Welcome to the Monday Night Football betting breakdown, where I’ll provide a betting overview of the upcoming MNF game utilizing moneyline, points spread, and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Additionally, I’ll hone in on at least one player or game prop each week that I feel has profit potential at one of those three sportsbooks.
All betting takes will be classified as either a “lean” or a “pick.” A lean is a wager that we have a determined degree of certainty. However, it’s one that still falls somewhere short of a high-confidence selection. A pick carries an additional degree of confidence based on a variety of factors. These include relevant injuries, the past track records for certain conditions and bet types, and team performances leading up to the game.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup, including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to MNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Monday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.
Patriots at Jets, Monday, Oct. 21, 8:15 p.m. ET
The Patriots (6-0) and Jets (1-4) both check into this divisional showdown comingoff wins. New York’s Week 6 victory served as a shining example of what a difference a quarterback can make. Sam Darnold returned from a three-game absence and Gang Green’s offense looked like an NFL-quality unit again. Darnold finished with 338 yards and two touchdown passes against the Cowboys, including a 92-yard scoring connection with Robby Anderson. His presence under center should result in a much more competitive matchup than the last time these two teams did battle in Week 3. Luke Falk was at the controls for the Jets in that game. New York was only able to manage two defensive touchdowns in a 30-14 loss.
Of course, Darnold should encounter considerably more resistance in this spot than he did against a spiraling Cowboys squad in Week 6. The Patriots boast the second-most sacks (25) and most interceptions (14) in the NFL while also surrendering the lowest yards per attempt (5.3). Darnold will likely look to lean heavily on possession option Jamison Crowder again. He’s already looked to the offseason addition on 26 occasions in the two games he’s played with him. Anderson may certainly find the sledding a lot tougher than against Dallas. New England is simply not in the business of surrendering long passes or touchdowns this season. On the ground, Le’Veon Bell is in a similarly difficult scenario — the Pats have yielded just 73.7 rushing yards per contest through six games.
Tom Brady will play this game without starting wide receiver Josh Gordon due to the latter’s ankle injury. Julian Edelman (chest) and Philip Dorsett (hamstring) also carry questionable tags but are expected to play. Then, with tight end Matt LaCosse (knee) and Ryan Izzo (concussion) out of action, New England will roll with the recently signed Ben Watson at tight end. The Patriots’ passing game could well take center stage for them, considering the Jets have been stout against the run for most of the season. New York checks in allowing a relatively meager 95.8 rushing yards per game. They’ve been much more generous versus the pass, surrendering 262.2 yards through the air per contest.
The road environment and Gordon’s absence could make this New England’s toughest challenge yet. However, just as they’ve done their past two games despite not being at their best early, I see the Patriots pulling away in the second half for a win.
The Patriots’ projected edge has shrunk half a point since the open and now stands at 9.5 at both FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook. New England does come in missing an important piece in Gordon. Yet Belichick and Brady have an exhaustive track record of adjusting to the personnel around them and still thriving. The MetLife Stadium setting and Darnold’s presence does make this a more competitive situation, however.
The Patriots are 4-2 (66.7 percent) against the spread this season. That includes a 2-1 mark (66.7 percent) as an away team specifically. New England is also 5-4 (55.6 percent) ATS in AFC East matchups since the start of the 2018 season.
Then, the Jets are 2-3 (40.0 percent) versus the number in 2019. That includes a 1-2 (33.3 percent) tally as a home team. New York is 2-6 (25.0 percent) ATS in AFC East matchups since the start of the 2018 season.
New England is likely to have to earn everything it gets in this contest, but it’s the more rested and talented team overall. I lean toward this turning into the tightest victory for the Pats yet, but one in which they’ll still manage the cover.
The Lean: Patriots -9.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
With this being a divisional game, the two teams naturally know each other well. That’s true even with this being Adam Gase’s first year as the Jets’ head man. Belichick and company faced him six times over the last three years during Gase’s time with the Dolphins, going 4-2 against Miami over that span. Neither team sports a pushover defense by any means, with the Patriots’ unit being elite. New York should also benefit from the expected return of C.J. Mosley (groin), who’s been out since the opener.
The Over is 2-4 (33.3 percent) in the Patriots’ games this season, including 0-3 in their away games. In turn, the Over is 2-3 (40.0 percent) in the Jets’ games this season, including 1-2 (33.3 percent) in their home games.
With four of the last five games in this series having gone under Monday’s projected total, the Patriots not allowing more than 16 points in any game and Gordon also missing in action, I’m of the belief this game finishes at least slightly under the projected number.
The Lean: Under 44.0 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Best Prop Bet
Winning Margin: Patriots 7 to 12 points (+450 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
This is an appealing prop with a great price if you’re of the belief the Patriots will manage a relatively slim cover in this contest. The Jets have enough to give the Pats a competitive matchup for much of the game. The return of Mosley to the lineup makes their defense better by an appreciable amount as well. In line with my thinking of about a 10-12-point Patriots win here, I like the looks of this prop in particular.