New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings: 2022 Week 13 NFL Pick

New York Jets (7-4) at Minnesota Vikings (9-2)

The Vikings are 9-2, but they have needed an 8-0 record in one score games to get there and they have just a +5 point differential. However, this seems to be well known, as they are only 3-point home favorites against the Jets. The Jets have a significantly better point differential (+34), but they’ve been much more defensive oriented (12th in schedule adjusted efficiency), while the Vikings have been more offensive oriented (3rd in schedule adjusted efficiency), which tends to be more predictive of future success, and the Vikings hold the edge in my roster rankings as well. If anything, we’re actually getting a little bit of line value with the Vikings at -3, so they seem like the better side for pick ‘em purposes, even if there’s not enough here for the Vikings to be worth betting.

Minnesota Vikings 23 New York Jets 19

Pick against the spread: Minnesota -3

Confidence: Low

Chicago Bears at New York Jets: 2022 Week 12 NFL Pick

Chicago Bears (3-8) at New York Jets (6-4)

The Jets’ offense was embarrassed last week in New England, averaging 2.10 yards per play and converting first downs at a 11.76% rate in a 10-3 loss, but they also had a dominant performance on defense once again and, overall, they rank first in the league in schedule adjusted defensive efficiency. Their offensive performance was obviously abysmal, but they were facing the second ranked defense in the league in terms of schedule adjusted efficiency and they are highly unlikely to be that bad two weeks in a row, especially since they’ve made a change at quarterback, which can’t make things worse. 

The Jets only rank 25th in the league in schedule adjusted offensive efficiency, but that’s still a lot better than they looked last week and, overall, they rank 15th in schedule adjusted efficiency, about a half point above average. It also helps that the Jets will face a much easier defense this week, as the Bears rank 26th in schedule adjusted defensive efficiency and have been even worse since trading away Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn. They’ll also be without talented rookie safety Jaquan Brisker this week due to injury.

The Bears’ offense has been somewhat keeping them afloat in recent weeks while their defense has struggled mightily, but that’s almost entirely due to the play of quarterback Justin Fields, as they lack a significant amount of talent around him on offense, and Fields is considered highly questionable this week to play through a shoulder injury. The injury is to his non-throwing shoulder, but it could still affect his play and the Bears might prefer to play it safe with their young signal caller, sitting at 3-8, with their season going nowhere, especially given Fields’ propensity to take off and run, taking extra hits in the process.

Even if Fields plays and is limited, my calculated line favors the Jets by 6.5, so we’re getting line value with the Jets at -5.5 either way, especially if Fields is ruled out, in which case my calculated line would jump to 9.5. I don’t think I want to bet on this game right now, but the Jets should be the right pick for pick ‘em purposes and, depending on Fields’ status and where this line settles, I may ultimately end up putting some money on the Jets.

New York Jets 20 Chicago Bears 13

Pick against the spread: NY Jets -5.5

Confidence: Low

New York Jets at New England Patriots: 2022 Week 11 NFL Pick

New York Jets (6-3) at New England Patriots (5-4)

The Patriots play again a few days after this game, facing the Vikings on Thanksgiving, which would normally put the Patriots in a bad spot, as favorites cover at just a 44.6% rate before Thursday Night Football, but the Patriots are also coming off of a bye, which might nullify that somewhat. There isn’t a large sample size of favorites playing between a bye week and a Thursday game, but teams are 9-10 ATS in that spot, which isn’t good, but it’s not particularly bad either and it makes sense that having extra rest beforehand would somewhat offset having an upcoming short turnaround, so I wouldn’t shy away from the Patriots this week just because they have to play again a few days after this one.

That being said, I do still like the Jets a little bit at +3.5, as I expect this to be a close, low scoring game, with two teams that have much better defenses than offenses. About 1 in 4 games are decided by three points or fewer and this seems likely to be one of them. However, this is a no confidence pick and, if the line were to move to three, I would like the Patriots at that number more than I like the Jets at this number, so I would change my pick in that circumstance. Either way, there’s nothing worth betting on here and this is one of my lowest confidence picks of the week.

