New England Patriots (0-1) at New York Jets (0-1)
The Patriots were my Pick of the Week last week and lost by 1 point as 3-point favorites, but the peripheral numbers show that the Patriots were the more efficient team, as they had the higher first down rate (33.33% vs. 30.77%) and yards per play (5.61 vs. 4.98), but lost the game because of two key lost fumbles, which happens to be one of the least predictive metrics, to the point where it’s essentially random week-to-week. I was hoping the general public would pay more attention to the result of that game and ignore that the Patriots likely would have won by a touchdown at least if they could hold onto the ball, which would have giving us even more value with the Patriots this week, but this line has shifted from favoring the Patriots by 3.5 on the early line last week to 6 this week, so that didn’t really happen.
However, I think we are still getting line value with the Patriots, who I had as a top-10 team coming into the season, something that could easily happen despite last week’s result, if they can take better care of the football going forward. The Jets, meanwhile, are one of the worst teams in the league and looked that way in losing the first down rate battle (28.57% vs. 25.81%) and the yards per play battle (6.05 vs. 4.20) by significant margins against a mediocre Panthers team week one. The Jets did make noticeable upgrades on offense this season, including at the quarterback position, but they are still starting a rookie quarterback, which is especially a problem against a Bill Belichick coached defense.
On top of that, the Jets’ defense is likely to be worse than a year ago, they are starting from a lower base point than last year’s 2-14 record suggests, as their two wins easily could have been losses, and left tackle Mekhi Becton being out for the foreseeable future only makes things worse. Even with this line shifting to 6, we are getting line value with the Patriots, who I have calculated as 11-point favorites. Without another obvious choice, this is my Pick of the Week again, as I was very encouraged by a lot of what the Patriots did week one, despite the result, and think they remain underrated.
New England Patriots 27 New York Jets 16
Pick against the spread: New England -6
Confidence: Pick of the Week