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Wild Card NFL Spreads: Jets vs. Bengals


If numbers get you off, chew for a minute on these stats:

The New York Jets were the best team in the league at running the football. The New York Jets were No. 2 in the league in overall defense. Twenty-seven quarterbacks in the league had a higher rating than Mark Sanchez.

Any questions about where the Jets have to step up their game if they plan to be playing beyond next weekend?


Time: Saturday 4:30 ET
Venue: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
MoneyLine: Jets +125 (-110) / Bengals -160 (-107)
Spread: Bengals -4 (-110)
Over/Under: 34.5

The Jets have turned the keys to the franchise over the Sanchez, and it’s been a roller-coaster ride from the get-go. The kid from USC came out of the gate with flames shooting from his bum as the Jets roared to a 3-0 start before NFL reality slapped him in the face. After Week 6 NY was 3-3, and when a 31-14 beatdown in New England was fueled by four Sanchez interceptions and dropped the Jets to 4-6, coach Rex Ryan decided to fit the kid with a choke chain.

Ryan swallowed hard (no easy feat) and dumbed down the offense a bit. Sanchez threw only four picks in the final six games (three in the Atlanta loss) and the Jets won five of them. If three of them were against so-so competition (Carolina, Buffalo, Tampa Bay) and the other two against teams that rested their starters (Indianapolis, Cincinnati), well, like in golf, they ask how many, not how.

Sanchez & Co. dropped 37 on the Bengals in the season finale, but not even Jets superfan Fireman Ed thinks that will happen when the teams meet in Cincinnati Saturday for the second time in seven days.Sports Betting at Sportsbook.com

For one thing, the Bengals will have RB Cedric Benson back after a week off, and no one on the roster is capable of moving the chains better than Benson. Without Benson last week the running game went nowhere and found itself in good company with a passing game that was equally inept.

Speaking of the passing game, it would be a good idea for the offense to figure out a way to put a few points on the board. Oddsmakers have set a low O/U (34.5), partially because the Bengals do not make frequent trips to the end zone against quality defenses – in fact, Cincinnati was easily the lowest-scoring division champion, with 305 points, 56 fewer than Dallas, the next-lowest.

For fun keep an eye on the Chad Ochocinco-Darrelle Revis matchup. Revis, rapidly being recognized as the best cornerback in the league, held the loudmouth Ochocinco without a catch last Sunday, and Ochocinco left the field complaining that he had tweaked a hamstring before the game, rendering him ineffective. Right.

The line opened at Bengals -4 before being bet down quickly to 3 and 2.5 in some books.

Pick: Cardinals

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Lawrence Paul is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog, and is a free-lance gambling and travel expert from Massachusetts.


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About Lawrence Paul

Lawrence Paul is back in the saddle as a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. He's got an AMAZING knack for predicting when a team will have a letdown! Stick with our resident gambling experts sports betting tips all season long!