New York Jets (5-10 SU, 9-5-1 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (12-3 SU, 10-5 ATS)
NFL Week 17
Date/Time: Sunday December 31st, 1:00 PM EST
Where: Gillette Stadium
by Mike M, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NYJ +15.5 / NE -15.5
Over/Under Total: 45
Gillette Stadium will be the scene for a final week of the regular season showdown between the AFC East rival New England Patriots and New York Jets. The Patriots will be looking to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs while the Jets will be attempting to end their year on as much of a positive note as possible with another lost season gone by along with the chance to position themselves for one of the top quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft ruined as well.
New York was able to far exceed expectations held as they entered the season with many prognosticators thinking they would find difficulty getting to even two or three wins, let alone the five they currently have with a just a week remaining in the season. Unfortunately this puts them at around the tenth pick in the draft, which unless they plan on trading up likely means they wont have a chance at one of the top quarterback prospects in the draft such as Josh Rosen of UCLA, Sam Darnold of USC or Josh Allen of Wyoming. This is especially important considering just how bad the Jets have been at drafting at that position since 2006, a time span in which they drafted more quarterbacks than any other team in the league, with the list including Kellen Clemens (2006-2nd round pick), Brad Smith (2006-4th round), Erik Ainge (2008-5th round), Mark Butt Fumble Sanchez (2009-1st round), Greg McElroy (2011-7th round), Geno Smith (2013-2nd round), Tajh Boyd (2014-6th round), Bryce Petty (2015-4th round) and the worst of them all, Christian Hackenburg (2016-2nd round). What makes these picks all the more worse, especially those in recent years like Geno and Hackenturd, is the players that they passed on in the process such as Teddy Bridgewater, Jimmy Garoppolo, Derek Carr, Dak Prescott and AJ McCarron.
Due that lackluster laundry list of quarterbacks, the Jets are stuck starting Bryce Petty in their season finale thanks to Josh McCown being knocked out for the season due to injury and Hackenburg being so terrible that the Jets would rather flounder to the finish line with someone who is clearly not their answer at quarterback for the future than put the Hack on the field and face the mockery and ridicule that would likely follow after he was exposed in a real game rather than just his usual routine of being terrible in practice. Petty has struggled this season with just a 47.4% completion rate and a dismal qb rating of just 46.6, though this should come as little surprise considering his career stats consist of a 4/10 TD-INT ratio and through nine games played has only had one where he threw an equal amount of touchdowns to interceptions (in all the others he had either more interceptions than scores or no touchdowns at all).
While the Jets are ending their season without a Super Bowl title for the 49th consecutive season, the Patriots are continuing to add to their recent run of dynastic years by clinching yet another bye in the first round of the playoffs, and now need to either win on Sunday or have the Steelers to lose to be able to lock up the number one seed in the AFC and in turn the ever important home field advantage. Looking ahead to the second round of the playoffs, the only team the Patriots cant be matched up with is the 3rd seeded Jaguars and will play either the winner of KC vs the 5th seeded team or whoever ends up being the 6th seed if they can possibly get by the Jaguars in the Wild Card Round.
New England was able to officially clinch a bye after beating Buffalo 37-16 last Sunday, which was not only their second victory against the Bills in the past couple of weeks but also the second time this season they were able to hold their bisonion opponent to zero offensive touchdowns in a game. The Patriots were able to recover from a sluggish first half and eventually were able dominant in the second thanks to Buffalos inability to contain Dion Lewis whether on the ground or through the air or do anything to stop Rob Gronkowski, who had an incredible one handed touchdown grab in the 3rd quarter and over his past four games has 28 receptions for 464 yards and 3 touchdowns.
One area that New England was able to improve on and add depth to over the week was their defensive front as it was announced on Tuesday that they had signed Pittsburgh castoff James Harrison after he had been released the previous week. It remains to be seen how much of an effect the aged lineman will have after only playing 40 snaps this season for his former team, but with his vast knowledge and experience should at least be a welcome addition to a defense that has dealt with injuries throughout the season and are looking to solidify their side of the ball to be a stronger unit and one that doesnt have to rely on stepping up at the last minute with their bend dont break way of playing.
The Patriots have had the clear upper hand against the Jets in recent history having gone 11-3 over their previous fourteen head to head matchups, but they havent been as fortunate versus the spread as they have posted just a 1-1-7 record against the number in their past nine versus the Jets. I dont expect that run of point spread success to continue for Gang Green, as they dont have the personnel (they rank in the bottom half of the NFL in every major offensive and defensive category) or true motivation to put in a full games worth of effort in a road matchup against the Patriots in what is expected to be a freezing cold day in Foxboro with the wind chill in the single digits. New York has struggled on the road this season at 1-6 and has gone just 3-11 over their previous fourteen away contests, and with nothing to play for against a team they are overmatched against both on the field and on the sidelines, I expect the Jets lack of traveling success to continue and the Patriots to get the win and cover at Gillette to end their regular season.
Mike Ms Pick to Cover the Point Spread: New England -15.5 - Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a FAT 100% bonus up to $1000 at MyBookie! (Use Promo Code: PRDCT14)