New England Patriots at New York Jets Spread
This Thursday the New York Jets will host the New England Patriots in a AFC East showdown on Thanksgiving night. This will be the second meeting between these two teams this season. New England won 29-26 in overtime at home, but failed to cover the 11-point spread. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 EST at MetLife Stadium and will be televised nationally on NBC. Oddsmakers currently have the Patriots listed as a 6-point favorite with the total posted at 49.5 points.
Why New England Will Cover:
The Patriots come into this game off a 59-24 blowout win at home against the red-hot Indianapolis Colts. New England has now won four straight to improve to 7-3 overall. With every other team in the AFC currently sitting at 4-6, the Patriots have a comfortable three-game lead inside the division.
This certainly seems like a lot of points for the Patriots to be laying on the road against a team that they barely beat at home, especially considering they will be without starting tight end Rob Gronkowski, who suffered a broken forearm in the win over the Colts. However, they are expected to get back tight end Aaron Hernandez.
The thing you have to really take into consideration is that the Patriots have taken it to the Jets in the second meeting the past three seasons. In 2009 they beat the Jets 31-14 after losing the first matchup, in 2010 they won 45-3 after getting beat by two touchdowns the first time around, and last year they won 37-16 on the road after only beating New York by 9-points at home. Head coach Bill Belichick is certainly a big reason for this, as there arguably isn’t anyone better at figuring out an opponent and exposing their weaknesses.
You also have to factor in that the Jets simply aren’t as good as everyone expected them to be coming into the season. The Jets are coming off an impressive 27-13 win at St Louis, but they haven’t won back-to-back games all season and four of their six losses have come by 17 points or more. In my opinion there is a much better chance of New England winning by double-digits than the Jets winning outright, so the value to me is on the Patriots at less than a touchdown.
Why New York Will cover:
New York was able to keep their slim hopes of making the playoffs alive with that 14-point win over the Rams on Sunday, and it could very well be what gets this team going for a big run in the second half. The Jets certainly will come into this game with the believe that they can beat the Patriots. They arguably should have won the first meeting, as they led 26-23 with only 1:37 left in regulation.
Even though the Patriots are getting back Hernandez at tight end, the loss of Gronkowski is something you simply can’t ignore. Gronkowski had six catches for 78 yards and scored the only two touchdowns for New England in that first game against the Jets. His loss might not keep the Patriots from moving the ball up and down the field, but it could force them into having to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns. Gronkowski easily leads the team with 10 receiving touchdowns. The next closest is Brandon Lloyd with three.
There is always value in home underdogs in division games, especially when its apart of such a big rivalry like this. While the Jets got blown out at home last year by three touchdowns, they had won two straight at MetLife Stadium prior to that.