New York Jets (6-3) +3.5, 42 O/U at New England Patriots (6-3)
-3.5, 42 O/U, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass., 8:15 PM Eastern,
Thursday, NFL Network
by Badger of Predictem.com
If you havent seen or heard about the NFL Networks television commercial gushing all over New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre, consider yourself lucky. But lets just say the NFL is very, very
happy that Favre and the Jets are tied atop the AFC East standings
with their longtime rival New England Patriots because the league is
going to milk this Thursday night marquee game on its very own
network for all it can.
The Jets are tied for the lead in the AFC East, but its been a total team effort including defense and a surprising running game that has
lead them to this point, not solely the addition of Favre. The Jets
turned in perhaps their most complete game of the season last Sunday
in a 47-3 demolishing of the St. Louis Rams, a game where Favre was
efficient (14-of-19) but a non-factor. Running back Thomas Jones ran
for 149 yards and three touchdowns and the defense returned a fumble
for a score in a game that was over at halftime, giving them their
third straight victory and their fifth in their last six games.
Many expected New England to go away after the loss of Tom Brady in
the season opener, but the Patriots are proving theyre still a team
to reckon with in the AFC. The Patriots are also on a roll of late,
winning three of their last four games with the last one being a
20-10 grinder of a win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Oddsmakers opened the game with the Patriots as 4-point favorites at
home in Gillette Stadium, but the number has already corrected itself
and is down to 3.5-points at just about every offshore sportsbook on
the Internet. The over/under total opened at 41 and is either listed
as 41.5 or 42 across the board at most books.
As mentioned, its been a balanced attack on offense with the
leagues 8th-ranked running game (123.4 ypg) providing the spark of
late for the Jets. The Jets have also taken advantage of Favres
penchant for the deep ball, as they are now one of the leagues most
explosive and 3rd overall at 28.3 points per game(tops in the AFC).
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Matt Cassel has done an admiral job filing in for Brady and leading
the Patriots offense, they are still tied for first after the midway
point of he season. His numbers are good (1,800 yards in 9 games,
67.0 Comp. %) and bad (7 TD, 7 INT), but he is keeping the ship
afloat. Whats more surprising is the fact that the Patriots still
have one of the games best running games (7th- 133.1 ypg) despite
being without Laurence Malroney, LeMont Jordan and Sammy Morris at
times throughout the course of the year.
Defensively is where this game has to turn, as both teams are strong
versus the run and neither gives up a lot of points.
The Jets own the 10th-ranked defense in yards allowed (299.9 ypg),
but the addition of Kris Jenkins to the interior of the defensive
line makes running the ball against the Jets very hard (5th 76.4
ypg). New York does give up 21.1 points per game, the 13th-ranked
scoring defense in the NFL.
New Englands defense is virtually the same as the Jets, as they are ranked 11th in yards allowed (300.7 ypg), but they make you nickel-
and-dime them down the field and the result is the 7th-best scoring
defense at just 17.8 points allowed per game.
The Jets and Patriots first meeting this season back in September
when the Pats rallied around Cassel in his first NFL start for a
gritty 19-10 victory. Neither team did much on offense in that game,
as total yards were the same (NYJ 256 NE 260), but nonetheless the
Patriots covered the spread as 1-point favorites on the road.
The Patriots earlier win this season is just a continuation of the
dominance they have had on the Jets. The Pats have won four straight
and nine out of the last 10 games dating back to the 2004 season. The
Patriots also hold a large advantage for bettors, as they are 7-2-1
ATS in the last 10 games. However, both of the Jets ATS wins and also
the push came on the road in New England.
Keep in mind that these betting trends were compiled with Brady at
the helm, but the Patriots have not only dominated the Jets but the
rest of the AFC East too, as they are 13-2 SU and 10-5 ATS in the
division the past three seasons.
The Jets do have a few betting trends in their favor. In the last three seasons they seem to play well versus strong competition (8-4
ATS versus teams with winning record), in the month of November (6-2
ATS), as a road underdog of three points or less (4-1 SU and ATS).
Badgers Pick: Belichick is 5-1 versus his old buddy Mangini, and I think the short week favors the wily vet Belichick more. Plus there
are windy, rainy conditions forecasted in Foxborough on Thursday
night. Defense rules, so take the under of 42.