New York Jets
(9-2, 7-4 ATS)
New England Patriots
(9-2, 6-4-1 ATS)
Monday Night Football betting action might not get much bigger than this for the rest of the season. In one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the season, the New England Patriots will play host to the New York Jets in a game in which the winner will be the first to ten wins in the AFC and will have the inside track towards the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs in the conference.
The season really could come down to this for the Jets, as they know that they will have a chokehold on the AFC East with a second win this year against New England. QB Mark Sanchez has to get over his pick woes though, as he has been intercepted at least once in each of his last six games, and all eight of his INTs have come over the course of these six. Still, New York is a team that prefers to run the ball and play stout defense, the MO that carried it to the verge of the Super Bowl last year. The team is averaging 148.1 yards per game on the ground, the second most in the NFL, in spite of the fact that there isn’t a rusher that might make it to the 1,000 yard mark in the regular season. Defensively, the Jets are averaging 296.9 yards per game, making them one of three teams that can say they are allowing less than 300 yards per game in total. Opponents are only averaging 86.3 yards per game on the ground, and when you parlay that with a defense that is willing to bring the sack attack at you in any given situation, you have a unit that is really not one to be messed with.
New England has also only been beaten once since getting toppled by the Jets in Week 2, but we are still trying to figure out how the stats really pan out for that. The Pats are allowing the second most yards per game in the NFL at 399.1 and the most through the air at 288.5 yards per game. They are allowing the 22nd most points in the league at 24.2 points per game as well. On the other side of the ball, things don’t appear to be that much better. The unit is averaging 349.2 yards per game and doesn’t rank better than 13th in any yardage category that the league has to offer. QB Tom Brady still hasn’t reached 3,000 yards yet, there isn’t a running back that is likely to end up with 1,000 yards, and the only receiver with more than 36 receptions and is over 500 yards is WR Wes Welker. Still, Brady has thrown for 23 TDs against just four picks, RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis has nine rushing TDs, and the Patriots are averaging an NFL high 30.4 points per game.
We know that New England has scored at least 31 in three straight games, including duels against the high powered Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers. However, we just tend to believe that the Jets have the better team, and if that’s the case, they should have no problems at least keeping this game within a field goal, if not winning it outright.
Pro Football Free Pick: New York Jets +3.5