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AFC East: Week 8 Preview

Geno Smith and the New York Jets will look to build on last week's win over the Patriots.

Geno Smith and the New York Jets will look to build on last week’s win over the Patriots.

With a surprise overtime victory last Sunday, the New York Jets made a statement, declaring that the New England Patriots shouldn’t be appointed AFC East champions just yet.

Sitting a solitary game ahead of the Jets in the division standings, the Patriots will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s loss and cement their position at the top of the standings. The Jets meanwhile will be looking for a second win in a row, something Gang Green has struggled to do over the last two years.

Read on for the BettingSports.com preview of all of this weekend’s AFC East action.

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA, 1:00 p.m. ET (matchup)

Rod Gronkowski returned in good form last weekend.

Rod Gronkowski returned in good form last weekend.

Already halfway through their divisional schedule, the New England Patriots (5-2, 3-0 home) will look to return to winning ways when the Miami Dolphins (3-3, 2-1 road) arrive at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots, now 2-1 in divisional play, welcomed back tight end Rob Gronkowski in last week’s 30-27 overtime loss to the Jets. Gronkowski caught eight passes for 114 yards, suggesting there’s no rust on the returning star and also reinforcing his role as the Patriots’ go-to receiver.

Bill Belichick could get another boost Sunday with the return of wide receiver Danny Amendola. Amendola is “ready to go” and just has to wait to be given the green light by team physicians.

Miami has had its own struggles in recent weeks, losing three straight games after starting the year 3-0. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has thrown five interceptions and lost two fumbles in this losing stretch, having been run ragged by defenses. The second-year triggerman has been sacked a league-high 27 times, once more than the Jets’ Geno Smith, who has played one more game. The Dolphins will need to protect Tannehill if they’re to get anything out of Sunday’s trip to Massachusetts or the rest of the season.

Get Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots odds and trends now.

New England (-325) opened as the favorite over Miami (+270) on the moneyline.

The Patriots took the last meeting between the sides (Dec. 2012) 28-0, giving the team a six-game winning streak against the Dolphins. New England has taken eight of the last nine meetings between the sides, and have gone 15-6 – including 10-1 at home – when Tom Brady starts.

The spread opened at 4.5 but has since shifted to 7. Both New England (3-4-0 ATS) and Miami (3-3-0 ATS) have had issues against the spread this season, with the Dolphins failing to cover in three straight games. New England has gone 4-1-1 ATS in its last five games against the Dolphins, but only 2-4-0 ATS in the last six home games.

The total opened at 45.5 and has slipped marginally. Miami (5-1-0) has seen the total go over in five straight games while New England (3-4-0) has seen the total go over in three of the last four. The total has also gone over in four of Miami’s last six visits to Foxborough.

Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA, 1:00 p.m. ET (matchup)

C.J. Spiller will likely be absent once again.

C.J. Spiller will likely be absent once again.

The Buffalo Bills (3-4, 1-2 road) earned a rare road victory last weekend, defeating the Dolphins 23-21 in Miami. Doug Marrone’s side will look to make it two wins in a row Sunday as it makes the trip to the Big Easy to take on the New Orleans Saints (5-1, 3-0 home).

The Saints are coming off a bye week before which they suffered their first loss of the season, a 30-27 nail-biter against New England. The Saints lead the all-time head-to-head 5-4, and have won three straight dating back to 2001.

Buffalo has got good performances from backup quarterback Thaddeus Lewis – currently deputizing for the injured E.J. Manuel – despite the team’s 1-2 record with him as starter. He’ll need to have the game of his life at the Superdome if the Bills are to get anything from the game.

Buffalo will be without running back C.J. Spiller (ankle), meaning Fred Jackson – who himself has been performing well – will likely see a fair amount of the football.

New Orleans will in all likelihood be without tight end Jimmy Graham (foot) but Drew Brees has plenty of offensive weapons at his disposal, as illustrated by the team’s 311 yards per game, second only to the Denver Broncos.

Get Buffalo Bills vs. New Orleans Saints odds and trends now.

Buffalo (+520) opened as a big underdog on the moneyline, something that’s unsurprising for a team that typically struggles on the road.

The spread opened at 13 but has slipped as kickoff approaches. Buffalo (5-2-0 ATS) has fared well against the spread this season, as has New Orleans (4-2-0 ATS). The Bills are just 2-4-0 ATS in their last six meetings with New Orleans, and have failed to cover in the last three.

The over/under opened at 50 but has dropped a couple of points. The Bills (4-2-0) have favored the over while the Saints (2-4-0) have favored the under. The under has prevailed in five of the last six meetings between the two teams.

New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH, 4:05 p.m. ET (matchup)

Antonio Cromartie faces a tough day against Cincinnati's A.J. Green.

Antonio Cromartie faces a tough day against Cincinnati’s A.J. Green.

After last weekend’s success over the Patriots, the New York Jets (4-3, 1-2 road) will look to topple another playoff hopeful in Week 8, taking on a Cincinnati Bengals (5-2, 3-0) side that is unbeaten at home this season.

The Jets’30-27 win over the Patriots marked the fourth time this season that rookie quarterback Geno Smith has led the team on a fourth quarter/overtime comeback. That’s right; all of the Jets’ wins have been come-from-behind affairs late in the game. They would be quite happy for the same to happen on Sunday.

History certainly favors such a result. The Jets have won four straight against the Bengals and nine of the last 10, dating back to November 1992, including a 26-10 victory on Thanksgiving in 2010. But, and there’s always a but – and sometimes a butt – with the Jets, the Jets are just 2-1 when playing in Cincinnati in that stretch.

Furthermore, since the beginning of the 2012 season the Jets have strung together two wins just once. During that time, the team is 1-9 following a win, including 0-3 this season.

Cincinnati enters the game having won three straight, including wins over New York’s rivals New England and Buffalo. The Bengals have won each of the last two games 27-24, with game-winning field goals coming at the end of each game. Looks like we might be in line for some more late-game heroics.

Get New York Jets vs. Cincnnati Bengals odds and trends now.

The Jets (+265) opened as the underdog on the moneyline with the spread at 6.5. The latter has dipped slightly since.

New York (3-4-0 ATS) have not fared as well against the spread as Cincinnati (4-2-1 ATS) this season but Rex Ryan’s side is 5-1-0 ATS against the Bengals over the last six games.

The over/under opened at 40.5 and has climbed slightly. The Jets (3-4-0) have favored the under while the Bengals (4-3-0) have favored the over. The total has gone over in five of the last six games played between the sides at Paul Brown Stadium.

For a full list of Week 8 NFL odds, click here.

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For NFL team prop bets, click here.

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