The Saints are basically a first down away from being a perfect 7-0 while the Jets have alternated wins and losses every week this season. Even so, this game feels like it could be much tighter than the experts predict.
New Orleans Saints @ New York Jets
Odds: Saints -5.5
The Saints can win because…
The Jets are a mess right now. Bettors that have been adding the Jets to their NFL picks have been rewarded one week and burned the next. The Jets have alternated wins and losses all season long and when you start looking back at the big picture, it’s hard to be impressed. The Jets have fluky wins over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots, and barely outlasted the Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills in their other two victories. However, the four losses to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and New England haven’t been pretty as they’ve failed by a combined score of 119-38.
The Jets gameplan is pretty simple: play good defense, hope they can run the ball and pray that Geno Smith doesn’t turn it over at least two times. That’s not good enough to beat an elite team like the Saints – even at home. The Jets strength on defense is stopping the run and forcing their opponent to pass but the trouble is that the Saints don’t care about running the ball and the Jets have the league’s 21st-ranked pass defense. If Andy Dalton can pick them apart for five touchdowns, Drew Brees can do the same.
Unless the Saints play uncharacteristically poor, they’ll win and cover the NFL odds.
The Jets can win because…
The Saints run defense is going to give them a shot. New Orleans ranks 20th in rushing yards per game (110.3) and dead-last in yards per carry (4.8). If the Jets can find some success on the ground and make the Saints defense think twice, Geno Smith and the passing game should have a much easier time of things.
Also, don’t forget that New Orleans is an indoor team that’s traveling outdoors into the cold. This is a team that’s predicated on precision and timing, and changing the variables will affect their production. Combined with the fact that Rex’s defense has stepped up in big games, we could see a much tighter affair than anyone has expected.
Outlook & NFL Football Betting Prediction:
The snap-judge reaction to last weekend is to bet the Saints. The Jets were blown out 49-9 by the Cincinnati Bengals, Smith threw two pick-sixes and was benched. However, keep in mind that the Jets are 3-1 at home while the Saints, who are 2-1 on the road, have covered six points on the road just once in three tries this season.
Look for the Jets to get back to the ground game to take the pressure off of Smith. Their rookie quarterback has been hot-and-cold, but if the Jets can run the ball, move the chains and provide the youngster with some support, they should be in this contest. The fact that the Saints defense gives up the most yards-per-carry in the NFL indicates that the Jets should be able to do that.
That being the case, take the Jets with your sports picks in this spot. They should be able to cover.
NFL Picks: Jets +5.5 at Bovada