The New York Jets have had a tough season so far. But they’re coming off a nice win against Miami and still have a shot of making some noise in the AFC playoff hunt. But they need to win games against fellow AFC teams with a serious shot of making the playoffs. That makes this week’s game against the Chargers that much more important.
The Jets opened as a 1 ½ point favorite and the line has been taken down to a pick at most sites. A few have come back up to a single point, but if you want to get it at a pick you likely can. Check out Maddux Sports pro football betting lines page to see which books are still posting a pick; otherwise, laying a single point isn’t much. For a free pick this Sunday, think about backing the home team with a ton of purpose in this game.
Injuries shouldn’t be much of a factor. The one worth keeping an eye on is Antonio Gates. Gates has been out the past several weeks with plantar fasciitis in his right foot and hopes he can play this week. But he’s basically a game time decision, and even if he plays there’s always the chance that he’ll reinjure the foot or simply be less than his Pro Bowl self in this game.
The Chargers are an impressive 4-1 this season, but what’s flown under the radar is their easy schedule. San Diego has beaten Minnesota by 7, Kansas City by 3, Miami by 10, and Denver by 5. In other words, they’ve been bottom feeders. In their only tough game, the Chargers lost by 14 at New England. Interestingly San Diego is again traveling across the country to play an AFC East team. Don’t underestimate the effect of a long flight, time change, climate change, and a hostile environment. No team likes to travel cross country. Also, the Chargers are coming off their bye, which may or may not be a good thing for this team. In the past three seasons, they’re 1-2 against the spread coming off a bye.
By contrast, the Jets have played New England, Baltimore, Oakland, and Dallas. Granted, they’ve only beaten one of those four teams (Dallas) and their two other wins are against Jacksonville and Miami. New York is just 3-3 but that’s understandable considering the level of their competition.
Regardless of the competition, the Jets have been terribly disappointing this season. The offense has been especially bad. The running game has been ineffective all season and people are whispering about whether or not Mark Sanchez is good enough to lead this team. There’s been too much internal fighting and not enough leadership. If not for the offense being so visibly bad, the defense would be taking a lot of heat. For one of the League’s more feared defenses, they’ve given up 30 or more points three times and 24 to Dallas – all four games against the aforementioned good teams. Against the Jags and Dolphins, the defense allowed a combined 9 points.
So why back the Jets? It’s a fair question to ask, I think. The reason I still like them is they have a wealth of talent on both sides of the ball, a quality head coach, and they’ve been to the AFC title game the past two seasons. That, and I like backing a team that has its collective back against the wall. This team needs to start playing well right now if they want to make the playoffs. They get a chance to make a statement to the League by beating a quality AFC team at home.
The line is actually pretty fair here. The Jets shouldn’t get points at home to a team that hasn’t beaten a quality opponent, and based on how the Jets have been playing, they shouldn’t be laying points either. See if you can get the game as a pick and cautiously back the home team. Good luck!