In what feels like a down year for the New England Patriots, they’re still 10-5 and dominating over their division. It’s been a rocky road to get to this point, playing to a 3-3 record over their last six games. Last week they locked up the AFC East for the 10th straight year with 24-12 win over the Buffalo Bills. They host the New York Jets to end the regular season with something still to play for.
New England Patriots
A win against the Jets guarantees them the two seed and at least one home playoff game. It also ensures a playoff bye, their 13th since 2001 and 9th consecutive, extending an NFL record. To put that into perspective, the next best streak of this kind is four consecutive seasons accomplished by three teams, the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, and Denver Broncos. There’s also still a chance at the top seed with losses by the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers.
Tom Brady has not looked like his old self, seeing a decline in his stats including having a passer rating of only two points above league average. His weapons have been limited as well, recently losing wide receiver Josh Gordon for the season while Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman aren’t playing up to expectations. He’s not getting too much help from a spotty defense either, surrendering over 30-points five times. And haven’t won outside their home state since October.
New England Patriots Home NFL Form
23.12.2018 – WIN – New England Patriots 24 – 12 Bills
02.12.2018 – WIN – New England Patriots 24 – 10 Vikings
05.11.2018 – WIN – New England Patriots 31 – 17 Packers
15.10.2018 – WIN – New England Patriots 43 – 40 Chiefs
05.10.2018 – WIN – New England Patriots 38 – 24 Colts
New York Jets
The Jets are a pesky bunch, considerably better than record states. Finally having what appears to be their quarterback of the future, rookie Sam Darnold has been coming into his own before our very eyes with strong performances against the Houston Texans and the Green Bay Packers, even though those games resulted in losses. It took an Aaron Rodgers memorable effort to beat the Jets last week. A great sign for a franchise that has been looking for a solid quarterback to lead them for ages. Since returning from a foot injury that had him out almost a month, Darnold has looked like a more mature player. In last three games he’s passed for 764 yards and six touchdowns and owns highest quarterback rating in the league since week 11.
With nothing to play for but pride, a Jets loss guarantees them a top three pick in the draft and a chance at the first overall pick with some help. To get to number one, they’ll also need the Arizona Cardinals to beat the Seattle Seahwaks, and the San Francisco 49ers to beat the Los Angeles Rams. Two very unlikely scenarios. A Jets win may force New England to play on Wild Card weekend instead of a bye, though a shot at number one pick is more important for the future of the franchise.
New York Jets Away NFL Form
09.12.2018 – WIN – Bills 23 – 27 New York Jets
02.12.2018 – LOSS – Titans 26 – 22 New York Jets
04.11.2018 – LOSS – Dolphins 13 – 6 New York Jets
28.10.2018 – LOSS – Bears 24 – 10 New York Jets
30.09.2018 – LOSS – Jaguars 31 – 12 New York Jets
The Money Line
Here are how the odds to win the match look from the bookies ahead of the game.
New England Patriots to win @ 1.14 (1/7)
New York Jets to win @ 6.90 (59/10)
Odds taken at 17:00 GMT 29/12/2018
Our Verdict and Best Bets
The Patriots look to get back on all cylinders and complete their perfect undefeated home season, the only team in the NFL to accomplish this. It will be their 7th time doing so. In Darnold’s first test against Bill Bilicheck, he sat out with injury the last time these teams faced each other in November, this will be a great measuring stick for his development. Having won their last five meetings, the best coached team in football will most likely get its third straight series sweep of the Jets and tenth of the Bill Bilichick coaching era.
New England Patriots Point Spread -13.5 @ 1.86 (20/23) with Bet365.
James White to score a Touchdown at Anytime @ 2.25 (5/4) with Unibet.