New York Jets (12-5 SU, 10-7 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (12-4 SU,
10-5-1 ATS), AFC Divisional Playoffs, 4:30 p.m. EST, Sunday, January
16, 2011, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass., TV: CBS
by Badger of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: NYJ +9/NE -9
Over/Under Total: 45.5
Another week, another player, coach or team called out by the New
York Jets blowhard coach Rex Ryan.
This week the focus of his Monday morning presser is on New England
coach Bill Bilichick, who Ryan will go head-to-head against this
weekend when the Jets travel to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough for
the final AFC Divisional playoff game of the weekend against the top-
seeded Patriots this Sunday on CBS.
The same script worked for Ryan and the Jets last week when he called
out, then finally went out and beat Peyton Manning and the Colts in
Saturdays Wildcard opener on a last second 32-yard field goal by
Nick Folk, 17-16. Instead of Manning, it was Jets quarterback Mark
Sanchez who orchestrated the game-winning drive in the final two
minutes, allowing the Jets to escape Indianapolis and live to fight
one more week in the AFC playoffs.
Now its on to Foxborough, where the Jets will face quarterback and
probable MVP Tom Brady and the rested Patriots on Sunday. Ryan once
again made it personal this week, saying he was outcoached by
Bilichick (dah?) in the Patriots humiliating, 45-3, victory over the
Jets on Monday Night Football back in early December, and vowing to
make up for it this week in the Divisional playoffs.
Even though a lot of folks probably hoped for a Manning-vs.-Brady
showdown at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, a showdown that would have
needed the Chiefs to beat Baltimore to even happen in the first
place, with Ryan running his mouth there will still be plenty of
subplots and layers to the Jet-Patriots matchup in the Divisional
round to make it a great way to end the NFLs second weekend of
Oddsmakers dont exactly see this game as that great of a matchup this week, installing the Patriots as large 9-point favorites at home
when the point spread opened up this week. The early money at the
window has brought the number down to Patriots minus -8.5-points at
some online sportsbooks and the sportsbooks in Las Vegas, but there
must be enough money coming in on New England because 5Dimes has
actually moved the number up to 10-points, so theres room to move
the hook in either direction if youd so choose.
The over/under total opened at 45 or 45.5, depending on which
sportsbook you wager at, otherwise the total has yet to have any
significant line movement in either direction since it opened.
New England has looked like the team to beat in the AFC for some time
now, as the Pats rattled off eight straight wins to close out the
season including, 34-3, and, 38-7, butt-whoopins to AFC East rivals
Buffalo and Miami the final two weeks of the regular season.
The emergence of BenJarvus Green-Ellis for the Patriots has sparked
the offense, a unit that has averaged 37.4 points per game during the
8-game streak. But the weapon the Pats have unleashed on the league
this season is their special teams, with blocked kicks and the return
game of Brandon Tate becoming one of the best in the NFL.
To put it simply, this game will depend on how well Sanchez plays at
quarterback for the Jets. In the wildcard game the Jets were able to
frustrate Manning and the Colts with a ground game that ran it 38
times, keeping them off the field and wearing down the defense at the
same time. But the Pats know how to fluster the young Sanchez, and
will likely do everything in their power to stop the running game and
make Sanchez throw to win.
That approach by the Patriots defense worked the last time, as
Sanchez threw three interceptions and struggled to move the ball
downfield (17-of-33 for 164 yards) in the big loss in week 13. Back
in the Jets, 28-14, victory over the Patriots at home in week two,
Sanchez protected the ball (220 yards, 3 TD) and the end result was
the exact opposite, so getting to Sanchez and forcing him to speed up
his decision-making will be more important than ever this week for
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Ryan is 2-2 SU versus Bilichick and the Patriots as a Jet, but as a whole the Pats seem to have the Jets number because the Jets are just
5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 head-to-head meetings with the Pats.
But this is the playoffs, which is a whole different animal. In the
playoffs the Jets are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games and they are
also 11-4 ATS in their last 15 road games. Meanwhile, the Patriots
are a lousy 0-5 ATS in their last five playoff games, including an
0-4 ATS mark at home and 0-4 ATS as the listed favorite in the playoffs.
The over/under betting trends are all over the place, with the over
going 9-1 in the Jets last 10 road games and 7-2 in games played in
January. But its the under that cashes for Patriots games, going
11-3-1 in the Pats last 15 home playoff games and 7-0-1 in their last
eight Divisional playoff games.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Running your mouth against Tom Brady and Bellichick is quite possibly one of the DUMBEST things you could do in the NFL. Ryan managed to get away with it vs. Manning and a beat up Colts squad. However, it won’t work vs. the Patriots who will CRUSH the Jets this weekend. Take the Patriots to win and cover big-time.