What in the name of Spygate and the bitter New York Jets–New England Patriots rivalry is going on here?
This Week 2 matchup at MetLife Stadium not only enticed New Jersey online sports gamblers but encouraged them to play ping-pong with the betting odds.
Here is a closer look at the NJ sports betting overview for the NFL Week 2 game between the Patriots and Jets.
Patriots-Jets line movements
The original number was New England -3.5, which gamblers jumped all over.
Within hours, New Jersey bettors drove that number up to -5.5. By midweek, it was -6 and the changes did not slow the momentum.
Bettors hammered the Patriots to the astounding tune of 91% DraftKings Sportsbook handle by Wednesday afternoon. New England also received 64% of the moneyline wagers despite the unattractive price of -280.
On Wednesday night, Jets bettors weighed in, nudging the line back down to -5.5.
More changes are expected right up until game time.
Will Jets backers see a late buy signal, as they did last week?
New Jersey gamblers tossed Sunday-morning money into the pool, driving the Jets’ odds against the Carolina Panthers from +5.5 to +3.5 just before kickoff. That mattered in the team’s 19-14 loss.
The bettors who took the Jets before the weekend triumphed. Those who bet them late were nosed out. And they had to sweat out the missed two-point conversion with 1:56 left that would have provided a back-door cover.
The original line reflected several unknowns. It caused the biggest early betting-odds shift on the DraftKings menu.
“That was a tremendous line move,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told NJ Gambling Sites. “The gamblers told you what they thought about this game. When you evaluate these teams, Mac Jones played pretty well for the Patriots last week. On the Jets side, they probably need a little more refining. The Panthers are somewhere in the same track as the Patriots.
“This game could be equal to that game,” he added.
One could interpret that to mean the Panthers and Patriots are on the same level (neither made the playoffs last year). If that holds true, and the Jets can make the home field edge worth its typical three points, perhaps anything above +3 denotes value for them.
Some line history between the Jets and Patriots
Eight of the last 9 New England games have finished “under” the total. That number was 41.5 at DraftKings and BetMGM Thursday morning. It was 42.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook. This is an important distinction for players. The “under” players will take the FanDuel line.
The home team has covered the spread in 10 of the last 13 contests between these teams. That elevates the significance of finding a potential edge in the line.
NY Jets: six years and waiting
We can imagine a nostalgic commercial: “Where were you the last time the Jets beat the New England Patriots?”
That answer would pertain to 2015 when the Jets secured an overtime triumph.
Since then, the Patriots have reeled off 10 straight wins. That’s a big piano sitting on the Jets’ backs Most of the losses were inflicted by New England quarterback Tom Brady, but there is a new cast of characters now.
Bring on the kids as rookie QBs take center stage
The matchup illuminates the first round of the NFL Draft in April.
New England starts Mac Jones, whom the Jets could have taken with the second overall draft pick had they wanted. But they selected Zach Wilson and dubbed him a Joe Namath-type Messiah for their team. Jones was taken 15th by the Patriots.
At that time, we speculated that Jones could become the steal of the draft. The Pats had sought to trade up from 15 to no avail. When the fourth-slotted Atlanta Falcons took tight end Kyle Pitts rather than a QB, that helped Jones tumble 11 spots to New England.
We say “steal” because Jones is a pocket passer and a good fit for his low-key coach Bill Belichick. He was the fifth QB taken in the first round.
Jones outperformed Wilson on Sunday, although both of their teams lost. Jones threw for 281 yards and no touchdowns in the team’s 17-16 loss to the Miami Dolphins. A late Damien Harris fumble cost New England the game.
Wilson wasn’t bad himself. He had 258 yards and two touchdown tosses, with one pick. And he became more comfortable in the second half, leading the Jets back from 16-0 to make it a game. Does he carry the good second half into this game?
Props to consider
On the DraftKings board, Jones is expected to have another clean game.
The over-under for Jones interceptions is 0.5 at +100. The favored under is -135, meaning that a pick-free game is expected.
Harris is the subject of a yardage prop. His over-under is 84.5 yards, with both sides at -115. He rambled for 100 last week. Beware that Belichick often benches backs who have fumbled.
The Patriots had most of the early props established by the books, but BetMGM listed some for the Jets.
In the race to 10 points, the Jets are +150 if they win. They are +250 to win the race to 20 points.
New York also is +110 to be the first team to score first. The Patriots are -185 to score first.
On the Jets’ side of the ball, look for props involving Wilson and receiver Corey Davis, whom the Jets acquired off-season from the Tennessee Titans. It was a three-year, $37.5 million deal and so far the Jets look like they knew what they were doing here.
This duo could become formidable. They began connecting in preseason and Davis notched both of the Jets’ scores against Carolina.
Is it Namath to Don Maynard?
Well, not yet, but this excites Jets fans and is something bettors can consider regarding anytime for first scores.
AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman