Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
N.Y. Jets +117 over Atlanta
1:00 PM EST. Week 12 was a week in which the market feasted, and if not for the egg laid by the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football, Week 12, 2023, would have been the best week for favorites in the Super Bowl Era. Heading into MNF, the favorites were 12-3, with high-profile games on Thanksgiving afternoon and evening and the first-ever Black Friday game easily going the way of those laying the lumber. After the Packers upset the Lions in the early game, the Cowboys ran roughshod over the Commanders, 45-10, covering that game easily as a 13½-point chalk. Then, in the nightcap, the 49ers went into Seattle and dummied the Seahawks to the tune of 31-13, which was another easy cover as a 7-point favorite.
Enter the New York Jets, who not to be outdone, were mollywhopped on Black Friday, 34-13 by the Dolphins in a game that Gang Green was a +9½-point pooch. The best anyone could say about the Jets in that standalone game on the busiest shopping day of the season is that they hung around for a half (almost), trailing 10-6 with 58 seconds to play in the first half, but a 99-yard Jevon Holland interception return for a touchdown with 0:00 on the clock took any air out of the Jets' tires, as New York went into the locker room down 17-6. It was a game-killing play that the Jets could not and would not recover from.
With that loss, New York has dropped four games in a row, which ties them for the longest current drought in the NFL. Losing is bad, but if the Jets were cashing tickets, the market would shrug that off, but they are not. Gang Green is 0-4 Against the Spread during this winless run, and the games have not been close, including a 32-6 beatdown in Buffalo in Week 11 and a 27-6 drubbing by the Chargers on Monday Night Football in Week 9. That's three swift-ass kickings, two of which were seen by the masses in standalone games.
Unlike the Jets, who with Aaron Rodgers had high expectations and hefty exposure to the market, the Falcons were not expected to do anything, so their warts have not only not been on display, but they play in Atlanta, where nobody is going to bother them for being awful, at least not like they do in New York. The Dirty Birds are 5-6, but because they play in the weak NFC South, they are in the driver’s seat for the division lead and currently hold the #4 seed in the NFC. Neither of those two things is likely to last with the Saints and Buccaneers both in the mix, but at the moment, the Falcons are getting some chatter.
A big reason for that is that Atlanta beat the Saints last Sunday, 24-15, to give themselves the tiebreaker over New Orleans, who also sports a 5-6 record. Wins are nice, but those five wins are pumped up by a 3-0 mark against NFC South foes. When playing anyone outside of their division, the Falcons are just 2-6. We get the Jets are down, but they are not so down that a team as weak as Atlanta should be favored on the road, and we have the data to back that up. The Falcons were -2 at Arizona and lost that game outright 25-23, and they were a -2½-point favorite at Tennessee, a game the Dirty Birds also lost outright. As tough as it is to bet the Jets, it appears as though the Falcons might be the sucker bet of the week.
N.Y. Jets +117 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.34)