The New York Jets continue to be one of the hotter NFL picks out there. Can they get the job done this Sunday against the considerably-improved Oakland Raiders?
Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 28: 22-16-1 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 18-26 Total
The New York Jets are one of the best teams in the NFL. Wrap your head around that for a second. Better things were expected from the Jets this year under rookie head coach Todd Bowles and veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, but 4-2 SU and 4-1-1 ATS after six games? While playing a difficult schedule? That's just crazy talk.
Here's another one for you: The Oakland Raiders (3-3 SU and ATS) aren't half-bad. Again, some improvement was in the cards with Jack Del Rio taking over the coaching reins and QB Derek Carr entering his second year as a pro. Just like New York, the Raiders have already won as many games as they did in the entire 2014 campaign. So which team goes in our NFL picks for Sunday's matchup (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS) at the Coliseum?
Sharps and Jets
The wiseguys seem to think New York is the right call. The Jets opened as a pick 'em (–120) on our NFL odds board, then moved to –1 (–120) after two-thirds of early bettors started pounding the visitors. The gap increases dramatically on our expanded consensus reports; New York is pulling in over 82 percent of the monies wagered in this matchup.
It's not like the high rollers are coming out for either team, though. The average wager on the Jets, according to our surveys, is $58.75. That's over twice as big as Oakland's $25 bets, but hardly the stuff of legends. Apparently there isn't enough of a profit margin baked into this contest for people to get too excited. Or maybe it's just another late Sunday affair between two overlooked teams.
New York Nine
New York is still getting the love, though, and it's understandable. Football Outsiders has the Jets ranked No. 5 overall (No. 6 offense, No. 2 defense, No. 30 special teams) through Week 7 in terms of efficiency, eight spots ahead of the Raiders at No. 13 overall (No. 14 offense, No. 14 defense, No. 7 special teams). The only glaring weakness with the Jets is in the punting department; Ryan Quigley (32.5 net average) returns after missing last week with an infected shin, by the way.
The gap is even bigger at Pro-Football Reference. They have the Jets tied for third overall at +9.4 on the Simple Rating System, while Oakland lags behind at –2.3 SRS, or No. 22 overall. Do the math, and you get New York –9 as an estimated point spread. Most of the projections out there seem to have the Jets winning by around a field goal or so. Those expectations have to be tempered if center Nick Mangold (neck) can't suit up for Week 8, so be careful out there, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.