Monday Night Football Week 1: Bills vs. Jets picks, predictions, and player props

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MNF Bills vs. Jets Week 1 odds and predictions

A market like New York City is always going to be in the spotlight for primetime games across the major sports, but there is a lot of interest in the Monday Night Football game between the Jets and Bills. The new-look Jets will have Aaron Rodgers behind center for the first time in a regular season game and the Bills are one of the AFC’s top teams with three straight East Division titles.

This could be a huge game when all is said and done in the AFC East and it is certainly a huge game to finish up what has been an exciting Week 1 slate to get the 2023 NFL season underway.

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Monday Night Football Week 1 Preview

Buffalo Bills (-2, 45.5) at New York Jets

(odds as of September 10, 3 p.m. PT)

This has been a one-sided rivalry of late, as the Bills have won five of the last six games, but everything is different now for the Jets. The quarterbacks over the last three seasons in those head-to-head meetings have been Sam Darnold, Zach Wilson, Mike White, and Joe Flacco. We can debate how much Rodgers has left in the tank as he begins his age-40 season, but we cannot debate that he is better than that list of QBs.

The Jets actually won the first meeting last season as a double-digit underdog and hung in there in a 20-12 loss in December, holding the Bills to just 232 yards of offense. All eyes will be on Rodgers for obvious reasons, but the Jets defense had some success last season against Josh Allen and could do so again, especially after we saw a lot of poor quarterback play on Sunday with signal callers around the NFL shaking off some rust and working on their timing.

While the Jets changed a lot on offense, including the additions of Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, things stayed about the same for the Bills. They moved on from Devin Singletary and picked up Damien Harris to play behind second-year running back James Cook, but this offense still goes through Allen, Stefon Diggs, and Gabe Davis. The tight end room got stronger with second-round pick Dalton Kincaid, who could see some looks in 2TE sets with Dawson Knox.

The Bills were second in the NFL in both points per game and points allowed per game last season. It didn’t lead to any postseason success, as they squeaked past the Dolphins 37-34 in the Wild Card Round and lost to the Bengals in a very uncompetitive game in the Divisional Round.

The Jets, meanwhile, were a top-five defense in points per game allowed, but also ranked in the bottom-five in points per game scored, finishing -20 in point differential overall. If the Jets can get a top-five defensive performance and replicate last season’s 4.8 yards per play, coupled with some offensive upgrades, their first winning season since 2015 will be well within reach.

I’m not sure if the Jets get off to a 1-0 start here or not, but I do think a low-scoring game is in play. New York had some offensive line issues throughout the preseason and the Jets neutralized Buffalo quite well in last season’s meetings. The total has moved from 47.5 to 45.5, but Week 1 as a whole lacked offense and this game could follow suit.

Pick: Under 45.5

MNF Week 1 Player Props

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There are quite a few “fantasy football” players on these two rosters, so there will be a lot of interested parties in terms of the player prop markets and also their Week 1 fantasy matchups.

VSiN Senior Producer Stephanie Kamerschak shared some thoughts on the First Touchdown Scorer picks market, so I’d encourage you to check that out.

I’d throw in Damien Harris as a 1st TD dice roll at DraftKings at +1400. As always, shop around, but Harris might steal some red-zone touches as the bigger of the two backs.

Josh Allen Over 37.5 Rushing Yards

Allen has gone over this total in five of the last six games against the Jets, including three of the four in the Robert Saleh era. In the game he didn’t, the Bills won 45-17 and Allen threw for 366 yards on just 21 completions. In the other three games, he’s thrown for 591 yards and completed just 54.7% of his passes. He’s needed to use his legs in this series and he had 19 carries in the two games last season.

He’s had 33 carries for 157 yards in his last three season openers while trying to navigate the offense through some early-season hiccups, so I think he’ll need to do the same again.