After winning one of the more dramatic finishes that we have seen in the playoffs in some time, the New York Jets are going to have to prepare for a totally different type of NFL betting challenge this week in the playoffs.
Are they ready to take on the New England Patriots at Foxboro Stadium? The oddsmakers don’t think so, as the NFL odds in this one feature the Super Bowl favorites as nine point chalks. Is it justified? We have the three questions to get answered for one of the biggest duels of the postseason.
Betting Key #1: Can the Jets really make a constant commitment to the ground game?
We know that this is going to be the goal for Head Coach Rex Ryan on Sunday, as he ran Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson a combined 35 times for 152 yards and two scores last week at the Indianapolis Colts. However, if New York falls behind, there is going to be a real question whether or not he can stay committed. The good news is that the Pats did allow 108.0 yards per game this year on the ground, and though their pass defense was significantly worse, we know that this unit can be had.
Jets vs. Patriots 2011 Playoff Game Betting:
- Jets vs. Patriots Point Spread: Patriots -8.5 points
- Jets vs. Patriots Over-Under: 45 points
- Jets vs. Patriots Expert Picks: CLICK HERE
- Jets vs. Patriots Player Prop Bets: CLICK HERE
Betting Key #2: Does a lack of receiving options hurt Tom Brady?
It certainly hasn’t hurt for most of this season! It seems the more used to the NFL speed that these two rookie tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez get, the better off the New England passing game really is. Those were two of the four players that had more than 40 receptions and more than 500 yards this year. The former Florida Gator is battling a hip injury that cost him the last two games of the season, but it didn’t seem to make a difference, as Brady and company dropped a combined total of 72 points in those games.
Betting Key #3: Will the New England defense crack under playoff pressure?
If it does, the Pats really could be in some trouble here, not only on Sunday, but potentially in the future as well. Remember that this was a unit that allowed 366.5 yards per game this year, and it was a team that allowed at least 24 points eight times on the campaign. The good news is that the offense has scored at least 31 in eight straight, including dropping 45 on these Jets, but I don’t figure that to occur once again on Sunday.
The Patriots have failed to cover each of their last four playoff home games, while the Jets are an impressive 11-4 ATS their L/15 road games and 5-2 ATS the last seven times they were tagged underdogs in the second season. If there’s one man that has a long memory, it is Rex Ryan. You know that he is going to be using that 45-3 beat down suffered at Gillette Stadium the first time around as motivation. In order to be the man, you have to beat the man. Peyton Manning was the first man taken down by the Jets and Tom Brady very well could be the next.
New York 23 – New England 21