NFL: Sunday, December 30, 2018, Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts, 1:00 PM ET
The New York Jets are in a horrible form at the moment as they suffered eight defeats in the previous nine games and they are traveling to the Gillette Stadium looking to avoid the third straight loss. On the other hand, the New England Patriots are hoping to wrap up season series with the Jets with a win after they already beat New York on the road earlier in the campaign when it was 27-13.
The Jets lost to the Packers in overtime
New York lost eight out of their last nine games but the previous three were tight ones including the latest one to the green bay Packers at home. The Jets were up 21-7 and 35-20 but Aaron Rodgers and the Packers managed to come from behind and even get a 3-point lead in the final minutes of the clash. However, Jason Myers came to the rescue with his 33-yard field goal conversion with only 17 seconds to go to send the game to overtime but Davante Adams scored a touchdown to secure a 44-38 victory for the visitors. New York’s passing game was impressive unlike the running that collected just 47 yards on 20 carries, so Elijah McGuire will get an opportunity to shine here against New England’s defense that is allowing 113.3 yards to the opposing runners. The Jets could opt for running the ball, especially if wide receivers Quincy Enunwa (ankle) and Jermaine Kearse (Achilles tendinitis) are sidelined for the clash, and they already missed practice sessions in midweek.
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Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold is completing 57.8 percent of his passes for 2698 yards with 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions for the Jets. Darnold had the best game of his young career in a loss to the Packers as he threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns, connecting with Robby Anderson (nine catches for 140 yards and a TD), Chris Herndon (82 yards and a TD on six receptions), and Elijah McGuire (50 yards with a TD on three catches). The trio of the offensive players will likely be Darnold’s preferred targets in this one in case Enunwa and Kearse are out.
The Patriots avoid third consecutive defeat with a win over Buffalo
New England returned home from a two-game road trip on which they suffered a couple of defeats to Miami and Pittsburgh and responded with a 24-12 win over the divisional rivals Buffalo Bills to clinch the 10th straight AFC East title. The Patriots were excellent in the opening half as they kept the Bills off the scoreboard and then they maintained the lead in the second 30 minutes to get a comfortable victory. New England’s passing game didn’t impress but they dismantled the Bills on the ground, collecting 273 yards with a couple of touchdowns. Sony Michel (116 yards with a TD on 18 carries) and James White (41 yards with a TD on eight carries) four the end zone for the hosts and they will have a great chance to combine for 150+ yards again as they are facing New York’s defense that is allowing 126 yards to the opposing runners.
Tom Brady is completing 65.4 percent of his passes for 4105 yards with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions for the Patriots. Brady didn’t have a good display in a win over the Bills as he threw for only 126 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, connecting with wide receiver Julian Edelman for his only score. Brady will likely bounce back in a favorable matchup against the Jets who are allowing 254.7 yards to the opposing quarterbacks.
• 4-1 ATS in their last five games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game
• 16-7-3 ATS in their last 26 games played in December
• 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. AFC rivals
• 5-6 ATS in the last 11 conference games
The Winner Prediction
New England won eight out of the previous ten H2H encounters including the last five, while the Patriots were victorious in the past seven meetings at the Gillette Stadium. I am sure the Pats will get a win here as the Patriots are the only undefeated team at home this season (7-0). With a win Sunday vs. the Jets, it would break a tie with the Vikings for the most undefeated/untied seasons at home since 1970 (both currently at 6), and that’s why I am backing then hosts here. However, they will be looking to keep starters way from injuries and I don’t think Bill Belichick will take an unnecessary risk, so I am backing the Jets to cover the +14 spread in this one.
The Pick: New York Jets +14 (-110)
The total is set at 47.5 and I am sure the Pats will be cautious with their star players here and I don’t think the teams will combine for more than 45 points. Under is 5-0 in the last five H2H meetings; under is 7-1 in Patriots previous eight games overall, while under is 5-1 in Patriots last six vs. AFC. I am backing under because under is 9-4 in Jets last 13 vs. AFC East opponents; under is 8-3 in Jets previous 11 road games vs. a team with a winning home record, while under is 6-1 in Jets last seven games in Week 17.
The Pick: Under 47.5 (-110)