buffalo closed as a 13.5-point road favorite in Week 10 against the Jets in a game the Bills won 45-17.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.

Jets vs Bills predictions

Predictions made on 1/06/2022 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Jets vs Bills game info

Location: Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
Date: Sunday, January 9, 2022
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET

Jets at Bills betting preview


Monitor gametime conditions with our live NFL weather info and learn how weather impacts NFL betting.

Key injuries

Jets: Mike White QB (Out), La'Mical Perine RB (Out), Greg Senat OL (Out), Jabari Zuniga DL (Out), Jonathan Marshall DL (Out), Isaiah Dunn CB (Out), Austin Walter RB (Out).
Bills: Emmanuel Sanders WR (Out), Efe Obada DE (Out), Marquez Stevenson WR (Out), Bobby Hart OL (Out), Tommy Sweeney TE (Out).

Find our latest NFL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The underdog is 9-4 against the spread in the last 13 meetings between these clubs. Find more NFL betting trends for Jets vs. Bills.

Jets vs Bills picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets will meet for the second time this season with the home side having a lot more to play for than the visitors. The Bills can wrap up the AFC East and earn a top-four spot in the playoffs with a victory Sunday. After dismantling the Jets 45-17 back in Week 10, a win is a safe bet here for Sean McDermott’s team. Covering the 16-point spread, however, is a different story. 

Health will be an issue for the Bills heading into their first-round playoff game and resting players late on Sunday should worry bettors who are laying the 16 points. The Jets have been playing competitively of late, covering in three straight games — twice as a double-digit dog — and moved the ball well versus the Buccaneers defense last week.

Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson played arguably his best game as a professional last week vs. Tampa Bay. The QB hasn’t thrown an interception in four straight games and has done just enough to lead this offense to positive results as the Jets are gaining 5.6 yards per play over the last three weeks. Wilson missed the Week 10 beatdown against Buffalo so this will be his first crack at the AFC East leaders. We can almost see him leading a fourth-quarter drive versus the Buffalo reserves in garbage time to make it a two-score game. 

The Bills had a chance to cover last week as 14.5-point favorites vs. the Falcons, but Josh Allen started forcing the ball again and finished with three costly interceptions — one coming in the red zone. The game could have been even closer if it weren’t for a Matt Ryan taunting penalty that likely cost his team a late touchdown.

The Bills have beaten up on bad teams this year but 17 points is a lot for a team that may be playing reserves by the fourth quarter. Mitch Trubisky is a competent backup but with coach Robert Saleh wanting to get his rookie QB as much game action as possible, this surprisingly effective New York offense could keep rolling for four quarters. The indoor Falcons outgained the Bills 5.3 yards per play to 4.9 in the snow last week and didn’t have Kyle Pitts for basically two quarters. 

We think this New York offense can move the ball Sunday and if Wilson can avoid some big mistakes, they have a great shot at covering a season-high spread.  

Prediction: Jets +16

The Jets offense has averaged over 24 points per game over the last three weeks, has faced some decent defenses (Tampa Bay and Miami), and has gone a perfect 3-0 to the Over. This newly-revived offense is complemented by the league’s worst defense in EPA/play. No team allows more touchdowns per game than New York at 3.4 while the Bills managed 489 total yards and 45 points versus this same soft defense back in Week 10.

Buffalo should be able to move the ball at will Sunday and with Stefon Diggs needing six grabs for $1.55 million, and Allen should continue to air it out to what is becoming one of the more underrated receiving groups in football. Diggs torched this Jets secondary for a season-high 162 yards and one score in the last meeting.

Emmanuel Sanders is questionable but fellow receiver Gabriel Davis has really come on of late and has four TDs over his last four games. The Jets’ defense ranks dead-last in dropback EPA/play while the Bills’ offense sits fourth in EPA/play.

The Bills entered Week 17 on a three-game Over streak and although they failed to hit it for a fourth straight time last week vs. the Falcons, both teams left a ton of points on the field. Only 15 second-half points were scored while Allen's interception and red-zone passing also hurt Over backers. Buffalo scored six red-zone touchdowns in seven attempts in the last meeting.

Big plays could be in the cards for Allen and the Buffalo offense as well. New York has struggled all season with stopping big gains and they currently allow the third-most rushes of 10-plus yards and the second-most passes of 15-plus yards. Allen will likely be taking his fair share of shots downfield vs. the league’s worst pass defense. 

The Jets should be able to gain some yards on the ground against a Bills rush defense that ranks outside the Top 12 in EPA/rush. The Jets are gaining 6.1 yards per carry over their last three games, which is the best mark in football. Michael Carter is dealing with a concussion - and hasn’t been cleared to practice - but with Tevin Coleman coming back and Ty Johnson and Austin Walter in the mix, this has become the strength of the New York offense, which helps take the pressure off Wilson.

With this total already dropping four points from the look-ahead number and seven points lower than the previous matchup, even the possibility of rain isn’t keeping us away from this low-total Over. The current forecast is calling for the precipitation to stop by game time, winds up to 15 mph, and temperatures in the high 20s. Both of these AFC East teams know how to play in the cold. 

Prediction: Over 41 (-110)

The Bills beat this total by themselves in the last meeting with a 45-point, 489-yard performance on the road. Buffalo squandered a handful of easy points versus the Falcons last week and Allen should have better weather conditions in order to take better care of the ball more in Week 18.

This is also a good matchup for the Jets run game rushing for a league-leading 6.1 yards per rush over the last three weeks. Wilson is improving every week and should benefit from the vaunted ground game. If Buffalo gets up big late, Wilson could also be driving against the twos. 

Last week's weather conditions in Buffalo scared us more than this week and that game featured the indoor Falcons and a total of 46.5. Give us some points in Orchard Park as the Bills look to lock up the AFC East while the Jets will want a solid performance to carry over to next season. 

Pick: Over 41 (-110)

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