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NFL Lock Of The Week: Jets at Saints Over Under Bet

New York Jets(5-7) @ New Orleans Saints(9-4)

  • Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome. New Orleans
  • When: December 17, 2017 1:00 pm EST
  • Spread: New York (+16) at New Orleans (-16)
  • Moneyline: New York (+850) at New Orleans (-1300)
  • Over / Under: Over 47 (-110) Under 47 (-110)

The New Orleans Saints are defiant, losers of 2 of their last 3 who still have a simple path to a division crown in front of them. “We still control everything,” tackle Terron Armstead told an ESPN reporter on Monday.

Could it be that odds-makers over-estimate the Saints as a team while also under-estimating their offense?

Drew Brees has struggled to find his usual passing lanes in recent road losses to the Rams and the Falcons. But other teams have gotten credit from Vegas (judging by the odds) for wins and tight defeats against far-less formidable opposition. L.A. and Atlanta are above-average NFL cities these days.

The Fleur de Lis is still a great scoring unit at home. The Panthers and Redskins have each visited over the past month and lost while giving up 30+ points each.

Brass tacks? The Saints are 9-4 and should absolutely be favored against a team like the New York Jets. But thanks to a terrible momentum-killing injury in New York, the point spread is tall, big and fat…at least by NFL-odds standards.

McCown is down, and so is the O/U total

Wager on the New Orleans Saints and New York Jets to go over (47) total points and get a 50% sign up bonus from our friends at Bovada.

The O/U total of (47) gives away that odds-makers are concerned about both offenses.

Given the injury situation, concern for at least the visitors is not without cause.

If laughingstock-turned-respected gunslinger Josh McCown were taking the field on Sunday, bookies would expect the Jets to make more noise against the favored Saints. But McCown is out and needing surgery, leaving the dressing room in a tearful and heartfelt moment. McCown earned something more valuable than a Super Bowl trophy with his surprise mid-season run…respect. Still the team sits at 5-7, and pundits have serious doubts about Bryce Petty, the veteran’s young replacement.

Petty was mostly awful in 4 starts last season. He is tall but not exceptionally elusive, with only 3 touchdown passes in his career. A Baylor product, he is still most-comfortable throwing the bubble screen followed by the back-door deep ball & surprise jet-sweep. The Jets are not adept at using such QBs.

Todd Bowles can’t make the same mistake twice. Give Petty a few spread-option concepts and easy throws early in the game, give Bilal Powell a few more touches than he’s been getting, and the Saint defense could prove vulnerable. After all, New Orleans failed to shut down either Chicago or Washington at home. But ask the green-horn Big 12 standout to hand off on the stretch, then waggle and go through a 3-WR read? Forget it.

Ain’t the Ain’ts

It’s impressive to consider that New Orleans started very slowly, then surged to this point with an unlikely, unstoppable ground attack. The Saints have seen their running game start to come back to Earth a little bit, however. Numbers like Mark Ingram’s 5.1 ypc and Alvin Kamara’s 7.0 ypc are eye-popping and suggest total domination. But nobody’s got 1000 yards yet, and no other New Orleans tailback has more than a single 1st-down conversion.

That leaves Brees in his familiar role – throwing downfield enough to scare the opposition while hurting them with one quick check-down after another. Kamara is a nightmare to cover coming out of the backfield, but he is questionable to perform on Sunday after suffering a mild concussion and will probably be relegated to 3rd downs.

However, the WR corps has rarely looked better, and New York is a step down from the kind of championship opposition Brees and his supporting cast have been facing. A 1st-half passing attack could set up Ingram for lots of 2nd half gallops against a thin visiting defense.

New Orleans will be challenged a little more if Jeremy Kerley, who is returning from a suspension this weekend, plays significant minutes for the Jets.

Jets at Saints: All about the Over

We’re calling this final score a lock to tally over (47) points.

The Jets will likely try opening-up into the type of spread offense Petty prefers, and score a few points in the 1st half. That will drive Brees to respond by opening up in kind. If the visitors come out in a traditional playbook and fall flat trying to scrape out 1st downs, this could be Hurricane Drew’s week to break out once again and put up 40+ thanks to nice field position and extra chances.

Either way, the over (47) is a smart bet here. Whether it’s 44-7 or 28-20 for the hosts, or a miraculous 31-30 win for the underdogs.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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