Miami Dolphins (1-0) at New York Jets (1-0)
Everyone saw the Jets get a big 48-17 win on Monday Night Football last week and I think they’re a little overrated as a result of it. The Jets finished with just the 7th best first down rate differential at +5.94% and didn’t have a touchdown drive of more than 6 plays all game, benefitting from short fields off turnovers (5 takeaways), big plays on offense (2 touchdowns of 40+ yards), and return touchdowns (2 return touchdowns), all of which tend to be fluky and inconsistent on a week-to-week basis. Sam Darnold is going to have growing pains as a rookie and the rest of their roster has significant problems, especially at edge rusher and on the offensive line.
The Jets also open the season in a really tough spot, opening on Monday night week 1 and then being scheduled for Thursday night week 3, meaning they have to play 3 games in 11 days. Teams typically struggle before a Thursday night game, as favorites are just 47-66 ATS before Thursday Night Football since 2012, but the Jets could be especially flat in this “sandwich” game between a big Monday Night Football win and another game in 4 days.
I wanted to make a bet on the Dolphins against the spread in this game earlier this week, but then it was announced that Josh Sitton needs season ending shoulder injury. The Dolphins’ offensive line looked passable for the first time in years last week thanks to the addition of Sitton this off-season, so that’s a big loss. This line is just 3 points and didn’t move at all for the Sitton news, so I don’t think we’re getting enough line value for a bet against the spread. The money line at +125 is worth a small bet, as this game is close to a toss up, but the Jets could easily win by a field goal because Miami is a mediocre team without Sitton.
Miami Dolphins 24 New York Jets 23 Upset Pick +125
Pick against the spread: Miami +3