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Wilbur's own pick is the Pats winning 27-23. In his roundup of national columnists and sites it's about 2:1 in favor of the Pats.
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This is the 100th meeting all-time between New England and the Jets, and it couldn’t be any closer: the series stands at 49-49-1, but New England has won 13 of the last 16. … The Patriots have won the last eight games at the Meadowlands; New York last beat New England on its home field on Sept. 11, 2000. … Tom Brady’s next touchdown pass will be the 200th of his career. … A win for the Pats will be the 400th in franchise history. … This will be the last time New England plays at Giants Stadium/the Meadowlands; a new stadium opens right next door next season.
It's a clean sweep for the Jets from the pre-game show guys, as Mike Ditka, Keyshawn Johnson, Cris Carter and Tom Jackson all pick the Jets to win on Sunday Countdown Online.
On the other hand 7 out of their 10 "NFL Experts" went with the Pats. Eric Allen, Mike Golic, Ron Jaworski, Mark Schlereth (!), Sean Wickersham, Accuscore (computer simulator), and Pigskin Pick'em (fan picks) think the Pats will win; Merril Hoge, Chris Mortensen, and Adam Schefter are going with the Jets.
Add that all up and there are seven picks for the Pats and seven for the Jets.
CBS Sports has its experts pick against the spread, which is listed as 5 1/2 points based on the opening line earlier this week. Tom Harmon, Pete Prisco the Harmon Forecast and Spin went with the Pats to cover while Clark Judge, Peter Madden and Dave Richard took the Jets and the points. 82% of the fans responding on their site picked the Pats to win, a number a bit higher than I would have expected.
Prisco says "Rex Ryan isn't backing down from his boa(Please be quiet - edited)l ways, and he shouldn't. But now it's time to back it up. If he wants to be a contender, he has to beat the Patriots. New England looked vulnerable on defense against Buffalo, but Bill Belichick is a master at facing young quarterbacks. Rookie Mark Sanchez comes back to reality some", and predicts a final score of the Pats 31, the Jets 24.
Harmon predicts a 21-14 Pats victory and says "Jets RB Thomas Jones started slowly last week, but finished with 107 rushing yards and two second-half touchdowns. Patriots QB Tom Brady looked rusty at times, but pulled it together in the fourth quarter when the team needed him the most. The Patriots could use more screen plays and draws to slow down the Jets' pass rush and set up plays down the field."
The Fox Sports experts are also split 3 for the Pats, 3 for the Jets, but they are choosing outright winners and not looking at the spread like CBS did. Alex Marvez, Peter Schrager, and Adrian Hasenmayer pick the Pats to win, while Jay Glazer, John Czarnecki, and Adam Schein chose the Jets. Interesting to note that in the Indy-Miami game only two out of six picked the Colts to win.
A column by the Sports Xchange on Fox predicts a 24-17 Pats victory, notes that five of the past seven meetings have been decided by a touchdown or less, and lists these keys to the game: "Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez displayed a lot of poise in his first career start, but this will be his first experience with the Patriots' 3-4 scheme that disguises coverages and where pressure is coming from. New England has experienced a lot of personnel turnover on defense, allowed 4.7 yards per carry to Buffalo and is now without injured ILB Jerod Mayo, so RBs Thomas Jones and Leon Washington have the opportunity to lead the charge offensively. Patriots QB Tom Brady threw 53 passes against the Bills, and it could be more of the same with Jets NT Kris Jenkins' ability to dominate the interior of the trenches. With Jets CB Darrelle Revis capable of shutting down his half of the field, look for WR Wes Welker to be very active in the slot."
WhatIfSports predicts a 57% chance of a Jets win and projects a 21-17 victory for the Jets.
NBC Sports via its online partner, Pro Football Talk, are predicting a 27-21 victory for the Pats.
When things set up the best for the Jets and their fans, that's when something bad usually happens. Especially against New England.
The indicators all say the Jets are primed for an upset, but Rex Ryan was right: The Patriots do have the best quarterback and coach in this one. New England wins their ninth straight in the Meadowlands.
Over at the Sporting News, their column by The Shark lists New England (-3) over the Jets to not only win, but as its "Best Bet."
New England -3 over New York Jets: Most books have the line set at 3.5, but we're spending the extra vig to buy the half-point and making this a field goal-proposition. We were on the winning side of an anti-Pats bet last Monday (the Bills coasted to covering the 11.5-point line), but we're on them this week. Sure, they struggled in Buffalo, but it looked to us like they found their rhythm late in Monday night's early game.
Many are already drinking the Mark Sanchez Kool-Aid – not us. Something tells us he'll feel more pressure playing at home in New York this week than he did in Houston last week. Coach Rex Ryan and his Jets teammates probably aren't helping matters with their trash talk.
The Pats have given points to the Jets in New York the past seven years – and they've covered every time. The 3.5 looks awfully soft to us, and by buying the half-point, we're making this our best bet. Wager: 60 cannoli to win 50
This week, the Pats can take more chances with their secondary, until the Jets prove they can stretch the field with Jerricho Cotchery or Chansi Stuckey. That will allow them to squeeze the line of scrimmage to slow Jones and come after Sanchez.
Offensively, the Patriots used the Bills to shake off rust. Even though it won't be easy to move the ball on Ryan's defense, Tom Brady once again will make the right throws at the right time. Patriots 20, Jets 16
Overall five out of seven Sporting News experts pick the Pats to beat the Jets. Besides Breer and Iyer, Steve Greenberg (34-16), Clifton Brown (26-20), and RealScouts (17-12) went with the Pats; only Dennis Dillon (19-14) and Russ Lande (24-17) selected the Jets.