The Thursday night matchup has been a reliable bet in recent years, as the past seven meetings have rewarded totals bettors backing the OVER. The total was surprisingly low at 43, as of Wednesday.
But while the Jets seldom win as a big underdog, the Patriots seldom cover at home as a big favorite. In their past 22 home games where they are favored by 10 points or more, the Pats have covered the spread just six times for a 6-16 ATS slate.
This hardly shapes up a battle of quarterbacks, but it could be billed that way by kickoff, with veteran Tom Brady hosting rookie Geno Smith, who will make his second pro start in as many weeks. But it's a game where computer projections are pointing to another close win by New England.
The Jets edged the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 18-17 in Week 1 as Nick Folk booted a 48-yard field goal. And while Folk could have been labeled the scoring star of that game—he was 3-of-3 on field goals and kicked his game-winner with two seconds left—it was Smith stealing the headlines after leading the winning drive in his pro debut.
Mark Sanchez remains out with an injury for Week 2, after which the quarterback controversy will heat up again.
Brady, meanwhile, improved to 11-1 in season openers, the best record among quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era. Brady completed 29 of 52 pass attempts for 288 yards and two touchdowns against the Bills.
The Patriots won their 10th straight season opener with a 23-21 victory at Buffalo, a streak that tied Portsmouth/Detroit (1930-39) for the NFL's third-longest streak.
The bad news for New England is third-year running back Shane Vereen, who had 14 carries for 101 yards, missed practice Monday due to a broken bone in his left wrist. He will reportedly miss eight weeks.
Though the Jets have failed to cover five of six against AFC teams and are 4-7 at the window when catching points on the highway, the road team has covered 22 of the last 30 meetings.
On the flip side, the Pats are on winning runs of 5-0 straight-up and 4-1 ATS in this series, while they enjoy playing on Thursdays, as they've covered five of six when playing in the nationally televised prime-time game.
Prediction: 22-21 Patriots (courtesy of OddsShark.com NFL computer)