Photo: Boston Metro
Growing up a Jets fan, you’re told from an early age to expect disappointment. It’s a necessary lesson for withstanding year after year of heartbreak. By the time gambling becomes alluring, young Jets fans are taught a second lesson that serves as a coming of age type moment:Never, ever, under any circumstance, bet on the Jets. You’re simply setting yourself up for a doubly disappointing outcome.
So why is this Jets’ fan (there’s my disclosure) so confident in the Jets that he’s writing a post guaranteeing the Jets are the best bet of the weekend?
Well, partly because my boss was so appalled that I’d be dumb to pick the Jets that he wanted me to explain myself in a post.
But mostly because a nine point spread (according to Sportsbook.com) is too high.
Here’s what I wrote in my weekly gambling preview:
There’s only one way the Jets can win this game: they have to keep Tom Brady on the sideline as long as possible. The two most effective means to that end are running the ball effectively and limiting turnovers. Luckily for the Jets, they have one of the best run games in the league, and the Patriots run D has been porous – especially against upper echelon rushing attacks (in five games against top-15 rushing teams, New England allows 4.94 yards per carry).
The bad news is that Mark Sanchez can be as turnover prone as quarterbacks come. But Rex and OC Brian Schottenheimer have seven days to remind him – repeatedly – that he cannot afford to make a bad decision. Better to throw it away. If the message gets through to Sanchez, the Jets can keep it within nine points. Win the game? Now that’s a different story.
I stand by that, but if that’s not convincing enough, here are a few other things to keep in mind:
- Vegas consistently overrates the Pats (in order to get the public to put money on their opponent, too). They were 8-0 at home this year, but just 4-3-1 against the spread at home. The last time they were favoured by at least 10 at home, was Week 15 against the Packers when they gave 14 points. They won by four. Overall they’re 0-2 when favoured by double digits.
- The Patriots always kill the Jets with medium-passes over the middle where linebackers would be if they didn’t play in Rex Ryan’s blitz-heavy scheme. But in last week’s victory over the Colts, Rex showed he’s warmed to the idea of dropping more guys back in coverage. The middle of the field won’t be so open anymore.
- Now that the Patriots don’t have Moss, Jet-killer Wes Welker will see a lot more of lockdown corner Darelle Revis (Ryan called him the best player in the league). That essentially renders him a non-factor. Brady will have to find a new way to beat the Jets.
- Read too much into the 45-3 slaughtering in early December and you might be making a mistake. More than a hint of what to come, the game will serve as motivation for the Jets who know they have a lot of work to do before they can win in Foxboro.
No one’s silly enough to pick the Jets outright. But if Rex can stick to a conservative game plan, run the ball, and keep Sanchez from throwing in risky situations, there’s no reason the game will be decided by anything more than Shayne Graham’s foot (sick of the feet jokes yet?).
So while this Jet fan mourns another playoff disappointment in a season that started with Super guarantees, at least I’ll get to walk away with some extra cash to show for it.
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