New England At NY Jets (-3; 45) has strong playoff implications for both teams. A win for the New England Patriots mean they clinch home field throughout the playoffs. A New York Jets loss does not eliminate them from the playoffs.
This matchup is a chance at redemption for a Jets team that took a lead into the fourth quarter when these two teams met in Week 7. New York led until halfway through the fourth quarter, and then the defense showed the gaps and tendencies that would be exposed in three of the next four games.
Sitting at 5-5, with 4 losses in the AFC division, the Jets have turned their season around. Winners of their last 4 games, the Jets have found a great balance on both sides of the ball. During this stretch, the Jets have averaged 27.5 points, while giving up 16 points.
Though the level of competition was not near what they will face today against the Patriots, the same could be said of the three losses the Jets had after losing to the Patriots.
After beating the Jets in Week 7, the Patriots went on to win 4 straight games. Just as they looked to be streaking toward another undefeated season, the Patriots lost two games in a row. They have since won two straight games but the spectre of dominance is not the same.
The Patriots have battled injuries to key players and are likely resting some to avoid injuries this late in the season. Even with these injuries, the Patriots are still good for their season low mark of 20 points.
The question for this game lies on the Patriots defense, which is giving up less than 20 points over the entire season. This average is a hard split where 7 games fall above that scoring mark, and 7 do not. This says more about level of competition than it does about the Patriots defense's consistency.
The New York Jets have scored 20+ points in 10 of their 14 games - 8 Wins, 2 Losses. Their defense has held opponents to 20 points or less in 8 games -- all wins.
With the points, this game is a toss-up, a push, where the even money goes to the home team, the Jets (.526).
So, I take the Jets (UNDER), either looking at a defensive battle or blowout. Pick wisely, come back for Monday's pick and until then watch to see who's the winner.