Get used to hearing this, especially in the next few weeks: The New England Patriots are massive favorites in their upcoming tackle football game.
The Patriots have outscored their opponents by 73 points through two weeks, and they have another cupcake on the schedule in Week 3 with the hapless, beat-up and short-rested New York Jets coming to Foxboro.
New England, who closed as 18.5-point favorites on the road against Miami in Week 2, opened as 16-point favorites against the Jets. That’s obviously a lot of points.
But that line has already skyrocketed after the Jets’ woeful Monday night showing vs. the Cleveland Browns that saw the Jets lose quarterback Trevor Siemian, who was starting in place of starter Sam Darnold as he deals with mono. Now, it appears the Jets must go to Gillette Stadium on a short week with Luke Falk — who threw the first pass of his NFL career Monday night — under center.
As of Tuesday morning, the line for Sunday’s Patriots-Jets game is already up to 21.5 points, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see it climb even further.
That is a massive number even by Patriots standards. In fact, it will mark just the fifth time New England has been favored by 20 points or more. Unsurprisingly, the Patriots have won all four of the games in which they’ve been laying 20 points or more, but New England has failed to cover the spread in each of those games.
Here’s how those four games unfolded.
Dec. 4, 2011 vs. Indianapolis (-20): Patriots 31, Colts 24
Dec. 23, 2007 vs. Miami (-22): Patriots 28, Dolphins 7
Dec. 16, 2007 vs. New York Jets (-20.5) Patriots 20, Jets 10
Nov. 25, 2007 vs. Philadelphia (-24): Patriots 31, Eagles 28
(Information via OddsShark’s Database)
The wild thing about those games compared to this Patriots team, however, is that in each of those four contests, the Patriots allowed more points than they’ve yielded in two combined games this season. The 2019 Patriots defense is making an early claim for one of the best units of the Bill Belichick era, and now they’ll take on a sixth-round pick who has been on an active roster exactly once in his NFL career thus far. Understandably, carnage is the prediction of many this week.
Belichick is unlikely to take it easy on his divisional rivals, perhaps especially given his own history with Gang Green. Hanging a big number on the Jets is nothing new for him and the Patriots, either. The Patriots have been favored by an average of 14.5 points in their last three meetings with the Jets and have covered the spread in each of those games, winning by an average of 23 points.
Thumbnail photo via Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports Images