RedZone Sports’ Steve Baumohl with his best bets for this week’s NFL action
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets
Buffalo have quietly picked up five wins this year and are quickly becoming one of the league’s most improved teams.
Whilst their offense could still do with some tweaks, it’s their defense which has been the reason for their improvement.
Their secondary, which lost a lot of talent in the offseason, was expected to take a step back but, put simply, they are now a takeaway machine.
The Bills’ front seven have been superb and could prove to be a real handful for Josh McCown and company on Friday morning.
Likewise, the Jets, have exceeded expectations and have been able to take advantage of some favourable situations.
This fixture, however, does not put New York in an advantageous spot like their previous games, so I’m expecting the Bills to continue their recent form.
Both teams are playing at a level far higher than expected at the start of the year, but I’ll take the team with the stronger defense and an uncanny ability to force turnovers from the opposition.
Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville come off a bye to face a Bengals team that needed a late pick six to beat a very poor Indianapolis.
Cincinnati have been a huge disappointment this year and it’s evident that Andy Dalton has taken a step back with this new offensive line.
He is getting sacked on average over three times per game and it won’t get easier this week against the superb defense of the Jaguars.
At times, this defensive line has been unblockable and the pressure they generate can be overwhelming for the opposing quarterback.
Throw in two shutdown corners and ball-hawking safeties, then one has to wonder how can a team score on them?
Well, football logic would say a team would need a very good offensive line and be able to run the ball, which is the one Achilles heel in the Jaguars’ defense.
The Bengals have neither of these qualities and the return of Leonard Fournette could prove too much to handle.
Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants
Both these teams come off a bye with different goals on the horizon.
The Rams are aiming to win their division, with a two-horse race forming between them and Seattle, whilst the Giants are attempting to sneak into the playoffs.
The Rams pass defense will be the difference-maker here and the catalyst to claiming victory in the Big Apple.
They are only allowing 59 per cent of passes to be completed, whilst also allowing a lowly QB rating of 75 from opposing quarterbacks.
Eli Manning is likely to be under duress the whole time he is under center, and with the Giants’ inability to effectively run the ball, I can’t see this team being able to put up much of a fight.
New York also just suspended their star cornerback Janoris Jenkins and this is likely to hurt the defense even more.
The Rams are playing well and are the better-designed team.
Buffalo -3 v New York Jets 20/21
Jacksonville -4.5 v Cincinnati 20/21
Los Angeles -3.5 v New York Giants evens