New York Jets (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS) vs. Arizona Cardinals (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS)
NFL Week 6
Date/Time: Monday, October 17, 2016, 8:30 PM EST
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
TV: ESPN, DirecTV 206
by Badger, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NYJ +7.5/ARI -7.5
Over/Under Total: 46.5
The New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals are both at or near the top of the list of most disappointing teams through the first five weeks of the NFL season, but one of them will be able to turn the momentum around and get a much-needed win when these two clash this week in primetime on ESPNís Monday Night Football.
The Jets continued their slide in the AFC East standings losing their third game in a row last Sunday at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-13. Issues and injuries in the Jets secondary on defense are killing the Jets right now, and the Jets highly anticipated offense featuring Matt Forte, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker is averaging a meager 11 points per game during the three-game losing streak.
Arizona appeared to salvage their season last week on Thursday Night Football, beating the San Francisco 49ers, 33-21, behind backup QB Drew Stanton. With a 2-3 record it does seem like the Cardinals are back in the NFC West race, but injuries to both starting guards Evan Mathis (now on IR) and Mike Iupati (ankle) will put a makeshift offensive line in front of quarterback Carson Palmer in Mondayís game, providing Palmer is released out of the NFLís concussion protocol this week.
Oddsmakers donít seem to be as weary of the Cardinals injuries on offense as I am, especially since several sportsbooks set the opening point spread for the Monday night tilt with Arizona as 6.5-point favorites to start. Since those few opened at minus -6.5, the betting line has since moved at most books to where the number currently sits at Cardinals minus -7.5.
The over/under total opened at 47 and has also had a slight bit of line movement, dropping the hook to 46.5 at most sportsbooks currently.
With so much expected of the Jets offense coming into the season with the resigning of Fitzpatrick and pickup of Forte, itís sort of fizzled into mediocrity through five games as the Jets average 352 yards a game (17th in NFL). Theyíve also lacked the big-play ability to break games open, and itís been felt on the scoreboard as the Jets only average 18.4 points per game (25th). On paper, the Jets could experience a little bit of success running the ball on the Cardinals on Monday, since the Cards run defense (118 ypg Ė 23rd) is the weakest link in the unit in 2016.
Everyone knows that issues along the offensive line can crush a teamís ability to move the chains. If Palmer is cleared, Iím sure Arizona will at least explore the wide holes in the Jets defensive secondary the past few weeks (allowing 302 ypg Ė 31st in NFL). Run blocking may be easier than pass blocking for backup offensive lineman, but considering the Jets have the 2nd-ranked run defense in the NFL (68 ypg ), it might be a wiser plan to drop back and throw it 50 times in Mondayís game and take advantage of mismatches on the perimeter.
These two last played in 2012 when Ryan Lindley was QB for Arizona and Mark Sanchez was butt-fumbling in New York, so itís almost meaningless that the Cardinals won that 2012 game played at MetLife Stadium, 7-6.
Historically, Arizona is not a fan pf playing on Monday Night Football going 3-7 SU and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 appearances in primetime. Arizona has also had a hard time covering a big point spread, going 7-5 SU but just 1-11 ATS since 1993 in games where they closed as 7.5 to 10 point favorites at home.
Badger's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Hard to tell what type of team the Cardinals are going to put on the field with almost a full week to wait before kickoff. But regardless of what happens with the Cardinals injury report before Monday, I still think the Jets are a way better team then their 1-4 record indicates. Jets head coach Todd Bowles made a name for himself as the D-coordinator in Arizona, heíll have the Jets fired up and ready to play on Monday. Iím taking the Jets plus the 7.5 points on Monday.
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