Welcome to the Monday Night Football betting breakdown, where each week I’ll provide a detailed betting overview of the upcoming Monday Night Football game utilizing moneyline, points spread and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. I’ll also highlight at least one player- or game-based prop each week that I feel has profit potential.
The 2020 Week 9 MNF showcase features an AFC East showdown between the New England Patriots and New York Jets. The two clubs most recently met in Week 7 of last season, a game that resulted in New England blanking New York by a 33-0 score in a game during which the Jets’ Sam Darnold passed for just 86 yards and threw four interceptions.
Both teams come into this contest on a downturn. For the Jets, their slump has been a season-long one. New York has yet to claim a victory over eight games. Meanwhile, the Patriots are 2-5 and have dropped four consecutive contests. Their most recent loss came in Week 8, when they dropped a narrow 24-21 decision to the Bills in which Cam Newton committed a late fourth-quarter fumble deep in Buffalo territory.
All betting takes will be classified as a “pick” or “lean”, with considerations such as relevant injuries, past betting trends and recent performances of each team leading up to the game factoring in.
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 vs. Jets betting odds
New England is in the unfamiliar position of staring up at the Bills and Dolphins in the AFC East largely due to the change at the quarterback position. Newton has yet to hit a true stride in the offense, and his 2:7 TD:INT is problematic. On the brighter side, he does sport the second-highest completion percentage of his career (66.0) and has six rushing touchdowns. He draws a matchup with which to boost up his overall numbers Monday night – New York has especially struggled against the pass.
The Jets have allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game (282.8) and yielded the highest completion percentage (71.9) in the league in the process. They’ve also given up a 16:7 TD:INT, and just as important in Newton’s case, the ninth-most rushing yards (155) and a pair of rushing scores to quarterbacks. Even though he could be playing without N’Keal Harry (concussion) in addition to Julian Edelman (IR-knee), Newton has displayed enough chemistry with the likes of Jakobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd to potentially exploit those weaknesses.
Newton and his healthy receivers could well be leaned on heavily in this game. New York has quietly been very good against the run. Gang Green is surrendering a relatively modest 116.1 rushing yards per game and the third-fewest adjusted line yards per carry (3.43). Meanwhile, New England’s best between-the-tackles runner, Damien Harris, will come into this contest nursing an ankle injury. New England’s diverse backfield does have enough of a collective skill set to keep the offense somewhat balanced. Additionally, the Patriots’ quest to do so may be aided by the fact the Jets just traded away their second-leading tackler, Avery Williamson, after last week’s loss to the Chiefs.
The Pats defense will have a much easier assignment. The Jets are averaging just 11.8 points and 259.0 total yards per game. Darnold is completing an ineffective 58.6 percent of his throws while generating a 3:6 TD:INT. He’s also facing the prospect of playing this game without Jamison Crowder (groin) and potentially Breshad Perriman (concussion) against a New England defense ranked in the top 10 with 216.9 passing yards allowed per contest. The Frank Gore-led running game would appear to have a great matchup against a defense allowing 146.0 rushing yards per road contest. However, New York averages just 103.1 yards on the ground per game and fifth-lowest RB yards per carry (3.82).
While the Pats are certainly no world beaters, I see enough of a talent, coaching and motivational disparity here for New England to make good on their status as heavy favorites.
The Pick: Patriots moneyline (-400 or better)
MNF Point Spread
The Patriots are 3-4 (42.9 percent) against the spread this season, including 1-2 (33.3 percent) as a road team and 2-0 in division matchups.
The Jets are 1-7 (12.5 percent) against the spread this season, including 1-3 (25.0 percent) as a home team and 1-2 (33.3 percent) in division matchups.
The line has been steadily between 7 and 7.5 points in favor of the Patriots, and that appears likely to hold leading into game day. Absences by Crowder and/or Perriman would further neuter what is already an anemic Jets offense that is already the league lowest-scoring unit with 11.8 points per contest.
Although the Patriots can also struggle to score points at times, New York has lost no game by fewer than eight points and six of them by double digits. The fact that New England could be down Harry in addition to Edelman does make this call more of a lean than a pick, but I do tend to think the Pats could cover the current 7.0 number on DK Sportsbook.
The Lean: Patriots -7.0 or better
MNF Over/Under Total
The Over is 3-4 (42.9 percent) in New England’s games this season, including 2-1 (66.7 percent) in its road games and 1-1 in its division matchups.
Then, the Over is 3-5 (37.5 percent) in New York’s games this season, including 2-2 in its home games and 1-2 (33.3 percent) in its division matchups.
The total is unsurprisingly the lowest of the slate. The Patriots have been a solid defensive team against non-elite offenses as noted earlier, and both teams have had trouble converting in the red zone – the Jets have an NFL-low 25.0 percent touchdown rate inside the 20, while New England has the fifth-lowest figure at 52.2 percent.
Four out of the Patriots’ seven games have finished under 42 points. Meanwhile, although only three of the Jets’ games have, the five that haven’t have all come with appreciably better opposing offenses (the Bills, a much healthier 49ers, the Colts, the Broncos and the Chiefs) doing a lot of the heavy lifting.
Although this number is particularly modest, I’m in the camp of the Under.
The Pick: Under 42.0 points or better
Best MNF Prop Bets
Damien Harris Over 48.5 rushing yards (-115 or better)
Harris is dealing with an ankle injury that isn’t expected to keep him out and that he played through in Week 8 as well, when he rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries against the Bills. He also posted 58 yards on just 10 rushes versus the Niners in Week 7 and has another 100-yard performance on his resume as well. In a game that should see the Patriots progressively pull away, I like the Over on this relatively modest total.
Jakobi Meyers Over 46.5 receiving yards (-115 or better)
Harry will miss a second straight game Monday night due to his concussion, while Edelman remains on injured reserve. Meyers drew a total of six and 10 targets over the past two games, respectively, with both of his teammates available for the first contest. Monday night’s volume could be much more along the lines of the latter figure and would come against a Jets defense that, in addition to the figures previously cited, has also allowed an average of 189.1 receiving yards per game to wideouts.