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Josh Allen has turned the ball over 21 times in 2023
The Dolphins lost Bradley Chubb to a season-ending injury in Week 17
Tua has 12 interceptions and 13 fumbles this season
The AFC East will have their de-facto championship game in Week 18 as the Bills and Dolphins meet. The Bills are playing for a division title and their playoff lives, while Miami is locked into the postseason regardless of the outcome. While both teams are currently banged up, we expect a thrilling battle between these two division rivals.
Below, we will share our pick to win the division and break down where all four AFC East teams currently stand.
Odds taken from BetMGM Sportsbook. Click on the odds below to place your bets at BetMGM and get up to $1,500 in bonus bets.
We are sticking with the Dolphins to win the division despite losing Bradley Chubb to an injury. Home-field advantage will be a significant advantage for Miami in Sunday’s matchup, and they will be facing a Bills team that has been winning ugly over the last two weeks. Even if Jaylen Waddle and Raheem Mostert miss the Week 18 matchup, we still think this Dolphins team has enough talent to win and clinch the AFC East.
The Bills have won four straight games to keep their playoff hopes alive, but it hasn’t been pretty. After impressive wins against the Chiefs and Cowboys, Buffalo barely hung on to beat the Chargers and Pats. Both games could have ended in losses, which is a troubling sign for their Week 18 matchup against a Dolphins team that is far better.
The biggest reason we are betting against the Bills is their offense. Josh Allen has accounted for 42 of the Bills' touchdowns this season, and turnovers have been a big problem. Allen has 16 interceptions and five fumbles this season, which is why the Bills struggles in 2023. Last week, Allen led the team to a win but threw one interception and fumbled twice, though the Bills recovered both. While the Miami pass rush is banged up, their secondary is fantastic and will capitalize on any mistakes Allen may make.
The Bills defense has continued to play well down the season's final stretch. They are allowing an average of 17.5 points over the previous four games, a stretch that includes holding the Cowboys to just 10 points. Their defense had no problem shutting the Dolphins down at Home in Week 4 and may face an easier challenge with Waddle and Mostert injured.
Things did not go well for Miami in Week 17. The Ravens blew them out 56-19 and saw leading pass rusher Bradley Chubb suffer a season-ending injury. It comes just a few weeks after they lost Jaelan Phillips, dealing another blow to their once-great linebacker corps. The Miami offense has also been dealing with injuries, though they have had the depth to compensate. As good as a season as Miami has had, a loss in Week 18 could cost them the division and a chance to play in Super Bowl LVIII.
The good news for Miami is that running back De’Von Achane was great, filling in for Mostert, rushing for 107 yards on just 14 carries. The bad news is that Tua Tagovailoa is having a massive problem holding on to the ball. He has thrown 12 interceptions and fumbled 13 times, costing Miami some games. That will be a significant challenge this weekend as he takes on the Bills team that has forced the second-most turnovers this season.
While the offense managed some success against the Ravens, their defense was a disaster. Lamar Jackson threw for 321 yards and five touchdowns, and backup Tyler Huntley threw a touchdown on his lone pass attempt. As bad as things went for Miami, this is still a good defense. Their pass rush will suffer, but their secondary is good enough to cover for it. Jalen Ramsey will be a difference-maker in Week 18, helping Miami win the AFC East.
The Jets season has officially ended since our last update. The team’s inability to find a competent quarterback was too big of a problem to overcome despite the roster being built for a Super Bowl run. New York will have a chance to finish their season on a winning note with a game against the Patriots on Sunday.
While this Jets team has a lot of holes that will need to be fixed in the offseason, none are more significant than their offensive line and Aaron Rodgers. The Jets' inability to protect the quarterback led to Rodgers' injury and the failure of Zach Wilson and Trevor Siemian. It is very hard to fix all that in a single offseason, especially when they don’t have much money to spend.
The team must also figure out how to handle Rodgers next season. The veteran will turn 41 next year, making working behind a poor offensive line even more difficult. The Jets also need to figure out a plan for the many players Rodgers asked them to add, all of whom had awful seasons. The team will need to find a way to get out of some of those contracts while keeping Rodgers happy.
As bad as the Jets offseason problems are, the Pats’ are even worse. The Mac Jones experiment is over, Bill Belichick will likely be fired, and the team has very little young talent to build around. It will take years for this team to rebuild, a process that will start immediately after their Week 18 game.
The Patriots offense was the big problem this season. They do not have a single playmaker on the unit and are the lowest-scoring offense in the league (14.6 PPG). While the unit has played better with Bailey Zappe behind center, they clearly need a total rebuild. New England will have a top-five pick in the 2024 NFL draft, giving them another chance at finding a franchise quarterback.
The good news for the Pats is that their defense was good all season. While there will be some roster turnover, the unit should support their rebuilding offense next season.
Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.More info on Michael Savio
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