New York Jets (2-10) at Minnesota Vikings (5-7)
Both of these teams will be road underdogs next week, but the Vikings will have a much tougher game. While the Jets will be in Tennessee, the Vikings have to go to Detroit. On top of that, the Vikings are in a bad spot because they are non-divisional home favorites before being divisional road underdogs, a situation teams are 88-107 ATS in since 2002, but the Jets are in a good spot as non-divisional road underdogs before being non-divisional road underdogs. Teams are 100-70 ATS in that spot since 2002.
The Vikings could also be in a bad spot as teams that finish 6-10 or worse cover the spread as 6+ point favorites about a quarter of the time historically. The Vikings are 5-7 and need to finish 2-2 or better over their final 4 games. They are projected to be favored at home week 17 for Chicago in addition to being favored here so that trend might not necessarily be applicable, but it easily could be. Even if it isn’t, this line is still way too high at 6 points regardless.
The Vikings are even worse than their record suggests, as they rank 28th in the NFL, moving the chains at a 68.53% rate, as opposed to 74.11% for their opponents, a differential of -5.59%. The Jets aren’t good, but they actually rank higher, ranking 27th, moving the chains at a 68.19% rate, as opposed to 72.93% for their opponents, a differential of -4.74%, almost a whole percentage point better than Minnesota. The public saw the Vikings beat the Panthers 31-13 last week, but they ignore that they had 2 touchdowns on blocked punts, which is obviously not sustainable. The Vikings lost the chain game to the Panthers, as they have almost every week this season.
The public is on the Vikings and I love fading the public whenever it makes sense as they always lose money in the long run and it makes sense here. Regardless of what record the Vikings finish with, they aren’t deserving of being 6 point favorites over pretty much anyone (except Oakland and maybe Tennessee). Speaking of the Vikings being 6 point favorites this week and speaking of them having a tough game next week, favorites of 6 or more are just 46-80 ATS before being underdogs of 6 or more (the early line is 7) since 2002. Between that and the fact that the Vikings are overrated, I like the Jets a good amount here as long as the line is 6 or more.
Minnesota Vikings 17 New York Jets 16
Pick against the spread: NY Jets +6
Confidence: Pick of the Week