New York Jets (0-2) at New England Patriots (2-0)
This is one of two lines over 21 points this week (Dallas/Miami), after that had happened just five times in the last 30 years. The Patriots were the favorite in three of those five games, with all three instances coming during their undefeated regular season in 2007. The Patriots didn’t cover in any of those games though and, in fact, all five teams to be favored by 21+ points in the past 30 years failed to cover, winning the games with an average margin of victory of “only” 12.6 points. Unlike Dallas/Miami, which features a Miami team that is all-time bad and not giving 100% effort, this should be a more competitive game.
The Jets are starting a third string quarterback and have several key absences on defense, but they still have a more talented roster around the quarterback than they have had in recent years. I have them 5 points better in my roster rankings than the Dolphins and that might even be overrating the Dolphins if they aren’t giving their best effort. Unlike the Dolphins, who are seemingly mailing in the season for a coaching staff and front office that doesn’t care about winning, the Jets may view this as their Super Bowl and they definitely will want to avoid going into their week 4 bye at 0-3, with quarterback Sam Darnold likely to return after the bye.
The Jets should be well rested after starting the season with two home games (teams are 46-35 ATS since 1989 in week 3 after back-to-back home games), while the Patriots might be looking forward a little bit to a seemingly more important divisional battle in Buffalo next week. We’re not getting much line value with the Jets (I have this line calculated at New England -20),so I wouldn’t recommend betting on them, but this game could easily be closer than most people are expecting.
New England Patriots 27 New York Jets 10
Pick against the spread: NY Jets +21.5