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New York Jets vs. Detroit Lions Point Spread - Pick

New York Jets (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Week 1 NFL
Date/Time: Monday Night Football, September 10, 2018 at 7:10PM EDT
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
TV: ESPN

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Betting Odds: NYJ +6.5/DET -6.5
Over/Under Total: 44.5

The New York Jets take on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in week one NFL action on Monday Night Football. This is the first of the now-customary two week one MNF games. While not the most pulsating matchup in terms of star-power, it remains an interesting pairing of two teams who open with renewed hope. The Lions went 9-7 last season and have added enough pieces to give themselves hope. The Jets, meanwhile, floundered to a 5-11 mark and face the long road back to respectability.

The Jets faced a ton of adversity last season after a fast 3-2 start. Injuries came in droves and before long; the Jets were lost at sea. It was their second 5-11 record in a row, after Todd Bowles started his tenure with a surprising 10-6 mark. One of the reasons Bowles is still in there is that two 5-11 records isn't really even that bad considering how bad they've had it in the injury and overall bad-breaks department. They have a 21-year old starting quarterback and maybe a way of pulling it off this season.

Detroit is under new leadership with Matt Patricia at the helm. No one seems particularly enthused. Matthew Stafford is back with a cast that features the possibility of a run-game manifesting with LeGarrette Blount and Kerryon Johnson. Stafford connects well with Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, and some other useful pieces like Ameer Abdullah, Theo Reddick, and others. Their O-line should be better with first-rounder Frank Ragnow and it was already an above-average unit.

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Granted, Detroit's overall menace on defense didn't manifest into stoutness perhaps, but it's not like they didn't make an impact. They were right near the top in takeaways and sacks and had a certain clutchness about them. They need to get more-rigid, but with guys like Ziggy Ansah up front, rising second-year linebacker Jarrad Davis in the middle, and a difference-making secondary with Glover Quin and Darius Slay, they can be dangerous in a given game.

We wait and see what Jets rookie Sam Darnold has under his sleeve for his rookie season and how long of a leash he will get. When one thinks back to his college career and the fact that he is awfully young, concern is the first emotion. But he went as a high pick for a reason and maybe he has what it takes. Even in the time where he shined, he was mistake-prone, a trait that goes over exponentially-worse in the NFL than it did against Cal or Colorado.

Darnold, however, isn't coming into the best situation. The line, what would seem to be critical with a kid rookie behind center, is decidedly subpar. There are no stars around him, other than serviceable contributors like Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, and perhaps a resurgent Quincy Enunwa or Terrelle Pryor. The problem is that Enunwa and Pryor are questionable, while Kearse is out to start the season. Running back Isaiah Crowell is a nice potential addition, but there are no stand-outs on this offense and combined with shoddy protection, the equation doesn't look favorable to begin the season.

There is still something about the Jets that makes you hesitant to completely write them off. They get a lot out of what they have generally and have fared well in spots with pretty shabby QB play. Their roster on the surface looks devoid of game-changing talent. And some of their former bread-and-butter spots on defense have waned, namely a fearsome front, though getting big-money corner Trumaine Johnson should help. It's hard to see a ton of fireworks from an offense featuring this kind of name-power. Unless Darnold has some kind of magic touch, it looks like being average will be a reach.

It's more up-in-the-air with the Lions. Hopes seem low for a team that won 9 games last season. One struggles to immediately site a reason why such a downturn should be anticipated. Maybe Patricia will be the right guy, maybe not. Whatever the case, this Lions' team has been one of the more erratic in recent seasons. They can be very streaky and win or lose game in bunches. And while they seem mired in failure, there is this haunting little voice reminding you to not completely write them off.

The Jets should be better. Their defense is faster than last year's and they finally have a quarterback in there that is viewed as the solution to their problems and a long-term solution. Their roster looks better than last season and they're certainly heading in the right direction. There's some continuity with the head coach and maybe things fall into place. It doesn't help that an already stripped-bare offense can't start the season healthy, however. For the Lions, they don't seem far off after going 9-7. An improved run game and line could pay off, along with a whole roster that has seen a lot of change this past offseason. In week one, however, I see the more-veteran QB-play of Stafford paying off, as the Lions notch the win and cover at home.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Detroit Lions minus 6.5 points. Bet this 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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