New England Patriots 19 New York Jets 16

Pick against the spread: NY Jets +3.5

Confidence: None

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets: 2022 Week 9 NFL Pick

Buffalo Bills (6-1) at New York Jets (5-3)

The Jets are 5-3, but are 11.5-point home underdogs against the Bills, the first time a team has been home underdogs of 11 points or more despite a record 5-3 or better since the 2007 Giants were 10-5 against the undefeated New England Patriots in week 17. In some sense that makes sense, as the Bills blow out almost everyone they beat, with an average margin of victory of 21.1 points per game over the past two seasons, as opposed to a margin of defeat of 7.1 points per game.

However, this line still does seem a little high. The Jets have significant problems on offense, missing starting wide receiver Corey Davis, impressive rookie running back Breece Hall, and talented starting right tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker, among other lesser absences, but their defense is legitimately one of the best in the league, ranking 3rd in schedule adjusted defensive efficiency. They could make this game at least somewhat competitive with the Bills and, while they’re still likely to lose by multiple scores, my calculated line has them as just 9-point underdogs, so we’re getting some value with them at +11.5. There’s not enough here for the Jets to be worth betting, but they’re the better side for pick ‘em purposes.

Buffalo Bills 23 New York Jets 13

Pick against the spread: NY Jets +11.5

Confidence: Low

New England Patriots at New York Jets: 2022 Week 8 NFL Pick

New England Patriots (3-4) at New York Jets (5-2)

The Jets are off to a surprising 5-2 start and, while they probably aren’t as good as that record suggests, they are probably still better than they are being given credit for, as 2.5-point home underdogs against the Patriots. It’s surprising that their record is as good as it is, but it’s not surprising to see the Jets be significantly improved from a year ago, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. 

The Jets’ offense is underwhelming, ranking 29th in schedule adjusted efficiency, and the injuries are starting to pile up on that side of the ball as well, missing starting wide receiver Corey Davis, impressive rookie running back Breece Hall, and talented starting right tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker, among other lesser absences, but their defense has jumped from 31st in schedule adjusted defensive efficiency a year ago to now ranking 6th, about three points above average.

That defensive performance is no fluke, as they are significantly more talented on that side of the ball this season, with several key players bouncing back from injuries (Carl Lawson, Quinnen Williams) and other key players being added in the draft (Ahmad Gardner) and free agency this off-season (DJ Reed, Kwon Alexander). My roster rankings have their defense about three points above average, in line with schedule adjusted defensive efficiency and, even with their offensive issues, I still have them just a point below average overall in my roster rankings. 

The Patriots are about a point above average in my roster rankings, so they’re the slightly better team, but not enough to justify them being favored by this many points on the road. My calculated line is even, with the Jets having a slightly better chance to win than the Patriots. We’re not getting enough points with the Jets for them to be worth betting unless we get a full field goal with them, but they should be the right side for pick ‘em purposes either way and the money line is a good value at +120, as the Jets should be considered no worse than 50/50 to win this game outright.

New York Jets 17 New England Patriots 16 Upset Pick +120

Pick against the spread: NY Jets +2.5

Confidence: Low

New York Jets at Denver Broncos: 2022 Week 7 NFL Pick

New York Jets (4-2) at Denver Broncos (2-4)

A week ago on the early line, the Broncos were 3.5-point favorites, but this line has since shrunk to favor the Broncos by only one point. Normally I like to fade significant week-to-week line movements because they tend to be an overreaction to a single week of play, but I don’t think that’s the case here, for a couple reasons. For one, Broncos’ quarterback Russell Wilson suffered a hamstring injury and, while it seems unlikely that he will actually sit out this game, Wilson was already struggling through a shoulder injury and struggling to adapt to his new team, so a hamstring injury won’t help matters. On top of that, if Wilson does sit, the Broncos would have to turn to inexperienced backup Brett Rypien, who is one of the shakier backup quarterbacks in the league. 

The Broncos already rank just 31st in schedule adjusted offensive efficiency, due to Wilson’s struggles, as well as significant injuries to key players around him, including left tackle Garret Bolles, running back Javonte Williams, and wide receiver Tim Patrick. The Broncos have played pretty well defensively, ranking 6th in schedule adjusted efficiency, but offensive performance is significantly more predictive week-to-week than defensive performance and, in terms of overall efficiency, which weights offensive performance higher and includes the Broncos 28th ranked special teams, the Broncos rank just 29th, 7 points below average. That lines up with my roster rankings, which have them 6 points below average, even before taking into account the fact that Wilson could sit this game out entirely.

