The New York Jets are a 13-point underdog on the road against the New England Patriots this Thursday night. 13 points is a wide margin for any matchup in the NFL, but when you consider the two teams are divisional opponents, the line seems even more disrespectful.
The Jets are not a very good team — if you watched their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past Sunday, that much is evident — but the Patriots have also proven that they may not be the juggernaut we’ve been accustomed to seeing over the past decade by nearly losing to the Buffalo Bills.
Not many people (their fans included) are putting a lot of faith in the Jets this season. They lack offensive firepower, their coach is in a win-now or go-home situation and it remains to be seen if Geno Smith is the future at quarterback for this team.
But the Patriots have their own issues to sort out. Tom Brady has lost 80 percent of his passing targets from last year, which was a concern going into this season. Additionally, Rob Gronkowski will not play in Thursday’s game, and Danny Amendola is questionable to make the start as well.
Shane Vereen, who was likely to get more carries against the Jets because of Steven Ridley’s fumbling issues, was placed on IR while he recovers from wrist surgery.
Las Vegas knows what they’re doing when it comes to betting lines. That much is clear. And New England may ultimately prove to be a much better team than New York as the season progresses. But if the Jets were looking for some added motivation for Thursday night’s matchup against the Patriots, the line setters have certainly provided it.
Matt Poliquin is a New York Jets writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @OGDelicious.