Best Week 18 prop bets for New York Jets-Buffalo Bills
Zach Wilson: Under 184.5 passing yards (-110)
As well as quarterback Zach Wilson has been playing lately, his strong play has not manifested itself in the box score.
Wilson is still averaging only 179.8 passing yards per game since his return from injury in Week 12. Chronic injury woes to his offensive supporting cast have hindered his production potential, as the backup players’ drop proneness, poor separation, and poor pass protection have limited his ability to post big numbers despite his solid play. The eye test is required to see how well Wilson is really playing.
The betting world doesn’t care about the eye test, though.
Wilson just might play another impressive game against the Bills, continuing to make good decisions and throw with sharp accuracy, but if his strong play couldn’t lead to good numbers in favorable situations such as a home game against Jacksonville, it seems unlikely that he is going to post adequate numbers in the harsh environment he is going to face today.
The Bills are allowing a league-low 172.9 passing yards per game. In Orchard Park, opposing starting quarterbacks are averaging only 146.3 passing yards.
Buffalo has been a particularly devastating defense for young quarterbacks. Six quarterbacks aged 23-or-younger have started against the Bills, and only one (Tua Tagovailoa with 205 in Week 8) posted over 184.5 passing yards. None of the other five even hit 150 yards.
Plus, winds over 20 mph are expected in the stadium around kickoff, so conditions are not going to be great for throwing the football.
Weather aside, Wilson’s stats are already quite poor on the road. He has eclipsed 184.5 passing yards in five of his six home starts (going over 200 in each of those five), but on the road, he has surpassed the mark just twice in six starts, and one of those was a neutral-site game in London. In true road games, Wilson has not thrown for more than 184.5 yards since tossing for 258 against Carolina in the season opener.
Look for Wilson to post another lackluster game in the fantasy football/betting world. That does not necessarily mean he will play a bad game of real football, though.
Tyler Kroft: Any Time Touchdown Scorer (+800)
Tight end Tyler Kroft seems overdue for a touchdown catch. He has only one this year, coming against Cincinnati in Week 8, but his overall volume suggests he should have more.
Entering 2021, Kroft had 12 career touchdown grabs on 125 targets, a 9.6% rate. This year, Kroft has one on 22 targets, a 4.5% rate – less than half.
Kroft has been getting a decent number of opportunities this year to be a scorer. He has 22 targets in eight games (2.8 per game) and is playing 46.8 offensive snaps per game across six appearances in which he did not leave early due to injury, registering an average snap ratio of 71% in those contests.
Against Buffalo, the Jets will again be without No. 2 tight end Ryan Griffin, who has missed the last two games and is out for the season. In his only game without Griffin (two weeks ago vs. Jacksonville), Kroft played a season-high 86% of the Jets’ offensive snaps and tied his season-high with five targets.
The Jets will also be without Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, and Braxton Berrios in this one, so there will be plenty of vacated targets to go around. Kroft will be a lead candidate to eat them up.
Especially in windy Buffalo, it seems like if the Jets score a passing touchdown, it will more likely be a short throw than a long one, which plays into the hands of the tight ends.
I like the +800 odds for a Kroft touchdown. If you are feeling really lucky, you can bet on him as the first touchdown scorer at +3100.
Michael Carter: Over 38.5 rushing yards (-110)
On a windy, cold day in Buffalo, the Jets could rely on the ground game to carry the offense.
New York’s run game has been excellent since adding right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to the starting offensive line in Week 12. Since then, the Jets are averaging 5.4 yards per carry, which ranks second in the NFL. New York has run for 423 yards over its last two games.
Michael Carter has a chance for a big day – and if he doesn’t have a big day, he should have no problem surpassing this mark.
Carter has run for over 38.5 yards in six of his past seven games despite leaving the game early in two of those.
In addition to the favorable weather conditions and the Jets’ run game being hot, Buffalo isn’t very good at stopping the run. The Bills are ranked 18th when it comes to preventing rushing yardage, allowing 113.6 rushing yards per game.
Buffalo has allowed an opposing running back to go over 38.5 rushing yards in 10 of its 16 games, including eight of its past nine.
There are a lot of things going Carter’s way here.