New England Patriots (11-3) at New York Jets (3-11)
The Patriots are one of the best teams in the NFL and the Jets are one of the worst, but this line is still a little high at 10.5. The Patriots move the chains at a 77.87% rate, as opposed to 72.00% for their opponents, a differential of 5.87% that ranks 2nd in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Jets rank 28th, moving the chains at a 67.73% rate, as opposed to 71.88% for their opponents, a differential of -4.16%. However, double digit road favorites are rare. It’s only happened one other time this season (Denver in Oakland) and 17 times previously since 2010.
It’s usually reserved for matchups between the absolute worst and absolute best teams in the NFL and teams are just 6-11 ATS in this spot since 2010 anyway. Despite that, the public is all over the Patriots. The odds makers know they can make this spread basically as high as they want and the public isn’t going to bite on the Jets. I love fading the public whenever it makes sense because they always lose money in the long run.
However, I’m actually going to side with the public this week, though I’m not that confident. The Patriots always get better as the season goes on, at least in the regular season. They are 33-4 straight up in the 2nd half of the season since 2010, going 24-13 ATS. It makes sense as Bill Belichick is the best mid-season adjuster in the NFL. This season, they’ve really been on fire since week 5, losing just once, a close defeat in Lambeau against the Packers, arguably the toughest place to win in the NFL. Excluding the first 4 weeks of the season, they are moving the chains at a 81.32% rate, as opposed to 72.00% for their opponents, which is borderline otherworldly.
Speaking of Belichick being a fantastic adjustor, he does a great job in same season, regular season revenge games. The Patriots haven’t lost to the same team twice the regular season since 2000, winning and covering in all 10 instances. This isn’t a true revenge game because the Jets didn’t knock the Patriots off in Gillette earlier this year, but they came close, covering the spread, losing by two, and being a blocked field goal away from winning.
However, Belichick is also 5-2 ATS in same season, regular season rematches against opponents who they previously beat, but didn’t cover against. That means that teams that previously covered the spread against the spread against the Patriots are just 2-15 ATS in the rematch since 2001, which is absurd. Despite the outcome of that game, Belichick can’t be happy with how his team performed in the first matchup and the perfectionist and master adjustor should be able to get his team to play up to their abilities this week.
Also helping them is the fact that they don’t really have another tough game left in the regular season as week 17 is a home game against the Bills. There aren’t any distractions for the Patriots on the horizon, while the Jets still have to deal with a trip to Miami. Teams are 95-64 ATS as 6+ point favorites before being 6+ point favorites since 2010, while 6+ point underdogs are 65-91 ATS before 6+ point underdogs over that same time period. Going off of that, teams are 27-60 ATS since 2010 before being 6+ point underdogs when their opponent will next be 6+ point favorites, as teams in that situation are at such a disadvantage schedule wise. The Patriots should be focused and take care of business here by at least two touchdowns, but I’m not super confident. I wish this line was lower.
New England Patriots 27 New York Jets 13
Pick against the spread: New England -10.5