Week 9 of the 2017 NFL season kicks off with an AFC East showdown on Thursday Night Football between the New York Jets (3-5) and Buffalo Bills (5-2). The division has been surprisingly competitive this year, with the currently Bills breathing down the neck of the first place New England Patriots. There were low expectations for this franchise going into the new campaign, as oddsmakers had their over/under for total wins set at just 6.5. Buffalo has jumped out to five wins in seven games and clearly senses a rare opportunity to compete for the AFC East crown, as evidenced by the recent trade with the Carolina Panthers to acquire wideout Kelvin Benjamin. The Jets are in last, but aren’t completely out of the running yet despite a three-game losing streak and 1-3 record against divisional foes.
Gang Green has a chance to turn their season around with a win in primetime tonight. This is the only nationally televised matchup that they will have in 2017, so you can be sure they will be doing their best to make it count. Buffalo’s players should also come ready to give their all, as they have a shot at pulling even with the Pats—who are off on bye this week—atop the division with a victory tonight.
The sportsbooks are projecting a close contest, installing the Bills as a slight, 2.5-point favorite on the road. Will Buffalo find a way to not only win, but also cover the spread in its first game as road chalk, or will the Jets come away with an upset victory in their only chance to shine in the brightest spotlight? Jon Price of SportsInformationTraders.com has a lean on which side should come through for bettors. Before we get to the pro Las Vegas handicapper’s prediction, here’s a look at the complete schedule, TV information, start time and updated odds for Week 9’s Thursday Night Football game.
TNF Odds via BetDSI.eu Sportsbook
The Bills and Jets, taking the field against one another for the 115th time tonight (Buffalo leads the all-time series, 61-53) have made for an interesting rivalry since the turn of the decade. The teams have practically split their 15 meetings since the 2010 campaign, with New York holding a slight, 8-7 edge in that span. Buffalo has been getting the better of this matchup in recent years, however, having won six of the last eight showdowns, including the 2017 season opener. Here’s how every game since 2010 has shaken out (home team in bold):
*Game took place at Ford Field, Detroit due to inclement weather in Buffalo
Buffalo hasn’t completed a sweep of the Jets since the 2015 season and was actually swept by them last year, so it’ll be interesting to see if it can cap off this final regular season meeting with another victory. The Bills may find it be a bit easier to score points than back in Week 1, as the organization brought in Benjamin to bolster a struggling wide receiver corps. The former Panther was acquired at the trade deadline in exchange for third- and seventh-round selections in the 2018 NFL Draft.