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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Bills in for a tough divisional clash

Jets are proving they are no pushover

Buffalo running back LeSean McCoy
1 of 1

Week nine
Sky Sports Action, 12.25am Friday

The millennium was just eight days old the last time Buffalo played a playoff game but there looks a decent chance that the longest run without a post-season appearance could come to an end this campaign.

The Bills face AFC East rivals the New York Jets in the first action of Week Nine and they head from upstate New York to New Jersey looking to claim their fourth successive victory.

With two games against divisional favourites New England still to come, this could finally be the year they once again feature beyond the regular season, but despite the progress made under new coach Sean McDermott, their away form will have a big bearing on whether Buffalo reach the playoffs.

The Bills have lost six of their last eight away matches and in three road outings this season they have scored just 42 points.

They saw off the Jets 21-12 in Week One but it would be unwise for them to underestimate the challenge that awaits them in East Rutherford.

Todd Bowles's team were expected to tank this season and were fancied by some to go 0-16, but they have exceeded expectations by being victorious in three of their opening eight encounters.

And their record could have been even better as although they have lost their last three matches against New England, Miami and Atlanta, all were by a margin of seven points or fewer.

Oakland are the only team to have steamrolled the Jets when they won 45-20 in California in Week Two.

Running back LeSean McCoy has been in fine form for the Bills, who had few problems in beating the Raiders on Sunday, but he may find it difficult to penetrate a decent Jets rush defence.

And that would put pressure on quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who has played well in the last few weeks but still has scope to be erratic if put under pressure.

The Bills have restricted their opponents to an average of 16.4 points, but this looks another instance where the Jets can be competitive particularly as another divisional defeat would be highly damaging to their own hopes of progressing.

Recommendation
New York Jets +3.5
1pt 3-4 BetBright


The lowdown
Venue MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Surface Artificial
Weather Clear, 14C
Vegas handicap Buffalo -3
Vegas points line 43

Team news
Buffalo
Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin was acquired from Carolina in a trade but it remains to be seen whether he will feature. Tight end Charles Clay is still struggling with a knee injury while EJ Gaines has a hamstring problem.

New York Jets
Cornerback Rashard Robinson was brought in from San Francisco this week and could be involved. Full back Lawrence Thomas is out with concussion. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson is dealing with a shoulder problem and is doubtful, while cornerback Morris Claiborne has a foot issue. Defensive lineman Ed Stinson has missed practice with a neck injury.

Key stat
The Jets have covered the handicap in each of their last five matches.


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The Bills have lost six of their last eight away matches and in three road outings this season they have scored just 42 points
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