Jets Browns Preview
Wayne Root: NY Jets Open 2015 as Favorites Over Cleveland Browns
The city of New York has now had a month of Preseason action to figure out whether they should be optimistic or pessimistic about the J-E-T-S Jets-Jets-Jets! You longtime readers know I follow the Big Apple sports scene very closely. I was born as a true S.O.B. (son of a butcher!) in Mt. Vernon, New York. I earned my stripes as a sports handicapper there before moving out here to Las Vegas many years ago.
What does WAYNE ALLYN ROOT think about the Jets? I have to say that new head coach Todd Bowles (former defensive coordinator for the Arizona Cardinals) and new quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (a journeyman mediocrity who still represents improvement!) will at least give this team a shot to be competitive in 2015.
I liked what I saw in the dress rehearsal against the Giants two weeks ago. The Jets won the first half 21-7 when it was starter vs. starter. One of their three touchdowns was defensive. And, you can't count on those to fall down from the heavens whenever you want them. Still, a 14-7 first half "offense vs. offense" win did at least suggest that the Jets aren't going to be a disaster this season. Either that, or the Giants are going to be REALLY bad!
It can't be a bad sign that the Jets beat Philadelphia in the Preseason finale. I know the Eagles couldn't have cared less about the game. But...it wasn't a case where BOTH teams couldn't care less. Bowles and his players went for the win. That speaks well to their attitude and enthusiasm for the coming campaign.
And, I'm also intrigued that the Jets have been getting some sharp money in the markets through this week. They opened at -3 vs. Cleveland. Some sportsbooks have moved to -3.5 because the Jets were much more attractive at that price than the Browns. Home field is worth either 2.5 points or 3 points in the NFL depending on the stadium. That line movement tells you that people who matter think the Jets are better than the Browns on a neutral field.
We enter the season knowing:
*Bowles can coach defense! Generally, that means that he's a player's coach...but may see his team struggle with consistency on the offensive side of the ball. Since the man he's replacing, Rex Ryan, was exactly that type of coach...it's hard to imagine any sort of defensive collapse. If you're playing good defense, you usually have a chance to win because you're always within striking distance.
*Fitzpatrick isn't a "playoff caliber" quarterback unless he's in a "game manager" position for a team that's fantastic on other areas (he's not so bad that he would keep Seattle out of the playoffs for example). But, he's better than a lot of the young signal callers in the league who are still learning the ropes...or who will never learn the ropes. He's an upgrade from what Geno Smith had been providing the Jets. That will position the Jets to steal some nailbiters as long as the defense hangs tough.
*The schedule is manageable. Their regular season win projection in Las Vegas is around 7.5 victories. Not bad for a team that went 4-12 last year and has a new coach and quarterback! Finishing last in the AFC East earned them a "last place schedule" that creates matchups against the Browns, Titans, and Raiders. The Jets also get the Giants and Redskins from the NFC East this year, as well as the Jaguars from the AFC South. That's six relative soft spots already. If divisional rival Buffalo struggles with a new coach/new quarterback transition...that's two more winnable games. Who knows? We could have an interesting story brewing!
For now, let's take it one game at a time. I can't tell you here in my web article if I'm playing the Browns/Jets side or total. Publication deadlines are well before selection deadlines. I want to monitor weekend betting action and check in again with my sources. I can tell you that I'll be watching this one very closely to scout out New York's cover possibilities in tough games coming up at Indianapolis, vs. Philadelphia, and at Miami. The King of Upsets just might be taking the Jets for a shocker in at least one of those on-the-radar matchups.
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The NFL season has begun. My Millionaire play on New England -7 was robbed Thursday night by that last second Pittsburgh touchdown. We take a push...which means the 2015 season really begins Sunday! Get BEST BETS from the only man in the sports betting industry who has a star on the Las Vegas "Walk of Fame." It's time for you to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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