New England Patriots vs. New York Jets Preview and Pick – Point Spread

New England Patriots (1-0) vs. New York Jets (1-0), Giants Stadium, New Jersey, Sunday, September 20th, 1:00PM Eastern, CBS
By Z-Man of

Point Spread: Patriots -3 1/2/Jets +3.5
Over/Under: 46 1/2

Two of the original eight AFL franchises meet for the 100th time in their series history when the New England (Boston) Patriots square off against the New York Jets (Titans) Sunday afternoon at the Meadowlands.

Both teams enter the game 1-0, but they got there in very different ways.

In their opener Monday night, New England needed a minor miracle to beat the Buffalo Bills 25-24. They came nowhere close to covering the point spread as 11-point home favorites. The Patriots trailed 24-13 when they got the ball at their own 19 yard-line with five minutes to go, then drove for a score that, after a missed two-point conversion attempt, pulled them to within 24-19. They then got a gift when the Bills’ Leodis McKelvin botched the kickoff return, and fumbled. Three plays later QB Tom Brady hit Ben Watson in the end zone again, and the Pats had the lead, and 50 seconds later, they had the win.

Those two late New England touchdowns also pushed the game over its total of 47.

The Patriots outgained the Bills 451-276 and held a 37-23 TOP advantage, but a poor screen pass by Brady turned into a Buffalo defensive touchdown in the second quarter, which helped the Bills take a 14-10 lead into the half.

In their first game under new head coach Rex Ryan, and with rookie Mark Sanchez starting at quarterback, the Jets went into Houston last week and came away with a 24-7 minor upset of the Texans. New York outrushed Houston 190-38, and held a 39-21 time-of-possession advantage.

Sanchez completed 18 of 31 passes for 272 yards and a score, with one INT in his NFL debut.

The Jets won outright as 4 1/2-point underdogs Sunday, and the game stayed well under its total of 44. The Texans’ only points came on a fumble return.

New York’s defense held the Houston offense, which ranked third in the league in yardage last year, to 183 total yards.

These divisional rivals split their two meetings last season. In week two, with Matt Cassel at quarterback, the Patriots beat the Jets 19-10 at the Meadowlands. Later, in week 11, New York, quarterbacked by Brett Favre, outscored New England 34-31 in overtime in Foxboro.

The Patriots have beaten the Jets 11 of the last 13 meetings in the series (once in the playoffs), and eight times in a row in New Jersey. The all-time series between these two teams sits at 49-49, with one tie.

Many offshore NFL betting outlets opened New England as a 5 1/2- to six-point road favorite for Sunday’s game over the Jets, with a total of right around 47. But as of Wednesday morning the line had been lowered to four and even 3 1/2 at many places. And the total had been dropped a half-point at most football sportsbooks, to 46 1/2.

The Patriots are also listed at right around -190 on most moneylines, with the Jets getting +165 as home dogs.

Home underdogs went 0-4 straight up and 1-3 against the pointspreads during the NFL’s opening weekend last week. And NFL totals went 8-8.

Zman’s Pick: I like the Jets getting the points here. They displayed great defense last week on the road, N.E. doesn’t look like the N.E. of old and the Jets should be fired up in their home opener. Take the Jets plus the points.