NFL Predictions: Jets at Patriots Week 2 Odds and Picks
by Alan Matthews - 9/10/2013
Maybe New York Jets embattled head coach Rex Ryan will make to October after all. His Jets are guaranteed to not be 0-4 entering the month, something that looked quite possible, thanks to a miracle 18-17 victory on Sunday over the visiting Tampa Bay Bucs (Jets were four-point underdogs).
Don't get too excited Jets fans, because the Bucs are not a very good team, and Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman showed why the team hasn't given him a long-term extension and why he wasn't even voted a team captain, which is incredibly rare for a quarterback. The Jets got the win thanks to a bone-headed personal foul penalty on Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David as New York rookie QB Geno Smith was running out of bounds around the Tampa Bay 46 with less than 10 seconds left. All David did was give Smith a little push, and Smith did still have one foot inbounds, but David should know better because the NFL is going to protect its quarterback. Without the penalty, the Jets almost assuredly have to throw a Hail Mary. With it, Nick Folk hit a game-winning 48-yard field goal.
As for the Patriots, they were set up for a trap game at Buffalo, and New England almost fell into it. The other rookie starting QB in the NFL in Week 1, E.J. Manuel, played pretty well against New England. The Pats needed a late drive and 35-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski to win 23-21 and avoid one of the biggest Week 1 upsets in years. New England was a 10-point favorite.
It's a quick turnaround for both on Thursday night, and as usually that hugely favors the home team.
Jets at Patriots Betting Story Lines
The Jets have officially said Smith will start Thursday, but there was never any doubt. Mark Sanchez is visiting Dr. James Andrews and might be done for the season and as a Jet. Smith was actually pretty good overall, completing 24-of-38 passes for 256 yards. He also led the team in rushing with 47 yards on six carries. New York would take that production every Sunday -- although he did have a pick and a lost fumble -- as Smith looked nothing like the lost QB he was in that preseason debacle against the Giants. According to NFL.com, Smith is the first quarterback drafted in the second round or later to pass for 250-plus yards and win an opener since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
Another bright spot Sunday was the play of tight end Kellen Winslow, who caught seven balls for 79 yards and a TD. However, the rushing game did squat, with Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory combining for 44 yards on 24 carries. To be fair, the Bucs led the NFL in rush defense last year.
The New England offense didn't look great with just two touchdowns against Buffalo. Tom Brady clearly misses Rob Gronkowski (he won't play Thursday again), Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez. But Danny Amendola looked like the Welker clone everyone thought he was, catching 10 balls for 104 yards. However, Amendola apparently has a groin injury and hadn't practiced through Tuesday and will likely sit Thursday. Julian Edelman stepped up with seven catches for 79 yards and two scores in the opener and really will have to again now with Amendola sidelined. Brady finished 29-of-52 for 288 yards and two touchdowns against the Bills.
The bad news was in the running game. Stevan Ridley, a breakout star last year, had two fumbles -- one returned 74 yards for a score -- and was benched. Shane Vereen stepped up in a big way, rushing for 101 yards (only 100-yard rusher among running backs on Sunday) and seven catches for 58 yards. He played more snaps than any other back and had three plays of at least 19 yards. Alas, Vereen suffered a wrist injury that will sideline him several weeks. Thus, I presume Ridley's time in the doghouse will be short-lived. Also hurting is tight end Zach Sudfeld with a pulled hamstring. He's one of just two tight ends on the roster other than Gronk and is” iffy” for Thursday.
The Patriots swept the Jets for the second straight season in 2012. In Week 7 at Foxboro, New England escaped with a 29-26 overtime win as an 11-point favorite. The Jets were down 23-13 with six minutes left, but Sanchez found Dustin Keller on a seven-yard TD, and two Folk field goals gave the Jets the lead. Brady led New England on a two-minute drill down the field with Gostkowski sending it to overtime tied at 26. He hit a 48-yard kick to open the OT scoring, and Rob Ninkovich stripped Sanchez and recovered the fumble to end the game on the Jets' next possession. New York actually outgained New England overall.
In Week 12 in New Jersey, the Pats rolled 49-19 in the infamous butt-fumble game. The Patriots scored 35 second-quarter points, including four TDs in a span of about six minutes. Brady threw for 323 and three scores, while Ridley ran for 97 and a TD. Gronkowski missed the game.
Jets at Patriots NFL Week 2 Betting Odds and Trends
At WagerWeb, New England opened as a 13-point favorite with a total of 44. The Jets are 1-5 ATS in their past six against the AFC. New England is 4-1-1 ATS in its past six Thursday games. It is 4-1 ATS in its past five following an ATS loss. The “under” is 5-1 in the Jets' past six overall. The “over” is 5-0 in New England's past five Thursday games. The over is 7-0-1 in the past eight meetings.
NFL Predictions: Jets at Patriots Betting Week 2 Betting Picks
I do think the Patriots took the Bills rather lightly in the opener, but I also think that offense isn't what it was until Gronk gets back, if then -- especially with the loss now of Amendola and Vereen. There's no doubt in my mind the Pats win, but I think the Jets can play it conservative, eat clock and not lose by more than 13 (early lean is on Pats, so I'd wait to see if this jumps to 13.5-14). The Jets usually play decent in Foxboro as well: There was last season's close call, a nine-point loss in 2011 and a playoff win there in 2010. I see something like 30-17, so take the over.
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