New York Jets (4-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)
Both of these teams did similar things last week, winning close games as underdogs, the Bengals in Detroit and the Jets at home against the Patriots. However, the Bengals are in a bad spot this week because their close win came on the road and because they are now favorites. Home favorites are 25-52 ATS since 2002 after winning by 3 or fewer points as road dogs. The Jets lost to the Steelers a few weeks ago in this situation. Meanwhile, the Jets are actually kind of in a good spot, as teams are 25-16 ATS as dogs off of an overtime home win as underdogs since 1989. It’s not a great trend, but it shows they won’t as flat as the Bengals easily could be.
I also think this line is a little off, as the Bengals are favored by 6.5 even though these teams have essentially played the same this season. The Jets are moving the chains at a 69% rate offensively, while their opponents are doing so at a 68% rate. The Bengals, meanwhile, are moving the chains at a 74% rate offensively, as opposed to 73% for their opponents, a rate that could get worse now that top cornerback Leon Hall is out for the season. This line is at least 3, if not 4 points too high and that doesn’t even take into account that the Bengals could be flat as big favorites off of last week’s win.
The only reason this isn’t a Pick of the Week is because the Jets might not be as focused as they’d need to be with a home game against the Saints next week, while the Bengals should be favored in Miami next week. As for the Jets, non-divisional road dogs are 80-111 ATS before being non-divisional home dogs. Meanwhile, for the Bengals, non-divisional home favorites are 66-45 ATS before being non-divisional road favorites since 2008. However, they might not be favorites because the line is currently expected to be -1 and if they were to be dogs, that trend would switch to 61-84 ATS since 2008. They could also be distracted before a Thursday Night Game next week. Favorites are 26-51 ATS before a Thursday Night game since 2008. It’s a high confidence pick on the Jets.
Cincinnati Bengals 17 New York Jets 16
Pick against spread: NY Jets +6.5