NFL Week 1: Bills at Jets Preview, Prop Pick & Prediction

Week 1 of the 2023 NFL regular season comes to a close with a marquee “Monday Night Football” matchup between the Buffalo Bills at the New York Jets.It’s a season-opening tilt between AFC East rivals who both harbor realistic Super Bowl aspirations.QUICK PICKThe Bills opened as 1.5-point favorites at BetMGM and the line has held steady with Buffalo backed by 68 percent of the spread-line bets and 69 percent of the money. However, the Jets’ +110 moneyline has also been a popular play as it has drawn 63 and 60 percent of the action, respectively.There are still a lot of unknowns in terms of how the Jets’ offense will exit the gates with quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the helm. But New York also has a stout defense that gave Bills quarterback Josh Allen fits in two meetings last year, so we’re taking the points with the Jets at home.Prediction: Jets 26, Bills 23THE NEWSAllen was 9 years old when Aaron Rodgers was drafted by Green Bay. Allen said he’s mimicked a lot of Rodgers’ movements and looks up to him. Rodgers wants the Bills looking up at the Jets in the standings when the dust settles Monday.At 39, Rodgers relocated for the first time in his career following a prolific run with the Packers. Unpacking Super Bowl and MVP credentials in New Jersey, Rodgers said he’s grown comfortable in a new shade of green in part because of the level of talent around him.”I think we’re ready,” Rodgers said. “I played in a great spot for 18 years. We had a great home-field advantage, place was always sold out. I’m expecting a big crowd, a loud crowd. It’s going to be electric — ‘Monday Night Football’ — last game of the first week. It will be a pretty special moment to take the field against a division rival and a great quarterback, really good football team. It will be a special environment to start off my career with the Jets.”Wide receiver Garrett Wilson was the 2022 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and created a quick connection with Rodgers, who compared his new No. 17 — Wilson — to former Packers teammate and All-Pro wideout Davante Adams. The Jets also signed free agent Dalvin Cook to a one-year deal and added familiar Rodgers cronies Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb.There’s depth here, too. New York wants to co-feature running back Breece Hall with Cook and brought in wide receiver Mecole Hardman from the Chiefs.KEY STATDefensive Rookie of the Year Sauce Gardner, a rare All-Pro selection at cornerback in his first season, and the Jets’ defense have an established track record of mortalizing Allen.Gardner made sure Allen’s favorite target, wide receiver Stefon Diggs, didn’t have his hands full in their two matchups in 2022. Allen had 147 passing yards in the Bills’ 20-12 win on Dec. 11 — when Diggs was held to three receptions for 37 yards — and New York’s defense sacked him eight times with two picks in those two games. Allen had three rushing TDs.In the Nov. 6 meeting, Gardner intercepted Allen and broke up a late pass on fourth-and-21 that ended Buffalo’s final drive and preserved the Jets’ 20-17 win.”They’re a pretty good group — really good group for that matter,” Allen said. “They’ve got rushers that have motors, they sub those guys in and out so they’re fresh. Their DBs are smart. They game-planned pretty well for us the last couple times we’ve played them and we’ll have our hands full come Monday night.”