Greg Cote

Buffalo Bills will beat the Stinkin’ Jets on Thursday night, and here’s why

BILLS (5-2) at JETS (3-5)

Line: BUF by 3.

Cote’s pick: BUF 23-19.

TV: 8:25 p.m., NFLN.

NFL Week 9 -- ceremonial start of the season's second half -- kicks off with an AFC East rivalry game that might actually keep Miami fans awake late, a rarity for a Thursday night matchup. Hot Buffalo can tie the Patriots (off on a bye this week) for the division lead with a win, and forge the franchise's best first-half record since Bruce Smith's 1993. Cold New York has lost three straight with blown leads in each. That of course makes NYJ a dangerous home 'dog with a big upset shot here in these teams' 115h meeting. Jets swept series last year before Buffs won 21-12 in Week 1. Despite the upset factor give me Bison as a safe pick, with that league-leading plus-14 turnover margin matching up well against Josh McCown, who has played well but still is mistake-prone. Bills also added some offensive pop this week by acquiring WR Kelvin Benjamin from Carolina for two draft picks prior to the trade deadline. That's what teams thinking playoffs do -- as opposed to the Dolphins, who traded top running back Jay Ajayi for a tackling dummy and a used grease board.

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