Dallas Cowboys (4-9) at New York Jets (8-5)
The Jets are favored by 4 points here in Dallas, but I think that’s too low. The Jets are sneakily one of the better teams in the NFL. They rank 6th in rate of moving the chains differential and, now with center Nick Mangold and cornerback Darrelle Revis back from their respective absences, they’re playing arguably their best football of the season. They’ll be a threat in the playoffs if they make it in as a wild card (Pittsburgh and Kansas City are also 8-5, are also playing well, and have arguably easier schedules) and they’re certainly going to be tough for the Cowboys this week.
The Cowboys rank 25th in rate of moving the chains differential and have unsurprisingly moved the chains at a noticeably worse rate with Tony Romo out of the lineup. In those 4 starts, they moved the chains at a 72.80% rate, as opposed to 67.29% in their other 9 games. They’re also missing middle linebacker Rolando McClain with a concussion, which is a big loss for their defense. That being said, the Jets are in a tough spot, having to turn around and host the Patriots next week, in the biggest home game of the season.
This could be a look-ahead spot and, understandably, teams are 50-67 ATS as road favorites before being home underdogs since 2002, and 29-49 ATS since 1989 as 3+ point road favorites before being 3+ point home underdogs. I would have liked the Jets more if this line had stayed at 3, like it was on the early line last week, as about 1 in 6 games are decided by exactly a field goal. The public is still all over the Jets, despite the movement. I love fading significant line movements whenever it makes sense because they tend to be overreactions to a single week of play and I love fading the public whenever it makes sense because the public always loses money in the long run. I could do both by taking the Cowboys, but the Jets are too good, so they are the pick, though for a no confidence play.
New York Jets 16 Dallas Cowboys 10
Pick against the spread: NY Jets -4