New York Jets
(9-4, 7-6 ATS)
(10-3, 8-5 ATS)
The New York Jets have dropped two games in a row and are starting to wonder whether they are really a lock to make the postseason or not. They have arguably the toughest game of their season on tap as well, as they travel to the Pittsburgh Steelers in NFL betting action in Week 15.
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New York could be in some real trouble when this one is over with, as there could be three teams within just a game of its playoff spot, which is likely to be the last one in the AFC. Catching the New England Patriots for the AFC East crown is now just a pipe dream, and it will likely become a mathematical impossibility this weekend whether the Jets win or lose. Trying to find a way out of this hole is going to be very difficult if QB Mark Sanchez doesn’t take care of the football. We’ve covered Sanchez’s struggles in recent weeks with his INTs, and last week’s no TD, one pick, and no real offense performance against the Miami Dolphins at home didn’t do anything to help him in that department. The former USC Trojan has thrown for 2,839 yards with 16 TDs against 12 picks. The problem he has is that his TD/INT ratio is an absolutely dreadful 8/12 since Week 5. The ground game is going to have its work cut out for it in this one, as we know that the Pittsburgh defense has one of the most stout units in the league, particularly against rushing attacks. Averaging 143.7 yards per game with essentially a three back system is fantastic, but if none of the three can get anything going, it is going to be up to Sanchez to make the most out of his pass attempts.
The Steelers are probably just two wins away from the No. 2 seed in the AFC side of the playoffs. Just like the Jets, they have a distance chance of being the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, but the likelihood of gaining two games on the Pats in just three weeks is slim to none even if they win out. So instead, Pittsburgh must look at what is behind it. The Baltimore Ravens are right on its heels, a game behind in the AFC North race, and a loss in this one could put the men in black and gold in playoff trouble once again. However, a ‘W’ will wrap a spot up once and for all and let Head Coach Mike Tomlin and company breathe just a tad easier. The play of RB Rashard Mendenhall is going to be key against a very aggressive New York defense, but we all know if Pittsburgh is winning this game, its defense is going to have to be the unit that really steps up. This team has been virtually untouchable at home this year against all teams not named the New England Patriots, and if this isn’t an exception this week, there will be joy and celebration in the Steel City when this one is said and done with.
New York just doesn’t stand a chance in this one. We hate laying this many points against a team that is rock solid, even on the road, but the Steelers are playing too well right now to be beaten. Give the nod in NFL betting action to the black and gold on their home turf, as the Jets continue to flounder in the race for the postseason.
Pro Football Free Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers -6