Jets at Patriots
September 11, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
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The Patriots and Jets are each coming off Week 1 victories on field goals in the final seconds. On Thursday night, New York makes the trip to Foxboro looking to trip up a depleted New England squad that suffered more injuries to important offensive weapons last Sunday.
Both running back Shane Vereen (wrist) and wide receiver Danny Amendola (groin) are out on Thursday night, as the two players put together solid outings in New England's opening day win at Buffalo. Vereen picked up 159 all-purpose yards, including 101 yards on the ground, while Amendola hauled in 10 catches for 104 yards as the Patriots edged the Bills, 23-21. New England failed to cash as 10-point road favorites, but the Pats managed their 19th win over Buffalo in the last 20 tries.
The Jets squeezed past the Buccaneers in Geno Smith's debut, 18-17 to cash as four-point home underdogs. New York overcame an early 14-5 deficit before Nick Folk's game-winning field goal that was set up by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when Smith was shoved after he went out of bounds. The Jets found the end zone only once when Smith hooked up with Kellen Winslow, but New York's defense limited Tampa Bay to just one field goal in the second half.
Both the Patriots and Jets finished 'under' the total in Week 1, as New York's 'under' of 40 was pretty much settled following a scoreless third quarter. New England and Buffalo were on their way to an 'over' of 50 ½ as the Pats led the Bills, 17-14 at halftime. However, the two teams combined for 13 points in the second half, while New England was limited to two field goals in the final 30 minutes, but still won the game.
Last season, New England swept the season series from New York with two dramatically different outcomes. The Patriots needed overtime to knock off the Jets at Gillette Stadium last October, 29-26, but failed to cover as 11-point 'chalk.' The Jets rallied from a 23-13 deficit to take a 26-23 lead with 1:37 remaining, but Tom Brady took the Patriots down the field to set up the game-tying field goal in the final seconds of regulation. Stephen Gostkowski tied the contest with a 43-yard field goal, then followed it up with the game-winning 48-yarder just four minutes into overtime. The game easily finished 'over' the total of 47 ½, while the Jets fell short in spite of racking up over 400 yards of offense.
The Patriots destroyed the Jets on Thanksgiving at Met Life Stadium, 49-19 to cash seven-point favorite tickets with ease. New England used a 35-point second quarter to put the game out of reach, which included a pair of fumble returns for scores in a nine-second span. The Pats decimated the Jets' defense by compiling 475 yards of total offense, while putting together an incredible two-week total of 108 points after scoring 59 the previous game against the Colts. Since the start of 2010, the Patriots and Jets have hit the 'over' in seven consecutive matchups.
VegasInsider.com handicapper Antony Dinero believes New England has a good chance to cover as long as others step up, "The Patriots can survive the loss of two more key weapons, Amendola and Vereen, but will undoubtedly have to run the ball more. Brady will still take his shots, but the effectiveness of LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden running the ball behind starter Stevan Ridley will be the key to how effective the offense can be. If nothing else, it will shorten the game for the Jets by keeping the clock moving and slowing down New England's no-huddle attack. Of course, this could work against New York, who will have fewer opportunities for Smith to get in a rhythm in his first career road start. Count on ball control being a major factor in this latest reprisal of the AFC East's most entertaining rivalry."
New England cashed in just two of six opportunities as a double-digit favorite last season, including non-covers at home against the Jets, Cardinals, and Bills. Since Rex Ryan took over as head coach of the Jets in 2009, New York owns a 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS record at Gillette Stadium, but the Jets are 4-1 ATS as an underdog of nine points or more in this span. New York has struggled in the role of a road 'dog since 2011, posting a 3-7 ATS record, which includes five double-digit defeats.
The Patriots are listed anywhere from 11-point favorites to 13-point favorites depending on the sports book. The total is more consistent at 43 ½, but all four primetime games to start the season have finished 'over' the total. The game kicks off at 8:25 PM EST and can be seen on the NFL Network.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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