Minnesota Vikings (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. New York Jets (3-1 SU, 3-1
ATS), Week 5 NFL, 8:30 p.m. EST, Monday Night Football, October 11, 2010, New Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J., TV: ESPN
by Badger of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Min +4/NYJ -4
Over/Under Total: 38
There are so many storylines in the Minnesota Vikings trip to New
Meadowlands Stadium to face the New York Jets in an NFC-AFC matchup,
its tailor made for the lights of primetime on ESPNs Monday Night
The most obvious one is that this will be the first time Brett Favre
has played the Jets since his one-year stint with them before his
third retirement. The Jets drafted Mark Sanchez and have moved on,
but the comparisons between the two quarterbacks is sure to be
featured and talked about until our ears bleed by the boys in the booth.
With news breaking that the Vikings have acquired their old
teammate Randy Moss from the Patriots, the executives at ESPN will be putting the hype machine in overdrive.
Not to mention that the Jets are coming off of their third straight
impressive performance, this time beating Buffalo, 38-14, last
weekend on the road upstate in Buffalo. Thats the storyline the
Vikings better be well prepared for since theyre coming off their
Oddsmakers opened the Monday Night Football game with the Jets as 4-point favorites at home in New Meadowland Stadium and the point
spread has held firm through early betting at the window.
The over/under total is a much different story though. Early in the
week when only a few offshore sportsbooks listed a total on their
boards it opened as low as 36.5, but the money is pouring in on the
over because the number is up to 37.5 or 38 at a large majority of
books already. There are even a few that are higher, including Bovada and
5Dimes who is listing the total at 38.5 already, and
Pinnacle is up to 39.5, so theres a lot of wiggle room on the number
Offensively this game might be very vanilla.
The Jets offense has picked it up in recent weeks, partly because
they seem to have taken the handcuffs off of Sanchez, but they are
still a run-first and play defense type of team. The resurgence of
LaDainian Tomlinson has given the Jets running game a spark, as they
are back near the top of the league averaging 167.8 yards per game.
But something will have to give this week because the Vikings defense
is one of the best run-stuffing units in the NFL again, still ranked
in the top 10 allowing just 87.3 yards a contest. That means that
Sanchez might be called upon to do more than hes accustomed too,
which means the return of Santonio Holmes from suspension to team up
with Braylon Edwards and tight end Dustin Keller in the Jets passing
game is coming just in the nick of time.
On the other sideline the Vikings struggles on offense have been well
documented. With a lack of training camp for Favre and injuries to
the receiving crew the Vikings are ranked 24th in the league in
passing at only 185 yards per game. The addition of Moss would help,
but other than stretching the field his presence might cause Favre to
try and force things to him in small windows.
All of this has put an undue amount of pressure on Adrian Peterson
and the running game, who had a breakout game last time out versus
the Lions (160 yards, 2 TD), but is facing stacked boxes and run
blitzes each week to try and take him away.
And since were on the topic of blitzes, how many different ones do
you think the Jets and coach Rex Ryan will throw at Favre and the
Vikings this week? Especially since the Jets run defense is even
better than the Vikings unit (74.8 ypg 4th), so Peterson can expect
some tough sledding come Monday.
So even though both teams possess strong running backs and great
running games, the team that throws the ball better will likely get
the edge in this contest. That means it will come down to a contest
between Sanchez and Favre, a contest that Favre would win normally,
but because his surrounding cast is so weak that the needle actually
tips in Sanchezs direction, especially is corner Darrelle Revis is
back this week too.
These teams have met six times on the gridiron since 1994, and the
Jets have won all of them including the last time they played in the
Metrodome in 2006, 26-13. The Jets have also covered the number in
all six games as well to go 6-0 both SU and ATS.
The betting trends surrounding this game are weak, but there are a
few that are worth mentioning. Picking a side based on trends would
be hard due to the fact that the Vikings are just 1-5 ATS in their
last five road games, but the Jets have had their struggles in
primetime in the past going 1-5 ATS in their last six games on Monday
The over/under trends are weaker, but the over is seeing a lot of
action right now and it might be due the fact that Minnesota has gone
over in nine of their last 12 games as a road underdog. The over is
also 5-2 in the Jets last seven games on MNF.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: With the public pouring money in on the over, Im
bucking that wisdom and going the other way with the under in a game
the defenses dominate. Take the under of 38.5.