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New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills Point Spread - Pick

New York Jets (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bills (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Week 1 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: New Era Stadium, Buffalo, New York
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: NYJ +9.5/BUF -9.5
Over/Under Total: 40.5

The New York Jets come to New Era Field on Sunday to face the Buffalo Bills in opening week AFC East action. Neither team was particularly successful last season and despite a lot of naysayers, they hope for better results in 2017. Buffalo saw their streak of not making the postseason stretched to 17 seasons with yet another failed regime being shown the exit. A new front office and coaching staff hopes to turn things around. The Jets, meanwhile, lost five wins from their previous season's win-total, going 5-11 in 2016. But one of these teams will get their season off to a good start, so who will it be?

Two of the Jets' wins last season came against Buffalo and their week 17 win was their most conclusive win of the season. Right now, the Jets look like a team in rebuild-mode. Making it even less-promising is a roster devoid of quality, not to mention a quarterback battle that just underlined their lack of promise at that position heading into 2017. Not that Josh McCown is a bad player, but he's 38 and has posted a mere 2 wins in his last 22 starts. Christian Hackenberg could not win the job and it's a demoralizing situation any way you want to cut it.

Their offseason also saw the exodus of Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall from the receiving corps. Quincy Enunwa offered hope after a promising rookie season, but went down with an injury in camp. That leaves Robbie Anderson as their most proven commodity returning at receiver. A late-offseason trade to get Jermaine Kearse might help. If youngsters like ArDarius Stewart (questionable), Chad Hansen, or TE Jordan Leggett don't shine, this looks to be an area of weakness. This will be a good year to see what Matt Forte has left in the tank, Still useful, he's been unable to replicate the rushing/pass-catching prowess he showed with the Bears. The line lost a good center in Nick Mangold. Tackle Brandon Bell. C Wesley Johnson, and some others will need to step up. The lack of a line and playmakers, with a QB who doesn't figure into their future plans paints this offense in a bad light to say the least.

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The picture for the Jets doesn't get much rosier when turning one's attention to the defense. The secondary could be better with safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye taken in the first two rounds of the draft. They also added free agent corner Morris Claiborne and with guys like Buster Skrine, Juston Burris, and Marcus Williams, they can form a decent unit. In the middle, they lost a steady and consistent presence in David Harris, Lorenzo Mauldin will likely start the season on IR. That puts 2016 first-round pick Darron Lee in the middle and he needs to show his worth this season. The line still features Muhammad Wilkerson, but is unlikely to revert to its prior form this season. As if all this isn't bad enough, the locker-room seemed fractured last season, a bunch of guys are banged up from the preseason, their punter was last in yardage last season, and they now have a kicker in Christian Catanzaro whose tendency to miss easy field goals got him booted from the Cardinals.

After a 4-2 start in 2016, the Bills ended up just 7-9 and former Carolina defensive coordinator Sean McDermott is now the man in charge. Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison has his work cut out. Tyrod Taylor, who suffered a concussion in the preseason, looks to start on Sunday. His backup TJ Yates also suffered the same fate, as it was a rough preseason for Buffalo quarterbacks. The Bills led the NFL in rushing last season, with Taylor a key part of that equation. Losing useful Mike Gillislee won't help, but LeSean McCoy shows he's still one of the best in the business. The Sammy Watkins trade leaves them with Jordan Matthews, Rookie Zay Jones, and tight end Charles Clay—a less than electric pass-catching crew. Giving this offense a better chance to be something better than they look to be on paper is an offensive line with five proven solid starters with depth behind them.

Look for McDermott and new defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to make some strides in this area. The hybrid package failed in the Ryan regime and they return to a pure 4-3 approach. Their front looks potentially very good with pass-rusher Jerry Hughes, improving Shaq Lawson, and inside forces Marcel Dareus and Kyle Williams. Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander notched 12 sacks last season and Preston Brown was really impressive last season. Matt Milano, a rookie, is an interesting X-factor. McDermott's real area of expertise is the secondary that lost Stephon Gilmore, but returns some talent. First-round draft pick Tre'Davious White will be depended on, along with Kevon Seymour and Shareece Wright at corner. Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer are at safety.

McDermott looks to get Buffalo back to the playoffs, but it will be methodical with no overnight solutions. But don't expect a radically-different Bills team this season. Sure, they look better than the Jets just from a strength-of-roster standpoint. But in week one, with all the issues facing the Bills, it's hard to get behind them to the tune of 9.5 points. We're taking the Jets.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: We're betting on the New York Jets plus 9.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Jets vs. Bills game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!

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