NFL Betting: Are the Buffalo Bills or the New England Patriots the Top Favorite in Week 18?

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BetMGM Staff @BETMGM Jan 03, 2022, 1:54 PM

We’re now at the end of the longest season in NFL history. When looking at the NFL betting lines this week, two AFC East teams are favorites and battling for playoff positioning.

Before we go deeper into these two NFL favorites, let’s get a look at the vital game information.

New York Jets at Buffalo (-16.5)

  • Date: Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022
  • Time: 4:25 P.M. EST on CBS
  • Venue: Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
  • Participants: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

The New York Jets face a massive challenge against the second-ranked scoring defense in the NFL in Week 18. The 4-12 Jets have lost four of their last five and will now finish their season on the road.

The 10-6 Buffalo Bills have the AFC East lead and are heavily favored this week. The Bills are averaging 30 points a game in their last four and have command of the division. A win will clinch the AFC East.

In November, the Bills thrashed the Jets 45-17, scoring 21 unanswered points in the 3rd quarter.

The Jets have the 17th-ranked passing offense (221 yards per game) but have only averaged 150 yards per game in their last three contests. Meanwhile, Buffalo allows the fewest passing yards per game (172.9).

On defense, the Jets rank 29th in both rushing and passing yards allowed per game, while Buffalo is 10th in passing yards per game and sixth in rushing yards.

However, I believe the Jets can cover this large spread. If the Bills build a big lead, they could decide to rest their starters to stay healthy for the playoffs, allowing the Jets to score a late touchdown to get within 16.5 points.

The Jets could also lean on their running attack in this game. While they rank 24th in rushing yards per game, they have averaged 175 rushing yards over their past three matchups, which leads the NFL. On the other hand, the Bills have allowed 132 rushing yards on average in their last three.

The large spread and the Jets improved running game make me believe the Jets can cover.

New England at Miami (+6.5)

  • Date: Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022
  • Time: 4:25 P.M. EST on CBS
  • Venue: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
  • Participants: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

The 10-6 New England Patriots still have a chance to win the AFC East with a win and a Bills loss. Yet, their task is a little more challenging than the Bills, as they have to face off against the 8-8 Miami Dolphins.

The Patriots are 6-1 on the road and playing for a division title. If they beat New England at home, the Dolphins can finish with a winning season at 9-8.

The Dolphins’ 10th-ranked rush defense (108.3 yards per game) might challenge New England’s 8th-ranked rushing attack (126.1 yards per game). Miami is also 14th in passing yards allowed, while New England is middle of the pack in passing yards per game (14th).

The Patriots are only 6.5-point favorites, and I believe they can cover in this game. The main reason for this is that the Patriots play well on both sides of the ball in the red zone. New England only allows a touchdown in the red zone on 46.67% of opponents’ possessions inside the twenty, which is second-best in the league. On offense, they score a touchdown on 61.02% of their trips to the red zone. Over the past three weeks, that has improved to 84.62%, the best in the league.

The New England Patriots will get tested by the Dolphins, but I expect them to win by a touchdown. So I’m taking the Patriots as my top favorite this week.

My Favorite For NFL Betting

I believe that both teams will win their Week 18 matchup, but in the world of NFL betting, 16.5 is a lot of points to give up. I think New England has better NFL odds this week to cover.

Who are your NFL favorites for Week 18? Open an account at BetMGM’s sports betting site today to place your bets on this week’s NFL action. You can sign up for BetMGM’s risk-free initial bet of up to $1,000.

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Our BetMGM authors are sports experts, with a wealth of knowledge of the sports betting industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news across players, teams and coaches, providing betting previews and predictions, fun facts and more.

Our BetMGM authors are sports experts, with a wealth of knowledge of the sports betting industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news across players, teams and coaches, providing betting previews and predictions, fun facts and more.