New York Jets (0-0) -3, 36 O/U at Miami Dolphins (0-0) +3, 36 O/
U, Dolphins Stadium, Miami, Fla., 1 PM Eastern, Sunday
by Badger of Predictem.com
You want drama, Ill give you drama. Newly anointed captain Brett Favre will make his quarterbacking debut with the New York Jets when they travel to play against the quarterback they dumped to make room
for him, Chad Pennington, now playing for their main AFC East rival
Miami Dolphins in Dolphins Stadium Sunday.
If it wasnt for the Favre-Pennington dram I dont think anyone would watch, since both teams are coming off of forgetful 2007 seasons. The Jets struggled to a 4-12 (6-9 ATS) record on the season and the Dolphins needed overtime to even win a single game, breaking the
string in week 15 versus Baltimore last season to finish 1-15 (5-9 ATS).
The books opened the game with the Favre-led Jets as 3-point favorites on the road with a 36 total on the over/under, and both
numbers havent moved at all during early betting. The moneyline bet
lists the Jets at -160 while the Dolphins are +140 underdogs.
The odds havent moved because nobody in their right mind has any
idea what this game has in store.
Favre has had three preseason games to get his feet wet, likewise for Pennington. Both have looked decent in limited action, but everyone knows that when the live bullets fly it could turn into another
exciting Jets-Dolphins game, or it could turn into a sloppy mess.
Favres arm alone should help kick start the Jets running game with
Thomas Jones, but the Jets brought in Damien Woody and Alan Faneca to
shore up the offensive line as well. Jones ran for over 1,100 yards
last season but only hit paydirt one time. Laveranues Coles (5 TD in
07) also stands to benefit as well and should be able to become
Favres main go-to guy. Although Favres lone TD throw in the
preseason was to tight end Chris Baker, so maybe Baker (3 TD) will be
the target in the red zone.
Pennington has vowed not to have any extra emotion going for him on Sunday versus the team that cast him off, but how could you not? How
well Pennington is able to harness the extra emotion he says he wont
be feeling will be interesting to watch.
The Dolphins will rely on two guys, former first-round pick Ted Ginn Jr. and former reefer smoker Rickey Williams to be the main weapons. Ginn, who only had 420 yards and two touchdowns last season, has
looked better in the preseason but hes still unproven to most eyes.
Bill Parcells knows its about winning, so watch for Williams to play
a lot this season since Ronnie Brown still has lingering effects from
injury and couldnt win his job back yet.
Defensively the Jets were just below the middle of the pack at the end of 07, finishing 18th in the NFL in total yards per game (331.9) and 19th in points allowed (22.2). End Vernon Gholston was drafted to
provide an instant pass rush, and tackle Kris Jenkins was traded for
from Carolina to give the Jets a much improved defensive front.
The Dolphins suffered through one of the worst seasons ever in the
NFL because the defense was flat out terrible. The Fins gave up a lot
of big plays and ended 30th in the league in points allowed per game
(27.3) and 30th in yards per play (5.57). You dont need to know
stats to know that if you give up five yards a play your doomed. The
Jets did bring in a few new faces in the offseason, beefing up the
line with DT Jason Ferguson (Dallas) and second-round DE Philip
Merling, and adding Reggie Torbor (NYG) to last years big
acquisition Joey Porter on the linebacking core.
Again, both of these quarterbacks are new to their respective teams
so take the betting trends for what they are worth, but the Jets
certainly look good as they are 19-4-2 ATS in the last 25 meetings.
Miami has been bad for a while now and it shows when you have a
10-27-1 ATS record in your last 38 home games. They are especially
bad versus the AFC East, as they are just 5-21-2 ATS in their last 28
games in their division.
Over/under trends favor the over, as Miami has come in over the total in six of their last eight home games. The Jets cash in on the over
too, gong 11-5 versus the AFC East recently and 8-2-1 in their last
11 week one openers.
Badgers Pick: All else being equal, when it comes down to a new quarterback learning a new system, Ill take Brett Favre over Chad Pennington any day. Take the Jets minus 3.