Monday Night Football Picks: New York Jets at Arizona Cardinals Odds & Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 10/13/2016
I'm sure you have read where NFL TV ratings are down across the board this year. I don't think we have hit some sort of bubble and that the crazy presidential election has played a big role. I'm not into politics at all, but I've been watching a lot more CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc., instead of football at times to see what stupid thing Donald Trump says or does next.
ESPN's Monday night package this season is way down ratings-wise, and I'll admit I didn't watch a second of last week's Bucs-Panthers game as I was watching baseball. Apparently I wasn't the only one as it got the lowest Week 5 MNF rating since ESPN acquired the rights a decade ago. Things should shoot up after the election, but, man, the games have been lousy. Tampa Bay's 17-14 upset of Carolina was the only close one all season on MNF but was completely uninteresting with Cam Newton on the sideline.
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Back in April when the schedule was released, this week's Jets at Cardinals game looked like one of the best MNF games of the year as Arizona won the NFC West in 2015 and reached the conference title game. The Jets won 10 games but just missed the playoffs. No reason both couldn't make the postseason in 2016. Except the Jets (1-4) pretty much have no shot because they have been getting the worst quarterback play in the NFL. The Cardinals (2-3) are seemingly too talented to miss out, but they will be in deep trouble with another home loss. Arizona is +130 to make the playoffs and -160 to miss.
I just want the game to be interesting -- and of course be right on my pick. I've killed it on Sundays this year but haven't been as good on Mondays.
Jets at Cardinals Betting Story Lines
New York was blown out a third straight week last Sunday, 31-13 in Pittsburgh and has scored 33 points in the losing streak while allowing 82. Coach Todd Bowles said this week he's getting more involved on both sides of the ball, but he's not an offensive guy so not sure what that means. That the offense isn't great doesn't shock me as I fully expected QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to come way back to earth after a career year in 2015. But the Jets' defense was supposed to be one of the NFL's best. On the bright side, Fitzpatrick wasn't picked off by Pittsburgh, but he's the lowest-rated QB in the NFL (64.7) and leads with 10 interceptions.
That Jets offense got some bad news this week when No. 2 receiver Eric Decker was ruled out for the season. He was placed on injured reserve Wednesday with a torn rotator cuff. He will need surgery and eight months to recover. Decker had 80 catches for 1,027 yards and 12 scores last year and nine for 194 and two TDs in three games in 2016. Now opposing defenses can focus on Brandon Marshall, who has been targeted 37 times over the past three games.
New York has two key defensive injuries to monitor: linebacker David Harris and cornerback Darrelle Revis. The latter, who has been burned repeatedly this year, missed last week with a hamstring injury. Harris hurt his hammy vs. the Steelers.
Arizona is on extra rest as it won at San Francisco 33-21 last Thursday without a concussed Carson Palmer. Backup Drew Stanton was pretty terrible in completing just 11 of 28 for 124 yards, but he did throw two touchdown passes to Larry Fitzgerald. David Johnson was a fantasy beast in that game with 27 carries for 157 yards and two touchdowns while catching three passes. He leads the NFL with 695 yards from scrimmage.
Palmer has been cleared and will play Monday. He's obviously a big upgrade on Stanton but hasn't played nearly as well as last year and has one TD and five picks in his past two games, both Arizona losses. It's always a good idea in fantasy football to take a guy in a contract year because he will play hard and through injury to get paid. Thus, I thought Arizona No. 2 receiver Michael Floyd would blow up this year. He has been a bust with 12 catches (three drops) for 170 yards and two scores. Coach Bruce Arians thinks Floyd is pressing.
The Cardinals were hit hard by injuries on the offensive line vs. the Niners as left guard Mike Iupati will miss 2-4 weeks with a sprained ankle and right guard Evan Mathis was put on injured reserve with his own ankle problem. John Wetzel and Earl Watford are expected to replace Iupati and Mathis, respectively.
Jets at Cardinals Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes , Arizona is a 9-point favorite (+105) with a total of 46.5. On the moneyline, the Cardinals are -330 and Jets +270. On the alternate lines, the Cards are -8.5 (+100), -8 (-105), -7.5 (-110) and -7 (-130). New York is 1-4 against the spread (1-2 on road) and 3-2 "over/under" (1-2 on road). Arizona is 2-3 ATS (1-2 at home) and 2-3 O/U (0-3 at home).
The Jets are 2-5-1 ATS in their past eight road games vs. teams with a losing home record. They are 1-5 in their past six after a loss of at least 14 points. The Cardinals have covered 20 of the past 27 vs. teams with a losing record. Arizona is 0-6 ATS in its past six on Monday. The under is 4-1 in the Jets' past five against teams below .500 and 6-2 in their past eight on Monday. The under is 7-0 in the Cards' past seven at home and past five on Monday.
Jets at Cardinals Betting Prediction
I'm sure the New York players would love to win this for Bowles, who prior to being hired in January 2015 was Arizona's defensive coordinator. Reports are that Bowles wasn't the Jets' first choice but that it was Seattle DC Dan Quinn, but the Jets didn't want to wait on Quinn back then because they couldn't interview him until the Seahawks' playoff run was over. Maybe Bowles is one of those guys who is better-suited as a coordinator (Norv Turner is one who comes to mind) than a head coach.
I'm struggling to see how the Jets score much here as Patrick Peterson should shadow Marshall and Peterson hasn't allowed more than three catches or 38 total receiving yards into coverage this season. Give the 7-point alternate line to be safe and go under the total.
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