Today's Free Picks for
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Posted at 11:30 AM EST and odds are subject to change.
NY Jets +6½ over Cleveland
1:00 PM EST. If you followed our Week 1 leans on Friday to our official plays on Sunday, you may have noticed that we switched gears from a lean on Carolina on Friday to a play on Cleveland on Sunday morning based on several factors that had us on alert. Everything we wrote about the Panthers was true, but once we heard the talking heads making many of the same points, especially eating up the Baker Mayfield “revenge” angle, we had to reconsider. Few wanted a piece of the Browns last week, while the media were busy influencing the market that Baker Mayfield and company would be out for blood and guts. In the end, Cleveland edged out the Cats 26-24.
Cleveland's powerful running game -- behind RBs Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt and an imposing offensive line -- controlled the game. We have to trust that the market liked what they saw with Cleveland last week but this wager is not about fading the Browns. You see, the Jets are a dirty word in the market. They’ve been an auto-fade for years.
One could argue there is not a team with worse street cred in this market than Gang Green. The seasons change, but the results remain the same: The New York Jets stink in September. They tied an NFL record with their 13th straight defeat in the opening month with a mistake-filled, 24-9 loss to the Ravens at home. The Joe Flacco-led offense fell flat, converting only 2 of 14 third downs. The Jets upgraded their skill positions in the offseason, but you couldn't tell. There were too many dropped passes, a couple of key fumbles and leaky pass protection from the reshuffled offensive line. Vegas reported their biggest liability in Week 1 was the Jets. Baltimore closed as a -6½ point favorite last week and cashed easily. This week, the market can spot that same price to the Jets and it has to look mighty appealing.
The oddsmakers have the data to see who is betting what. They have the data to assess each week where the biggest liabilities are and the New York Jets have to be the opening topic of that conversation week in and week out. We have to question why the oddsmakers opened this one up -6½ and not -7. Last week the Jets were taking back +6½ at home and didn’t come close to covering and now they’re taking back the same price on the road.
We’re not going to recommend a wager on the Jets because betting the Jets, who are led by Joe Flacco, who probably couldn’t even make it as a backup in the AAF, is not very appealing, especially in September. The well here is poisoned right now and the price on the Jets has to be about the most inflated price possible because oddsmakers are acutely aware that nobody wants to bet them. Trust us when we strongly suggest that being one of the few that endorse the Jets with even a modicum of self-awareness is one of the cruelest forms of torture but we’ll reiterate that we’re not in the prediction business. The man on the street can walk into any Vegas bookshop and bet whatever he wants on Cleveland and probably will. That would be a mistake because the New York Jets, although it may not seem like it, are taking back a bunch of inflated points this week.
NY Jets +6½ -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)