New York Jets (3-6 SU, 5-4 ATS) vs. St. Louis Rams (3-5-1 SU, 6-3 ATS)
NFL Week 11
Date/Time: Sunday, November 18th, 2012, 1:00 p.m. EST
Where: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, Mo.
TV: CBS/DirecTV 711
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NYJ +3.5/STL -3.5
Over/Under Total: 38
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Two of the six teams in the National Football League with three wins will square off against each other for the right to earn that coveted fourth victory when the New York Jets travel to the Edward Jones Dome to take on the St. Louis Rams in week 11 action Sunday on CBS.
For the Jets there’s really nowhere to go but up after their miserable performance last weekend in a loss at Seattle, 28-7. The Jets offense coughed up three turnovers, only made 11 first downs and totaled just 185 yards in the loss, and with the defense on the field for almost an entire quarter more than the offense (Seattle had a 13-plus minute time of possession advantage) they simply just wore out in the lopsided loss on the West Coast.
But at least the Jets played bad and lost on their own accord on their West Coast trip last weekend.
The Rams wound up with a result that they say is like kissing your sister, blowing a 14-point lead only to end up finishing overtime still tied with the San Francisco 49ers, 24-24. It’s really a shame too, because Sam Bradford threw for 275 yards and two scores including what the Rams thought was a game-winning 2-yard strike with just over a minute to play, only to watch the 49ers drive it down the field in the final minute and tie it back up with a 33-yard field goal to send it into overtime.
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Twice the Rams should have had the game won in overtime too, but both an 80-yard pass from Bradford to Danny Amendola and a 53-yard Greg Zuerlein field goal were negated by a Rams penalty, causing the first NFL game to end in a tie since the 2008 season.
Sunday’s game between these two snake-bitten squads opened with the Rams as your standard 3-point favorite as the home team, but after a little bit of money came in early on the Rams (bettors fading the embarrassing Jets?) the point spread is already up the hook to minus -3.5 at a few offshore sportsbooks.
The over/under total opened at 38 and with only a small window of opportunity since it’s release, it has yet to move in either direction yet.
This game will be hard to handicap because the Jets offense is just so awful this season. If it weren’t for rookie Brandon Weeden and the revolving door of QB’s in KC (Matt Cassel) and Arizona (John Skelton), Jets QB Mark Sanchez would be the worst statistical quarterback in the NFL right now (30th of the 33 that qualify for QB ratings). For now coach Rex Ryan and the Jets front office have yet to make the change to captain comeback Tim Tebow at QB, but with Sanchez looking over his shoulder constantly and playing terrible, the EXACT situation of a QB controversy that many predicted to happen before the season is starting to unfold right in front of everyone.
The Rams defense has been suspect at times this season, but with the 13th-ranked pass defense (228 ypg) and the 14th-ranked unit overall (343 ypg), it’s going to take a lot of work for the Jets and Sanchez to get things straightened out in a week against a Rams defense that is starting to play themselves into the upper half of the league.
The Rams offense is also an improving unit, with Bradford starting to make plays a franchise QB should make and a power-n-speed combo at running back with Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson that is making St. Louis a more balanced attack. The Rams ran for over 150 yards last week against the 49ers No. 1 defense (on 37 carries), so you know a steady diet of Jackson and Richardson is to be expected against the Jets 30th-ranked run defense that is giving up over 144 yards a game on the ground.
With this game being an AFC-NFC matchup that only comes around every four years, there is limited history as well as a limited sample size for strong betting trends.
If the number holds, or only drops a little, Sunday will mark the first time the Rams have closed as a favorite this season. The Rams have covered in three of their five home games this season, but their two non-covers came against Green Bay and New England, so it’s safe to say the Rams are pretty tough to play at home in the Dome.
The Jets have not been very good on the road either, going 1-3 SU, but they have managed to cover in two of the road games. With the coast-to-coast flights last weekend, and a week’s worth of practice in Hurricane Sandy-torn New York before flying back to the Midwest for this week’s game in St. Louis, one would think the Jets might wear down late in the game again this week.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I could see Shonn Greene running wild through a sub par Rams D-Line and I can see the Rams running wild against a bad Jets D-Line. this is quite possible the most evenly matched game as any I’ve seen this season. I hate to disappoint, but I’m recommending a pass on this game as there just doesn’t appear to be any wagering value.
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