New York Jets at Miami Dolphins: 2017 Week 7 NFL Pick

New York Jets (3-3) at Miami Dolphins (3-2)

These two teams both have decent records, but neither one is good. The Jets’ wins have come over the Dolphins, the Browns, and the Jaguars, with the latter two victories coming by just a field goal. They rank just 29th in first down rate differential at -5.04% and still rank dead last in my roster rankings. The Dolphins, meanwhile, have wins over the Chargers, Titans, and Falcons, but their win over the Chargers was only because the Chargers missed two makeable field goals and their win over the Titans was because of a return touchdown and because Matt Cassel was starting. Their victory in Atlanta was impressive, but they still lost the first down battle and they rank dead last on the season in first down rate differential at -6.44%. They also rank near the bottom in my roster rankings, though their defense has been a lot better since linebacker Lawrence Timmons returned to the team.

Timmons played a big role in the Dolphins’ victory in Atlanta last week, by far the Dolphins’ best team performance of the season. You’d expect a victory like that to shift this line in Miami’s favor, especially with the Jets losing at home to the Patriots, but this line has actually moved from -4.5 in favor of Miami to -3 in the past week, pretty significant line movement. Neither one of these teams is good, but the Dolphins are about 2 points better, so we’re getting some line value with the host at -3. This line suggests these two teams are about even, which isn’t quite accurate.

The Dolphins are in a tough spot with a Thursday night game against the Ravens on deck, as favorites are 59-92 ATS before Thursday Night Football since 2008, but the Jets aren’t in an easy spot either, as they host the Falcons next week. The early line has them as 7 point home underdogs and teams are 30-70 ATS since 2012 before being home underdogs of 6 or more, as it’s tough for teams to be completely focused throughout the week when there’s a tough home game on deck the following week. The Dolphins should be the right pick here, but there’s not enough to bet on them confidently here unless this line drops below 3.

Miami Dolphins 17 New York Jets 13

Pick against the spread: Miami -3

Confidence: Low

New England Patriots at New York Jets: 2017 Week 6 NFL Pick

New England Patriots (3-2) at New York Jets (3-2)

Few people would have predicted both these teams would be 3-2 in their week 6 meeting, given that the Patriots were seen as arguably the best team in the league coming into the season, while the Jets were seen as arguably the worst team in the league. The Jets have gotten lucky during their 3 game winning streak, as they beat a bad Miami team at home before Miami had to go to London, an average Jacksonville team who had just came back from London, and a terrible Cleveland team that got 0 points on 3 drives inside the Jets’ 5 and missed 2 field goals. Their wins against the Jets and Browns came by just 3 points each. They still rank just 29th in first down rate differential at -4.81% and they rank dead last in my roster rankings.

The Patriots have definitely been disappointing and could easily be 1-4 if things hadn’t gone their way against the Texans and Buccaneers, but their offense has been as good as ever and their defense should get better as the season goes on, especially as linebacker Dont’a Hightower works back to 100% from injury. The Patriots should benefit from the extra time off after their Thursday night win in Tampa Bay last week, especially since Bill Belichick is 10-2-1 ATS after Thursday Night Football as head coach of the New England Patriots, and this game against the Jets is a good opportunity for them to get back on track in a big way. We’re not getting any line value with the Patriots as 9.5 point road favorites, but they’re the smarter pick in pick ‘em leagues since this could easily be a New England blowout.

New England Patriots 34 New York Jets 23

Pick against the spread: New England -9.5

Confidence: None

New York Jets at Cleveland Browns: 2017 Week 5 NFL Pick

New York Jets (2-2) at Cleveland Browns (0-4)

Going into the season, the Jets were seen as one of the worst teams in recent memory and a legitimate candidate to go 0-16, after completely gutting their roster this off-season. However, they’ve managed to win two games in a row, so the general public is starting to think they might not be so bad. The Browns were favored by 4 in this game on the early line last week, but now this line is even, which is a significant line movement given that about 30% of games are decided by 4 points or less. That’s partially because the Browns got blown out by the Bengals, but I think the public is overrating the Jets because of their record.

I still have them ranked dead last in my roster rankings, especially given that they’re missing talented edge defender Kony Ealy with injury. Their first win came at home against the Dolphins, who are one of the worst teams in the league and who was playing in London the following week, and their second win came in overtime at home against the Jaguars, a middling team at best who had just returned from London. Despite the easy schedule and the two wins, they still rank just 28th in first down rate differential. Their defense has been middle of the pack, allowing opponents to move the chains at a 34.34% rate, but their offense has been horrendous, only picking up first downs at a 29.11% rate. On paper, this is still arguably the least talented team in the league, so it shouldn’t be a surprise if they ultimately end up with only 3-5 wins when all is said and done.

They get another easy game this week, but they have to travel to Cleveland after spending the last two games at home and they’ve looked pretty bad on the road thus far. As bad as the Browns are, I still have them one point better than the Jets, so I have this line at -4, which is where the line was before the significant line movement. I love fading significant week-to-week line movements as they tend to be an overreaction to a single week of play. The Jets are also in a tough spot with a huge home game against the Patriots on deck. Teams are 20-43 ATS since 2012 before being home underdogs of 7 or more and the Jets are underdogs of 9.5 on the early line. There’s enough line value here for me to make a small bet on the Browns, but it’s hard to be too confident in them right now, even if all they have to do is win at home against a terrible team.

Sunday Update: This line has jumped to Cleveland +2 and the money line is now worth a play at +110.

