Wednesday, October 5, 2011

JZN NFL Predictions vs. Spread: New York Jets at New England Patriots (Week 5, 2011-12)

 The New York Jets are trying to avoid a three-game losing streak. That won’t be easy as they’ll need to defeat the New England Patriots on the road. The Patriots’ offense could struggle some in this game. So could Mark Sanchez.

The early spread on this game is Patriots (-9). Here are some of the key aspects of the game and what to watch out for when betting. All lines from Cooper's Pick and Injury Reports from CBS Sports as of October 5, 2011. Always update yourselves with injury lines because they’ll change throughout the week.

Current Personal Picks Record (Straights Only)
New England Patriots 3-1
New York Jets 2-2

Key Injuries
DT Albert Haynesworth, LB Jerod Mayo (Out), DE Mike Wright, CB Leigh Bodden, RB Danny Woodhead, TE Aaron Hernandez, LB Bryan Thomas (IR), C Nick Mangold

Keys to the Game
  • How good is the Patriots’ offense if Wes Welker is eliminated?
  • Mark Sanchez vs. Tom Brady?
  • Will the Jets continue with their new-and-not-improved “Aerial Offense?”
  • The New England Patriots haven’t lost a regular-season home game since 2006
  • This will be the Jets third consecutive road game
  • Will the Jets’ offensive line hold up?
  • The Jets won 2 of 3 in 2010-11
  • Can Sanchez avoid giveaways?
  • Can the Jets hold the Patriots to fewer than 31 points?
  • Could Antonio Cromartie be an X-Factor?

The Jets surprised folks on two occasions in 2010-11 when they defeated the Patriots in Week 2 and during the divisional playoffs. They seem to play their best (or worst) football whenever they meet the Patriots. I say (or worst) because one can’t neglect that 45-3 shellacking in the regular-season rematch.

The Patriots have scored 31 points or more in their first four games. Tom Brady has been remarkable during that stretch. However, I expect him to have a much greater challenge because Darrelle Revis should eliminate Wes Welker from his arsenal. Welker has 40 receptions for 616 yards through four games. No other Patriots’ receiver has 300 or 20 receptions.

That doesn’t mean that Brady will have a bad game. The Jets have always lacked sufficient depth at cornerback. Antonio Cromartie is an inconsistent No. 2 cornerback. That means that Deion Branch and Chad Ochocinco must make bigger contributions. Ochocino only has seven receptions this season.

I’m taking the nine points but I’m not too confident in that. The Jets will get blown out if Mark Sanchez spots them seven points or if the defense continues to play below expectations. However, I can’t see the Jets stealing another game in Gillette Stadium even if they are desperate.

Now if C Nick Mangold doesn’t start? My faith in Sanchez plummets even further. Double that if Haynesworth plays and Mangold doesn’t.

Final Predictions:
Against the Spread: IF NICK MANGOLD STARTS = New York Jets (+9). Otherwise, New England Patriots (-9)
Straight (W/ Mangold:  New England Patriots 23, New York Jets 20
Straight (W/O Mangold): New England Patriots 30, New York Jets 13

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