Welcome to another season of our weekly Upset Watch. Each week we'll write about a possible upset in an NFL game with a line of at least three points. We also write a Cover Watch about an additional game where a significant underdog has a strong chance to cover. These picks are based on Football Outsiders' advanced metrics, in particular our current DVOA ratings (explained here) and, early in the season, our DVOA projections.
Last season, Upset Watch went 9-6 straight up, which is pretty good since every team was at least a 3-point underdog. Cover Watch finished 8-6-1 against the spread.
Week 1 usually brings plenty of upsets to the NFL. Nobody knows for sure just how good teams will be in 2019. Despite all the advanced statistics we have, even our Football Outsiders preseason projections are going to be off a good amount.
For our first Upset Watch of the season, we'll go to the AFC East. The line has these two teams as even on a neutral field, but there are some reasons to believe that Buffalo can pull out a season-opening victory on the road.
Upset Watch: New York Jets (-3) vs. Buffalo Bills
These teams split their two games in 2018, but each team won in a very different way.
In Week 10, the Bills demolished the Jets 41-10 at MetLife Stadium. I would love to be able to tell you what Josh Allen did against the Jets in this game, but he didn't play. That game was the mysterious "greatest start of Matt Barkley's career," where the Bills signed a longtime veteran off the street and got 232 passing yards with two touchdowns out of him with no picks and only one sack. On the other side, it was Josh McCown -- not Sam Darnold -- throwing two picks with only 135 passing yards.