Cleveland Browns 24 New York Jets 20 Upset Pick +110

Pick against the spread: Cleveland +2

Confidence: Medium

Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets: 2017 Week 4 NFL Pick

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1) at New York Jets (1-2)

The Jaguars had an impressive 44-7 win over the Ravens last week in London, but this line has still moved from 4.5 in favor of the Jaguars last week on the early line to 3.5 this week. That’s because the Jets picked up their first win of the season last week with a 20-6 win as 6 point home underdogs against the Dolphins. The Dolphins are an overrated team though and could easily be one of the worst in the league this season, so it’s not a shock that the Jets were able to win at home against them. The Jets are still the least talented team in the league, regardless of their victory last week.

The Jaguars, on the other hand, have one of the best defenses in the league and can run a conservative offense around short throws and running the football. I still have this line calculated at -6.5, so we’re getting significant line value with the line now down to 3.5. I’m holding out for this line to go down to 3 before game time, in which case this would become a high confidence pick, but I’d still take -3.5 or even -4 if I had to settle for that. The Jaguars are legitimate playoff contenders and should be able to take care of business against the lowly Jets.

Jacksonville Jaguars 20 New York Jets 13

Pick against the spread: Jacksonville -3.5

Confidence: Medium

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets: 2017 Week 3 NFL Pick

Miami Dolphins (1-0) at New York Jets (0-2)

Both of these teams are in tough spots here this week. The Dolphins travel to London to face the Saints next week and teams understandably seem to struggle before London trips, going 11-21 ATS all-time. Making matters worse, they had to play on the west coast last week and had their home opener moved to week 11 because of Hurricane Irma. They’re in the middle of a stretch where they have to go to Los Angeles, New York, and London before they get to play a home game back in Miami.

The Jets, meanwhile, could be sluggish after travelling to Buffalo and Oakland to start their season. Teams that have their home opener week 3 are 26-53 ATS since 1989. Miami’s travel schedule might not catch up with them for another week or so and the Jets have had a rough start to their season both in terms of travel and on field performance.They have allowed 16 more first downs and 6 more offensive touchdowns than they’ve gained so far this season, both worst in the NFL. They’re arguably the least talented team in a decade.

It’s hard to pick the Jets under any circumstances right now, but I do think this line is a little high at 6.5. I have it calculated at 5, purely because I don’t think the Dolphins are good enough to be favored by this many points against anyone. They won last week in Los Angeles against the Chargers, but that’s because the Chargers blew numerous chances to win it. That being said, I have no interest in betting on them right now unless we’re getting serious line value. This could easily be a 7 or 10 point Miami victory, even if they don’t play very well. This is a no confidence pick.

Miami Dolphins 24 New York Jets 20

Pick against the spread: NY Jets +6.5

Confidence: None

New York Jets and Oakland Raiders: 2017 Week 2 NFL Pick

New York Jets (0-1) at Oakland Raiders (1-0)

The Jets lost their season opener in Buffalo by the final score of 21-12 last week and now again head on the road to Oakland. Fortunately for them, teams tend to do better in their 2nd of two road games, especially as underdogs off of a loss. Teams are 114-76 ATS in that spot since 2008. That is because teams tend to do better in their 2nd straight road game than their first one, but lines don’t really adjust for this. Teams are 241-258 straight up in their 2nd of two road games since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 1.03 points per game, as opposed to 347-483 straight up in a road game that’s sandwiched between two home games, getting outscored by an average of 2.94 points per game.

The Jets are in a tough spot though because they are projected to be 6 point home underdogs next week against the Dolphins and teams tend to not cover before being big home underdogs, going 45-98 ATS since 2012 before being home underdogs of 4.5+ or more, including 17-38 ATS before being divisional home underdogs of 4.5 or more. That’s because teams in that situation either have a very tough upcoming home game that could be a major distraction or they just aren’t a good team.

In this case, it’s more the latter than the former, as the Jets are as untalented as any team in recent memory. They only lost by 9 last week in Buffalo, but had the worst first down rate differential of any team in the league (-14.29%) and only managed 11 first downs to Buffalo’s 23. Thirteen and a half points is a lot to lay with the Raiders, as just 1 of their last 16 wins has come by 14+ points (last year’s 38-24 win over the Bills), but they’re still the smarter option in pick ‘em. The Raiders haven’t faced a team as bad as the Jets in at least a decade. They are also the smart survivor pick (last week’s was Pittsburgh).

Oakland Raiders 31 New York Jets 17

Pick against the spread: Oakland -13.5

Confidence: None

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills: 2017 Week 1 NFL Pick

New York Jets (0-0) at Buffalo Bills (0-0)

Ordinarily, I don’t like picking bad teams as big favorites, as teams that finish 6-10 or worse historically only cover the spread at about a 30% rate as favorite of more than 6 points. The Bills seem to be rebuilding, after trading away their top cornerback and top wide receiver before the start of the season, and could easily finish the season 6-10 or worse, but it’s also very early in the season and I think this line (-8) is justifiable against a team like the Jets.

The Jets were one of the worst teams in the league last season, finishing 29th in first down rate differential, and then they spent all off-season shedding expensive veterans in favor of unproven young players. On paper, they look like one of the worst teams in recent memory. I wouldn’t be confident in the Bills, who have major issues in the receiving corps and in the defensive back 7, but they should be able to put the Jets away pretty easily.

Buffalo Bills 20 New York Jets 10

Pick against the spread: Buffalo -8

Confidence: None