The second reason that I don’t think the line movement is an overreaction is that I don’t think the Jets’ big upset win in Green Bay last week was a fluke. The Jets’ still have an underwhelming offense, ranking 27th in schedule adjusted offensive efficiency, but they are still three points better than the Broncos in that metric and they have been better with quarterback Zach Wilson and left tackle Duane Brown back in the lineup. On top of that, their special teams has remained dominant, ranking 3rd in schedule adjusted efficiency, after ranking 2nd a year ago, and their defense is significantly improved this season, ranking 5th in schedule adjusted efficiency after ranking 31st last year, with several key players bouncing back from injuries (Carl Lawson, Quinnen Williams) and other key players being added in the draft (Ahmad Gardner) and free agency this off-season (DJ Reed, Kwon Alexander). 

In terms of overall efficiency, the Jets rank 13th, about a point above average and, while my roster rankings have them slightly lower, they’re still only a half point below average, so their surprising performance thus far this season doesn’t seem like a fluke. They might not be quite as good as their 4-2 record, but I think the public thinks their record is a complete fluke and I think the line movement we’ve seen in this game over the past week is just the oddsmakers starting to catch up to the Jets being decent more than it is an overreaction. With the Broncos struggling as much as they’ve struggled thus far this season, my calculated line actually favors the Jets by a field goal on the road, so we’re getting good line value with the Jets +1. That calculated line would shoot up even further if Wilson was actually unable to play. This isn’t a big play, but I want to lock this line in now in case Wilson ends up being ruled out.

Update: Russell Wilson was ruled out today. I figured the line would move to favor the Jets by a field goal in that case, but I guess the original line factored in a pretty significant chance that Wilson would be out, as the Jets are only favored by one point, which is pretty insignificant line movement, given that games decided by exactly one point aren’t that common (about 6% of the time). Obviously if you locked your bet in at +1, that is great, but I would recommend an additional bet at -1 because this line is way too low. Brett Rypien is one of the most underwhelming backup quarterbacks in the league, has an underwhelming supporting cast, and will have to face a good Jets defense without the benefit of a full week of first team reps, having split them with Wilson all week. The Jets should win this game relatively easily.

New York Jets 20 Denver Broncos 13

Pick against the spread: NY Jets -1

Confidence: High

New York Jets at Green Bay Packers: 2022 Week 6 NFL Pick

New York Jets (3-2) at Green Bay Packers (3-2)

I was hoping we would get some value with the Packers this week, back at home after a disappointing performance in London against the Giants last week. In Aaron Rodgers’ career, the Packers have had a significant homefield advantage, going 47-20 ATS at home in games started and finished by Aaron Rodgers, with Rodgers having a QB rating that is 10 points better at home, significantly higher than the average differential for a quarterback. Unfortunately, despite the Packers’ loss last week and the Jets’ upset win over the Dolphins, this line has barely moved from a week ago, with the Packers still favored by 7.5 points, after being favored by 9 on the early line last week, a pretty insignificant difference. 

That’s probably because the Jets are still underrated, as their offense is significantly better than earlier this year with Zach Wilson and Duane Brown back from injury, while their defense (8th) and special teams (2nd) both rank well above average in efficiency. Even with extra homefield advantage taken into account, my calculated line only has the Packers favored by a touchdown, so we’re actually getting a little bit of line value with the Jets, although not nearly enough to be confident picking them.

Green Bay Packers 27 New York Jets 20

Pick against the spread: NY Jets +7.5

Confidence: None

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets: 2022 Week 5 NFL Pick

Miami Dolphins (3-1) at New York Jets (2-2)

The Dolphins are 3-1, with their only loss coming on a short week last week in Cincinnati after beginning the year as the last undefeated AFC team, but they haven’t been as good as that suggests, as one of their wins came in a game against the Patriots in which they won the turnover battle by 3, but were become even in first down rate and yards per play, which are more predictive, while their other two wins came against teams in the Ravens and Bills who were dealing with significant injury problems. Even not taking those injury problems into account, the Dolphins rank just 15th in schedule adjusted efficiency, less than one point above average.

