The Patriots are coming off of an emotional, last second, come from behind 30-27 victory at home last weekend to the New Orleans Saints, covering the closing number of -2 and going over the posted total of 50. Meanwhile, the Jets are coming off of a disappointing home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, losing 19-6, failing to cover as favorites of -2.5.
The Patriots have won the last 5 match-ups in the series, going back to the 2011 season, and the Jets will be desperate to end that streak on Sunday. On the injury front, the Patriots have lost several key players so far this season. Nose Tackle and co-defensive captain Vince Wilfork was lost for the season in week 4 to a torn Achilles. News didn’t get any better for New England this week when linebacker and co-defensive captain Jerod Mayo was lost for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. Defensive End Rob Ninckovic and Safety Devin McCourty have been named the new defensive captains. These are two big losses for the Patriots. Mayo is the team’s leading tackler, and opposing offenses must consistently dedicate two offensive lineman to block the 325 pound Wilfork, which allows fellow Lineman and Linebackers to race to the ball carrier unimpeded to make tackles.
It should also be mentioned that the Patriots best cornerback, Aquib Talib, will not be playing in this game due to a hip injury. This would be a bigger deal, but the Jets best receiver, Santonio Holmes is also injured, and after him the Jets do not have any elite Wide Receivers.
The Jets have a slightly above average running game, totaling 115 yards per game, good for 14th in the league. In the first meeting, the Jets ran successfully for 129 yards. So, I expect the Jets to try and take full advantage of these Patriot injuries by running the ball consistently throughout this game with impressive rookie Running Backs Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory. The Patriots may also have more trouble defending the passing game with the loss of Mayo, as he was the only Patriots linebacker who could consistently cover Running Backs and Tight Ends. The Jets #1 Tight End, Kellen Winslow, is suspended until week 10. Back-up Tight End Jeff Cumberland has 11 catches on the season with two touchdowns, despite not playing in the first two weeks. Cumberland is a big target at 6’4, and could have a big game here with Mayo being out and the fact that the Patriots are not accustomed to preparing for him. With a banged up Patriots defense, the Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith could find more success in this game than the Week 1 match up
Despite the Patriots impressive 5-1 record, it has been a more difficult than usual year for their offense, which lost leading receiver Wes Welker in the off-season, as well as Tight End Aaaron Hernandez who is in legal trouble. Fortunately for the Patriots, Tight End Rob Gronkowski is suiting up for the first time this year after undergoing four different surgeries to his back and forearm in the off season. Gronkowski will be a welcome sight for Quarterback Tom Brady as he tries to lead drives against a stout Jets defense, which gives up just over 300 yards per game, good for 4th best in the league.
As stated earlier, I expect the Jets to run the football a good amount in this game. I do expect the Jets to move the ball better than they did last week against Pittsburgh when they managed just 6 points, but running the ball consistently means that the clock will also be running consistently. This Patriots offense has shown improvement since the Week 2 Match-up, but will be facing a stiff challenge on Sunday. Quarterback Tom Brady is still working to develop chemistry with his young rookie receivers, Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson, and while Rob Gronkowski will be suiting up for New England, this is his first game back and I don’t expect him to be fully up to speed. The Patriots have gone Under the total in four of their first six games this year, and I expect similar things on Sunday.
As for the side, with a low scoring game expected, I will be taking the points and betting the Jets at +3.5 This is also a good situational spot for the Jets, who will be hungry to rebound off a disappointing loss last weekend, while the Patriots are coming off of a big emotional win. I like the situational dynamics this game presents, and believe it will be a close, low scoring game, so, I think the points are too big to pass up.
New England Patriots @ New York Jets Betting Tips
Jets to win with a +3.5 points start = 10/11 with Bet365
Under 44 total points = 10/11 with Bet365
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