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New England Patriots vs. New York Jets Point Spread - Pick

New England Patriots (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) vs. New York Jets (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Week 6 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: NE -9.5/NYJ +9.5
Over/Under Total: 47.5

The New England Patriots come to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford to take on the New York Jets in AFC East divisional action on Sunday. The Pats have had some bumpy passages this season, but were able to get back on the wining track on Thursday Night Football with a 19-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They used their defense and capitalized off the Bucs' kicking woes to move their mark to 3-2. They now face their second road game in a row as they visit the Jets who are coming off a nice win on Sunday on the road against the Browns. Not many people projected the Jets would be 3-2 through five games, but they are. And a win over their longtime division tormentor would go a long way for this team.

The Patriots might need some time to hit their top gear this season and that's not so unusual for defending Super Bowl champions. Some injuries, personnel issues, and less dimensions overall have made them something less than what they were last season. And against Tampa, they weren't all that far from falling to 2-3, if only the Bucs were able to connect on a field goal. Tom Brady was over 300 yards once again and the defense wasn't really that bad with perhaps their best performance of the season. Still, something isn't quite right. They were blown out in the second half against the Chiefs in one loss, before losing at home to Carolina. Teams lose, but the first five games have been uncharacteristic for the defending champions.

It seems like the offense is even more-dependent on Tom Brady this season than is usually the case in New England. He already has 1702 passing yards on the young season, with 11 touchdowns and just one pick. With Mike Gillislee, Dion Lewis, and James White, they have a semblance of a run-game, but it's not all that impactful on a consistent basis. The aerial attack is still a handful. We'll see about Rob Gronkowski's health, but his dependability has become almost nonexistent at this point in his career, though he is still a difference-maker. He is questionable. Brandin Cooks has given them a great option and he seems to have developed good chemistry with Brady thus far. Add guys like Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, and others to the mix and it's still a good offense, even with the injuries.

In the first four games of the season, the Patriots gave up 128 combined points, not a total consistent with a defense that plans on making a deep playoff run this season. We saw a better-looking unit on Thursday against Tampa, with the Bucs getting very little in the first three-plus quarters of play. Having Dont'a Hightower back in there really helps them on the edge. And maybe the secondary can get healthier and see their results improve, as the quartet of Stephon Gilmore, Malcolm Butler, Patrick Chung, and Devin McCourty have been dicey at best thus far in 2017.

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The Jets started the season at 0-2 and most people felt fulfilled, being that is had become very en vogue in identifying the Jets as the worst team in the conference. The personnel looked bad. Prospects hadn't developed right. Almost every aerial weapon was hurt or departed prior to the season. Huge chunks of their defense were on the injury list before the first game. Yet, here they are on the heels of three straight wins. A three-point win over the Browns is not grounds to signal a revival, but with wins over decent opposition like Miami and Jacksonville leading up to that, we need to look at this team with different lens moving forward.

Again, the Jets' offense doesn't really measure up on paper. They have an aging longtime backup in Josh McCown at quarterback, a guy who could barely buy a win as a starter until this recent little spurt. They have a dilapidated run-game, starring a waning force in Matt Forte and Bilal Powell. Forte could be back after missing three straight games. Their aerial game is led by two guys who would be spot receivers in most other offenses with Jermaine Kearse and Robby Anderson. Kearse had a TD on Sunday, with TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins also hauling in a score. Their offensive line isn't always that stout, but they've been pretty serviceable in the last several games.

With opponents scoring a combined 40 points against the Jets in the last three games, the defense deserves a lot of credit. Over recent seasons, they have used a lot of draft picks on this side of the ball and we now see it resonating. Rookie safety Jamal Adams has been good, while S Marcus Maye had a pick on Sunday, as did CB Morris Claiborne. Buster Skrine is at the other corner and they've been pretty decent. The middle is well-manned with second-year players Darron Lee and Jordan Jenkins coming around, while Demario Davis is still very active and had a sack on Sunday. If the line could tighten up some against the run, that could go a long way. The sometimes-clever New England run-game could wreak havoc on this group.

It's worth mentioning that the Jets have covered this game every season since 2012, as they usually play the Pats pretty tough at home, despite some bad beatings in Foxborough. They've even won a few of these recent matchups. They get up for this game typically. Even downtrodden Jets teams are typically pretty resolute in East Rutherford against New England and I envision more of the same this week. Still, the Patriots are not in cruise-control mode and are still grinding away trying to perfect the formula after some bumpy passages this season. Still, I see the Jets covering the big number at home.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the New York Jets plus 9.5 points. Bet the Patriots vs. Jets game for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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