The Jets, meanwhile, are 2-2 and, while they’re not as good as their record, they may be underrated, as their decent record is widely regarded as not indicative of their level of play. They do rank just 26th in schedule adjusted overall efficiency, but that’s mostly because of an offense that ranks 29th in schedule adjusted efficiency, which I expect to improve with quarterback Zach Wilson returning from injury last week and left tackle Duane Brown returning this week. Their defense is significantly improved over last year’s dead last ranked unit, ranking 16th in schedule adjusted defensive efficiency this season, as a result of off-season additions and key players returning from injury, while their special teams remain dominant, ranking 2nd in schedule adjusted efficiency, after ranking 2nd last season as well.

The Jets shouldn’t be getting more than a field goal at home against a middling Dolphins team that is starting a backup quarterback, even if Teddy Bridgewater is unlikely to be a significant dropoff from injured Tua Tagovailoa. This line might not seem that high at 3.5, but about 1 in 4 games are decided by a field goal or less, with 1 in 6 games decided by exactly a field goal, and, largely as a result of that, 3.5-point underdogs cover the spread more than any other number, covering at a 53.0% rate all-time, which is actually profitable by itself. My calculated line is Jets -1, so we’re getting great line value with the host. This is one of my highest confidence picks of the week and I like the money line as well.

New York Jets 20 Miami Dolphins 19 Upset Pick +150

Pick against the spread: NY Jets +3.5

Confidence: High

New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers: 2022 Week 4 NFL Pick

New York Jets (1-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2)

I’ve mentioned before that +3.5 covers the spread more than any other number, doing so 53.0% of the time, which is actually a profitable winning percentage even with the vig. That’s because of how many games are decided by exactly 3 points, 1 in 6, with 1 in 4 being decided by 3 points or fewer. This game seems like it has a strong likelihood to be a close game, so I’m drawn to the Jets as 3.5 point underdogs. I do have the Steelers about a point better in my roster rankings than the Jets, but I’m not sure if that justifies this line being at 3.5. This is one of my lower confidence picks, but the Jets are the pick for pick ‘em purposes.

Pittsburgh Steelers 20 New York Jets 17

Pick against the spread: NY Jets +3.5

Confidence: None

Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets: 2022 Week 3 NFL Pick

CIncinnati Bengals (0-2) at New York Jets (1-1)

The Bengals are favored on the road against the Jets and have a much tougher game on deck against the Dolphins, which happens to be on Thursday Night Football. Typically, that is not a good spot for a team, as favorites cover at just a 42.7% rate before Thursday Night Football all-time, as having an upcoming short turnaround tends to serve as a distraction for teams, especially as favorites. However, the Bengals are desperate at 0-2, a year after making the Super Bowl and coming into this season with legitimate aspirations of making it back, so it’s hard to argue this is going to be a trap game, for a team seeking to avoid 0-3.

The Bengals have also played better than their record, primarily losing to the Steelers because they lost the turnover battle by -5, which is not predictive week-to-week, and then barely losing on the road in Dallas, leading to them actually ranking 11th in overall efficiency despite their 0-2 record. However, they’ve faced a pretty underwhelming schedule thus far and should have performed better than that if they were a playoff caliber team. They still have the talent to be, but they haven’t played like one yet.

With that in mind, the Bengals are a still a little overvalued, even at 0-2, favored by 6 points on the road in New York against a Jets team that has issues at the quarterback position, but that otherwise isn’t half bad and that figures to be significantly more competitive than a year ago, thanks to better health and some key off-season additions. My calculated line has the Bengals favored by 4.5, but that’s not enough line value for the Jets to be worth betting, especially since the Bengals could be very focused to avoid 0-3 and to make a statement, even in what would ordinarily be a tough spot for a team, with a tough Thursday night game on road. The Jets are my pick, but for pick ‘em purposes only.

Cincinnati Bengals 24 New York Jets 20

Pick against the spread: NY Jets +6

Confidence: Low