The following is a collection of expert betting analysis surrounding the New England Patriots’ Week 7 matchup with the New York Jets from VSiN contributors.
With five home games in the first seven weeks, the Patriots were set up for early success. Instead, New England is 0-4 at home and has road wins against two of the league’s worst teams (Jets, Texans) heading into this Foxborough rematch with the Jets.
The Patriots rank 17th in the league in total defense (359 yards per game), which should be a source of embarrassment to coach Bill Belichick. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been far too conservative with the play calling. In the Week 6 loss to the Cowboys, McDaniels had rookie quarterback Mac Jones attempt 21 passes while Dak Prescott put the ball in the air 51 times. Jones has completed 71.1% of his passes and is obviously capable of doing more than McDaniels is allowing. Belichick is getting strangely conservative, too, opting for long field-goal attempts or punts in some key spots where he should be going for it on fourth down.
It’s time for the Patriots’ coaches to clean up the mess. New England beat the Jets 25-6 in Week 2 when Belichick’s defense picked on rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. This should be another double-digit win. The six-point overtime loss to Dallas was a low blow to this bettor who had the Patriots +3.5 but I’ll give Belichick another shot to get it right. I’m laying the points for a half-unit bet and playing the teaser for a full unit.
Picks: Patriots -7; Patriots -1 on a teaser with Packers -2.5
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There are a lot of people that will shy away from laying a touchdown with the Patriots this week. I am not one of them. When the Patriots and Jets played in the Meadowlands in Week 2, the line was predominantly New England -6. As the two teams play at Foxboro this week, the line is only -7.
We know that home-field advantage is pretty close to dead in the NFL, but it still gets incorporated into the markets to some degree. Why this line is virtually the same five weeks later is a head-scratcher to me. I believe that Jones has actually played well. The vanilla, conservative play-calling has held him back, but the Patriots are still in much better shape with him than the Jets are with Wilson.
The Jets are off of the bye week here and maybe that will help, but Wilson has four touchdown passes and nine interceptions in five games. He’s already taken 18 sacks. He threw four interceptions and was sacked four times in that Week 2 game, which is noteworthy because the Patriots only have 13 sacks for the season. That result speaks to how good of a job Belichick does confounding rookie QBs. He’s 23-6 straight up against them in his time with the Patriots.
From a qualitative standpoint, this is a huge game for the Patriots. Falling to 2-5 removes virtually any hope of being a playoff contender. Being 3-4 still gives the team a puncher’s chance. That certainly isn’t enough to justify a pick on the Patriots, but it is another piece of the handicapping puzzle and one in favor of the favorite.
Ultimately, I think the Patriots are better than where they were in Week 2 and the Jets are basically about the same. If the Patriots were -6 on the road, I don’t see why they should only be -7 at home and you may even find a stray 6.5 out there.
Pick: New England Patriots -7
— Adam Burke