I’m not sure I’ll even watch tonight’s Thursday night game. I’ll probably check in at various points, but I’ll be focused on my alma mater, Pittsburgh, taking on Virginia Tech in college football. I don’t have a lot of high hopes for that outcome going my school’s way given the way Pitt has played as of late. Clearly, I am cursed to support a mediocre college football and a professional football team that wishes it could be mediocre right now.
However, last week’s slate of picks were not cursed. In fact, it was my best week yet. Picking against the spread, I managed to go 10-5, while straight up picks were 10-4-1 due to the Bengals-Panthers tie. That brings my season total picking against the spread to 51-40, while picking straight up is 54-36-1.
But the Thursday Night blowouts have made the television experience much more mundane. When it’s your team that is winning the boat race, then it makes for great viewing. But for the rest of America, it’s dull and sad. But it does appear that the one-sided matchups we’ve been forced to watch each week might be coming to an end with several upcoming matchups that appear to be a lot more even.
* All lines are from ESPN’s Pigskin Pick ‘Em.
New York Jets (1-5) at New England Patriots (4-2)
Thursday, October 16 at 8:25 pm ET on CBS/NFL Network
*Line: Patriots (-9.5)
The Jets haven’t covered a single spread throughout the entire 2014 season. Clearly they won’t be 0-16 against the spread, but it certainly doesn’t give me a lot of optimism about tonight’s matchup.
Last week was the first and only time this season where the Thursday night game did not prove to be a blowout although that didn’t appear to be the case at the start when the Indianapolis Colts got off to a 24-0 first-quarter lead against the Houston Texans. So there really does appear sometime to the idea that every week, somebody is going to start really slow
And if anybody is going to have that slow start, it’s likely that it will be the Jets.
The Jets-Patriots matchups usually follow a similar pattern and template. In the first meeting of the season, Rex Ryan throws out all the stops and it’s typically a competitive game. Since Ryan took over in the 2009, the Jets are 2-3 in their first regular-season meeting with the Patriots and the outcomes have been decided by an average of 7.2 points. In the second matchup however, Ryan is 1-4 and the Patriots usually blow out the Jetsbecause Bill Belichick has figured them out and the margin has been an average of 22.6 points.
My fear is that this year given that this first one will be happening on Thursday night, it’ll be flipped and the blowout will occur now while the close game will be the Week 16 matchup between the teams in New York.
The Patriots are pretty beat up with season-ending injuries to Stevan Ridley and Jerod Mayo happening last week, their issues along the offensive line and the lack of those dynamic playmakers on the outside that have given the Jets secondary fits all year long.
So there are a lot of reasons to believe this one can and will be relatively close. And even though I want to pick the Jets to keep it close, I’ve just been burned too many times this year both by them and these Thursday night games to do it.
Spread Pick: Patriots
Straight Pick: Patriots