New England Patriots vs. New York Jets Pick
New England Patriots (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS) vs. New York Jets (3-7 SU, 3-7 ATS)
Date/Time: Sunday, November 25th, 1:00 PM
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
By Mike Mann., NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NE -9/ NYJ +9
Over/Under Total: 46
The Patriots head to Jersey to take on the Jets for a Sunday afternoon showdown of AFC East rivals. New England has dominated of late with wins in twelve of the last fourteen games between the teams, but it is Gang Green who has had the upper hand against the spread with a record of 8-2 in the last ten meetings including five straight covers at home.
New York comes into the game losers of their last four games in a row, during which time they have let up a combined 115 points. One major reason for their poor play has come from the quarterback position, which during their current losing streak have combined to throw for just two touchdowns compared to nine interceptions. Whether Sam Darnold will return from injury against the Patriots remains to be seen, though whoever who it is between him and Josh McCown will immediately need to reverse course and correct the mistake prone play that has only made things worse for an already struggling team.
Early reports have Darnold on track to possibly play this weekend. How he has performed on the field has a direct correlation to the Jets results in the standings, as they are 3-0 when he has QB rating of 98 or higher but are 0-6 when his QBR is 76 or less. The offensive line has not done him a ton of favors as he has been sacked 21 times so far this year, and that continuous punishment could only derail him as he looks to progress as his rookie season enters the second half.
The passing foes have had a clear effect on their top options in the receiving game as well, with Quincy Enunwa not having scored since week one and Robby Anderson being held out of the endzone since early October. With Anderson questionable and newly acquired Terrelle Pryor already banged up as well, the lack of true options remaining in the passing game for either Darnold or McCown will only hamper their hope and ability to turn their recent woeful play around.
Injuries have affected the ground game as well with Bilal Powell now lost for the year due to a neck injury. This leaves just Isaiah Crowell as the focal point of the backfield, and so far he is the only position player to score a rushing touchdown on the season for the Jets. Much like the quarterbacks, Powell will be looking to improve on recent struggles as he has rushed for just 162 yards on 57 carries over their last five games.
TIRED OF YOUR CREDIT CARD NOT WORKING AT SPORTSBOOKS? IT WILL AT BOVADA + GET A 50% CASH BONUS!
An effective ground game has been a key to New England’s success this season, and they have done so with a two-pronged attack consisting of James White and Sony Michel. The team is a combined 6-0 when either White or Michel scores a rushing touchdown, with White even more critical in the passing game. He has 26 more receptions than anyone else on the team, and with six receiving touchdowns is the only player to score more than two through the air so far this season.
RETURN OF GRONK
The expected return of Rob Gronkowski should help the Patriots offense exponentially. He has been hampered with injuries throughout the year, which is big reason why he hasn’t scored a touchdown since their week one win against the Texans. The extended time off should help mend his multiple wounds, and when he is on the field there is no questioning his direct effect on the Patriots success as they are 15-0 in their last 15 regulars season games when their star tight end has at least 5 receptions.
Much has recently been made about Tom Brady’s current streak of having just one touchdown pass in his past three games, as people continue to look for any reason to start calling for his and in turn the Patriots sudden expected rapid plummet from greatness. While Brady has been less prolific in recent weeks, he also has just one interception in his past five games and has had to deal with injuries and inconsistent play from his offensive line as well. This week Brady gets a Jets pass defense that looked completely overmatched against the Bills, especially high priced cornerback Trumaine Johnson who looked alarmingly rusty and inconsistent in his return from injury.
THE FINAL DECISION
In years past when people have started to write off the Patriots they have usually responded in turn the following week. They have had two weeks to think about the egg they laid in Tennessee against the Titans, and now have the additional bonus of coming back from a bye week to have the additional time to prepare for a depleted Jets squad. New England is 12-3 in their last fifteen games after a bye, and I expect them to continue that success with a strong showing against the Jets this weekend and by games end will have notched an easy win and cover.
Mike’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: New England -9 (Try reduced juice books to get extra half point buy or -105 vig)