NY Jets at New England
Sunday, 10 am PT - CBS
CRIS Opener: New England -16 o/U 46
CRIS Current: New England -14.5 O/U 43.5
Recommendation: New England
Incredibly, the New England Patriots are STILL an undervalued commodity at this stage of the campaign and at this stage of the franchise trajectory. Sure, the Pats won their fifth Super Bowl title in the Brady/Belichick era last February. Sure, the Pats are on pace to snare another #1 seed in the AFC with a victory here — this is most assuredly NOT a meaningless game for the home favorite. If they lose, they probably head to Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship Game, and I’m SURE that’s motivation enough. And yet the markets have been consistently behind New England’s capabilities all season, just like they’ve been in every recent season.
The Patriots went 13-3 ATS last year and covered the spread in all three of their playoff wins as well. This year, following their 4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS start, guess what — the Pats have been the best pointspread team in football. They’re 8-1 SU and ATS in their last nine ballgames, winning by margins of 17 or more on six different occasions. How is this possible? Simple — wiseguys control the betting marketplace and wiseguys aren’t betting New England. Ever.
The Patriots statistical profile is mediocre, in large part due to some dicey yards per play numbers on defense. The Pats have allowed 5.8 yards per play this year, tied for #31 in the NFL defensively. Obviously, if you’ve watched the Patriots, you know that this isn’t the #31 defense in the NFL, not even close. In fact, we are talking about a team that has allowed 17 points or less in nine of their last eleven games — a bet-on stop unit, not a bet-against one. But the markets react to statistics, and the stats continue to mislead the sharps — you know, the same guys who are betting ON the Browns every week because of Cleveland’s attractive stats.
Establishing that New England is an UNDER-valued commodity is a meaningful exercise, but Week 17 is not about stats — it’s about what teams are going to show up. For New England, we’ve got a pretty extensive Week 17 track record that shows the Pats go all out to win this week, just like any other week. Look no further than last year when they won their meaningless Week 17 game by three touchdowns. In fact, in their home finale, the Pats have won eight of their last nine by 14 points or more; seven of the nine by 17 points or more. This is a value laden team in a bet-on spot.
New England’s long term track record against bottom tier QBs is pretty darn impressive — Belichick eats weak QBs for breakfast. Bryce Petty is, most assuredly, a bottom tier QB: 47% completions, 4.4 yards per pass attempt. The Jets ran the ball for 197 yards last week, better than 6.5 yards per carry. They produced seven points off that effort, at home. In the cold of Foxboro, with all the pressure off Todd Bowles, after fighting the good fight all year the Jets are primed for an ugly blowout. Take the Patriots.