Bet of the Day – New York Jets at New England Patriots, Dec. 6, 2010

New York Jets (+3.5) at New England Patriots (-3.5), Over/Under 44.5

Yesterday’s bet, Steelers at Ravens, was a loser.  Big game in the AFC East tonight.  In the early season meeting, New York won 28-14 and held the Patriots well below their offensive average.  The Patriots are an excellent home team (5-0).  A win for the Patriots would give them clear control in the conference.  The Jets are undefeated on the road (5-0) but haven’t faced a top team in any of those 5 games.

The Jets (9-2) have won 4 straight games.  They average 5.4 yards per play (YPP) and 15.0 yards per point scored (YPPT) on offense.  On defense, they allow 4.9 YPP and 17.5 YPPT.  They are very efficient on defense.  QB Mark Sanchez averages 6.79 yards per attempt (YPA) with 16 TDs and 8 INTs for an 81.9 QB rating.  Sanchez needs to be at his best and limit turnovers for a chance in New England tonight.

The Patriots (9-2) have won 3 straight games; including wins at Pittsburgh and over Indianapolis.  Like New York, they have had a few extra days to prepare for this game.  They average 5.9 YPP and 11.5 YPPT on offense.  On defense, they allow 6.0 YPP and 16.5 YPPT.  Very efficient on offense and decent on defense.  QB Tom Brady averages 7.69 YPA with 23 TDs and 4 INTs for a 105.8 QB rating.  Belichick and Brady at home with extra practice days (and in a key division game) will make New England very tough tonight.

The Sagarin Ratings have New York 26.93 and New England 27.69.  With the 1.68 home advantage, the fair line is New england -2.44.

My NFL model predicts Patriots 29.5 over Jets 28.6 for 58.1 total points.  The teams have similar mean offensive yardage but New England is much more efficient at converting points.  The Jets give up fewer yards and are more efficient on defense.  The key variance contributor is the passing defense for both teams.  Whichever team can better slow down the passing game (relative to their average) should win the game.

Tonight I am taking the Patriots minus the points.  Here’s why.  This is a key division game on Monday night and the Patriots are an excellent home team.  It’s hard to beat Belichick once, it is much harder to beat him twice.  Mark Sanchez is turnover prone; the Patriots don’t make many mistakes.  Bet on the New England Patriots -3.5.

Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck!

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