Sharp bettors aren't too keen on the New England Patriots this week. Has the betting public overvalued the champs going into Sunday's game against the New York Jets?
Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 20: 21-15 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 14-23 Total
Is there anything greater in football than a decent quarterback? Okay, obviously if you're building a football team, you'd presumably take Tom Brady over Ryan Fitzpatrick. But if you're making your NFL picks? All other things being equal, guys like Fitzpatrick are where the profit margin's at. The betting public treats Brady like he walks on water; quarterbacks like Fitzpatrick are treated like lepers.
At least they are until they're compared directly to guys like Geno Smith. Has the casual fan woken up to how well the New York Jets (4-1 SU and ATS) are playing with Fitzy at the helm? Probably not. But we can somewhat safely assume – it's never 100-percent safe – that the betting public will hammer the Patriots when they meet their AFC East rivals this Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET, CBS). For now, the sharps are leaning heavily toward the Jets as 9-point road dogs on our NFL odds.
Deciphering that board might be a bit difficult for novice bettors. Our first consensus reports showed New York with 100-percent support at +10.5 (–130). The spread has climbed down from there to +10 (–125), with 69 percent of bettors still on the side of Gang Green at press time. You can find the Jets at that price, or at +9 at various levels of vigorish. There's even a +8.5 or two on the board.
If you wanted to get in on the Jets early, and you wanted to shop around for the best value like a proper investor, you basically have two choices: one, take more points at higher juice, or two, forgo the points and pay less vig. I've said before that you should always take the second option, but now that I've been playing poker for a while, there's something to be said about lowering your variance. Something to do with the Sharpe ratio and all that. Either way, the fair prices at Wizard of Odds say the difference between +10 and +9 should be worth about 13 cents in vigorish.
Fear the Beard
So let's get back to our main man Fitzy. He just had a whale of a game against Washington, although you wouldn't know it by looking at his line: 19-of-26 for 253 yards, two touchdowns and a pick. But according to Football Outsiders, 11 of those 19 catches resulted in a first down. As a result, they have Fitzpatrick's QB performance ranked as the second-best of Week 6, behind only Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers.
Hmmm... didn't Philip Rivers just lead the Chargers to the pay window as 10.5-point road dogs against the Green Bay Packers? Yes, yes he did. That's pretty much the template for this matchup, too, at least from a sharp perspective. We'll take another look at the situation on the ground and return later this week with our picks against the spread and total.