New York Jets (0-5) at Miami Dolphins (2-3)
This game wasn’t originally on the schedule last week (part of the games that were moved around to accommodate COVID cancellations), but it’s hard to imagine the Dolphins would have been favored on the early line by 9 like they are now. With the Dolphins sitting at 1-3 last week, it’s more likely they would have been viewed as around 4.5 or 5 point favorites in this game. This line is where it is because the Dolphins are coming off of a convincing upset victory in San Francisco by score of 43-17, but significant line movements like that tend to be an overreaction to a single week of play and the 49ers are one of the most injury plagued teams in the league, missing several key defenders and having to bench a clearly not healthy Jimmy Garoppolo for CJ Beathard last week.
That being said, this line is actually justifiable, given how bad the Jets are. The Jets rank dead last by a significant margin in first down rate differential at -11.89% and in my roster rankings. They haven’t been competitive in any of their games, despite a middling schedule. They just cut arguably their most talented skill position player, they are starting their backup quarterback Joe Flacco, who has looked totally washed up this season, and they have one of the worst head coaches in the league in Adam Gase. I don’t have the Dolphins ranked highly at all (23rd in my roster rankings, 25th in first down rate differential), but they’re more talented and way better coached than the Jets. My calculated line is Miami -8, so we’re not getting any real line value with either side.
With that in mind, I like the Dolphins a decent amount this week, because they’re in a much better spot than the Jets. While the Jets have to turn around and play a much tougher divisional opponent next week in the Buffalo Bills, the Dolphins are going into a week 7 bye. The Jets are currently 10-point home underdogs against the Bills in that game on the early line and teams are 44-106 ATS since 2010 before being home underdogs of a touchdown or more, including 17-44 ATS as underdogs of a touchdown of more before being home underdogs of a touchdown or more, like the Jets are this week. It’s very tough for a bad team to keep a game close against a much better opponent when they have another tough game on deck. On the flipside of that, home favorites of a touchdown or more are 62-26 ATS since 2002 before a bye, so the Dolphins should be fully focused. There isn’t enough here for Miami to be worth betting, but they should be the right side.
Miami Dolphins 24 New York Jets 13
Pick against the spread: Miami -9