New York Jets (7-8) at Miami Dolphins (8-7)
One powerful trend is that teams who lose as divisional home favorites are 48-23 ATS since 2002 as road dogs in the same season, regular season rematch. It makes sense. Matchups where the team who is favored is dependent on the location tend to be matchups between very even teams and very even teams tend to split the season series no matter what. If you’ve lost as home favorites, you have to win as road underdogs in this situation to split the season series. Teams in this situation do win as road underdogs at a .500 rate since 2002 (39-39) and an even higher percentage, as previously mentioned, about 2/3rds, cover the spread. The Jets have room to play with here because they are 7 point underdogs so they can easily cover even if they don’t win.
These two teams might not seem to be even teams because the Dolphins are favored by a whole touchdown and because the Jets were just favored by one point in New York a few weeks ago and got blown out, but they are pretty even, much more than this line would suggest. We’re getting line value with the Jets. The Dolphins are not as good as their 8-7 record would suggest. The complete goose egg they laid in Buffalo last week is just evidence of that.
They rank 25th in rate of moving the chains differential, largely because of an incompetent offense, which moves the chains at a 66.74% rate, which is one of the worst in the NFL. Their porous offensive line is a big part of the reason why and the Jets have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL because of the trio of Damon Harrison, Sheldon Richardson, and Muhammad Wilkerson, all of whom are playing like Pro-Bowlers. They have the potential to take over this game.
The Dolphins defense is much better than their offense, allowing opponents to move the chains at a 70.46% rate, but that’s still a differential of -3.72%, which, again, ranks 25th in the NFL. The Jets are 27th. Their offense obviously struggles, moving the chains at a 64.90% rate, but their defense is much better as they allow their opponents to move the chains at a 69.75% rate, a differential of -4.86%. That suggests this line should be around 4, instead of 7. Given that, the Jets definitely seem like the right side.
However, the Jets do tend to struggle on the road and off of a win. The Jets have been very bad off of a win over the past 2 seasons, going 3-9 ATS in that situation since the start of the 2012 season. They haven’t handled success well. On top of that, Geno Smith has been horrible on the road this season. He hasn’t been good anywhere. However, his road numbers are some of the worst you’ll ever see for a guy who kept his starting job all season.
He’s completed 55.2% of his passes for an average of 6.55 yards per attempt, 5 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. Even that’s skewed by a 3 touchdown, no interception performance in Atlanta. In his other 5 road games, he has 2 touchdown, and 13 interceptions. As a result, the Jets have lost those 5 games by an average of 19.5 points per game, while the win in Atlanta came by just 2. I’m still taking the points, especially since the Dolphins have just 2 wins by more than a touchdown, but I’m not that confident.
Miami Dolphins 17 New York Jets 13
Pick against spread: NY Jets +7