Who predicted it would take until NFL Week 10 for the New York Jets not to lose?
It’s a lock, as this is their bye week.
The NFL’s only remaining winless team played by far its best game of the season Monday night — that is, until a wretched fourth-quarter collapse resulted in a 30-27 loss to the New England Patriots. It was the type of loss that costs coaches their jobs.
We begin the Football Five focusing on the team that gives prop bettors hope that the 2008 Detroit Lions and the 2017 Cleveland Browns will be joined in the 0-16 losers circle.
It’s NFL Week 10 and the Jets keep making mistakes
First, here is the good NJ sports betting news.
The Jets covered for the second time in three weeks, and the over hit easily. The Jets to score the first points via field goal paid nearly 4-1 across all the major New Jersey online sportsbooks. And they played very well, far too well to lose the game outright.
How did they fumble this one?
With a 27-17 fourth-quarter lead, they put unbearable pressure on the defense.
And the Jets’ late-game offensive meltdown — coming after they had scored on four straight drives — allowed New England to steal it.
Let’s examine the mistakes winless teams make and why bettors can’t trust them.
Nursing a 10-point lead, the Jets allowed a field goal after New England held the ball for nearly 10 minutes (9:26). And on the next offensive play, Jets quarterback Joe Flacco threw a bomb rather than nurse the clock and allow the defense to rest. The throw was intercepted.
The gassed Jets defense then yielded a game-tying touchdown, helped by a holding call and the inability to get off the field on 3rd-and-20. Patriots QB Cam Newton sneaked in with less than two minutes to go for the tie. At that point, the Patriots had run 28 plays to the Jets’ one.
When the Jets got the ball back, Flacco, a one-time Super Bowl MVP with the Baltimore Ravens, made the rookie mistake of taking a sack. And then came an incompletion.
The Jets punted, and the defense could not stop Newton from making a 20-yard completion on the final scrimmage play.
New England, which burned no timeouts during the Jets’ last possession, stopped the clock. And Nick Folk, a former Jet, kicked the game-winning 51-yard field goal as time expired.
If the Jets end up going 0-16, and they have a tough schedule now, this will be the game that got away.
Bill Belichick totally outcoached Adam Gase, whose days are numbered.
New England, fortified by turning a looming 2-6 into a 3-5 mark, takes on the Ravens.
Big Ben, big concerns for NFL Week 10
There’s another meaningful prop bet in the +900 neighborhood at many NJ sportsbooks. And that would be for the Pittsburgh Steelers to go undefeated.
As of now, the prospect remains unlikely.
What is likely is that Pittsburgh will be in big trouble if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s leg injury, suffered Sunday during a 24-19 victory against the Dallas Cowboys, shelves him for an extended period of time.
But the bigger short-term concern is being one of four Pittsburgh players added to the COVID-19 list on Tuesday. Roethlisberger has tested negative so far.
Roethlisberger limped noticeably and gutted out this team’s win over Dallas. Pittsburgh missed the playoffs without him last year.
Bettors will watch this line carefully when Pittsburgh plays the Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers opened at an average of -8.5 points. They dropped to -6.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Cincinnati is the darling of the betting public at a league-leading 7-1 against the spread. The Bengals catch Pittsburgh with a reduced Roethlisberger. The injury probably will affect his ability to plant his left leg and throw deep.
As far as the COVID-19 list goes, Pittsburgh will need to follow NFL protocols. The game status of the players will be determined later in the week.
Bettors taking an early angle on the game may be leaning toward Cincinnati, figuring Roethlisberger is either minimized or out.
Browns hope Chubb is good to go
Nick Chubb, a major part of the Cleveland Browns offense, is expected to return this week. His team is hosting the Houston Texans.
And it’s a pretty big deal, as Chubb and Kareem Hunt compose the best backfield in the NFL.
The Browns are without playmaker Odell Beckham Jr. for the rest of the year. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, placed on the COVID-19 list last week, will return if he tests negative.
So keep a close eye on the line on this one; he’s probably at least four points to the line if he can’t play.
You think you have it figured out until …
Tom Brady’s revenge angle against the New Orleans Saints, who beat him in the first week of the season, was baked right into the Tampa Bay-New Orleans line Sunday night.
The line opened at Tampa -5.5 before drifting down to 3 at most major sportsbooks.
So what happened?
The Saints, who have been winning while rarely covering, unleashed the beating of the year on the host Bucs, crushing them 38-3 in a game that wasn’t even close.
Tampa Bay bettors couldn’t even get the back-door second-half victory that often happens after a first-half blowout. Once the Bucs trailed 31-0 at halftime, it figured they would at least win the second half, presumably against New Orleans backups. But they could not score from the New Orleans 1, even in a blowout, and lost the second half, too.
New Orleans becomes a lopsided favorite in hosting the depleted 49ers this week.
Tampa Bay tries to shake out the cobwebs against the Carolina Panthers, who have new concerns.
Oh no, not again, Panthers
The Carolina Panthers welcomed back Christian McCaffrey on Sunday after he had been out several weeks, and he almost led them to an upset victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. He was terrific, notching both a rushing and receiving touchdown, as the Panthers easily covered at +10.5 and nearly prevailed on the moneyline.
But McCaffrey suffered a concerning shoulder injury late in that game. His status for NFL Week 10 is in doubt.
Watch this line, too. McCaffrey is the most game-changing player in the league. If he can’t play, the Panthers have serious problems.
photo by Associated Press