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The market is acting like New York Jets (7-4) found a franchise QB prior to their Week 13 showdown at the Minnesota Vikings (9-2).
NY clobbered the Chicago Bears 31-10 last week in Jets QB Mike White‘s first start of the season. Minnesota handled business at home vs. the New England Patriots with a 33-26 win Thanksgiving night as a 2.5-point home favorite.
Jets QB Zach Wilson was benched after an embarrassing outing in the Jets’ 10-3 loss at the Patriots in Week 11. White completed 22-of-28 passes for 315 yards with a 3/0 TD/INT ratio and a 149.3 QB Rating vs. the Bears.
While the Jets may have found their short-term answer at QB, this is an absolute sell-high spot for NY. The preseason look-ahead line for this Jets-Vikings matchup was Vikings -4.5.
New York has certainly exceeded preseason expectations but so has Minnesota. The cheapest I could make this line is Vikings -3.5 and even then I’d still lay the points with Minnesota.
Betting Details (DraftKings)
- Moneyline: Jets (+135), Vikings (-155)
- Against the spread (ATS): Jets +3 (-115), VIKINGS -3 (-105)
- Total (O/U) — 44 — O: -110, U: -110
Fading Mike White
What’s a more unlikely scenario: The Vikings moving to 10-2 after a home win vs. the Jets on their third starting QB of the year or White leading NY to a road victory over a good Minnesota team?
This line suggests that the 7-4 Jets would be a pick ’em on a neutral field vs. the 9-2 Vikings. Frankly, that’s disrespectful. Minnesota’s two losses were to the NFC-leading Eagles and an 8-3 Cowboys team.
White is 0-2 on the road with a 79.3 QB Rating, 62.8% completion rate, and a 2/2 TD/INT ratio. He was excellent in his first start. But, Chicago was missing its starting QB and has a bottom-five defense in the NFL.
This is a major let-down spot for White. Jets fans hated Wilson and were pumped to see White back in the huddle. But, there’s going to be a different energy in Minnesota Sunday and the Vikings have a sneaky strong home-field edge.
More importantly, outside of Jets rookie WR Garrett Wilson, who in NY’s offense scares you? Jets rookie RB Breece Hall is on IR as are a few NY offensive linemen.
White won’t have a run game to lean on. Per Pro Football Focus (PFF), NY’s offensive line has the second-worst run-blocking mismatch in Week 13. The Jets also have the third-worst net rushing success rate in the NFL.
With that in mind …
The total steamed up and Minnesota has a better offense
The look-ahead total for Jets-Vikings was 41, according to Pregame.com, and, currently, the total is 44. If the market is saying there’s going to be more scoring in this game then I’m siding with the better offense.
Cousins is having a solid season — the NFL leader in game-winning drives and fourth-quarter comebacks (6) –, Justin Jefferson is a super baller, WR Adam Thielen does the dirty work on third-down and in the red zone and Dalvin Cook is a top-10 running back.
Two of my biggest concerns about laying the points with the Vikings have been alleviated. The Jets have an elite cornerback duo and there is “reverse line movement” headed toward NY in the betting market.
However, Benjamin Solak of The Ringer made a decent point on this week’s Bill Simmons Podcast when saying the Vikings line up Jefferson in a bunch of different spots. Whereas the Jets keep PFF’s top-ranked CB Sauce Gardner on the outside.
Jefferson torched the Patriots, catching 9 balls for 139 yards and a TD. If Jefferson can do that to a Bill Belichick secondary, he can certainly light up New York.
Speaking of the Patriots, they were the sharp side in their Week 13 Thursday Night Football home game vs. the Bills. Supposed square money backed Buffalo to a rocking chair cover in the Bills’ 24-10 over the Patriots.
The public is all over Minnesota here too but sometimes we average Joe’s are right. The Vikings aren’t as good as their record indicates but neither are the Jets. I’m betting White comes back to earth and NY’s third-string QB isn’t a real answer to its offensive woes.
BET: Vikings -3 (-105) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to -3.5
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