The New York Jets aren't necessarily known for their quick starts to seasons, but they are 5-0 straight up and 3-2 against the spread over their last five season openers. They will be looking for more of the same when they host the Cincinnati Bengals in their 2016 opener Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.
Point spread: The Jets opened as 1.5-point favorites; the total was 41.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).
Why the Bengals can cover the spread
Cincinnati made the playoffs for the fifth straight season last year and hopes to finally make the leap past the Wild Card Round this year. The Bengals also went 12-2-2 against the spread last season, making them the best bet in the league other than the Minnesota Vikings.
Cincy outrushed opponents last year by 21 yards per game and outscored opponents by an average tally of 26-17, which ranked as the fifth-best points differential in the league. Also, while the Bengals lost quarterback Andy Dalton to a broken thumb in Week 14 of last season, he should be ready to go after completing 17 of 24 passes without a pick during the preseason.
Finally, Cincy went 6-2 SU and a perfect 8-0 ATS on the road last season.
Why the Jets can cover the spread
New York went 10-6 in its first season under head coach Todd Bowles last season but just missed the playoffs. The Jets outgained opponents last year by 51 yards per game and outrushed foes by 34 yards per game. Over the offseason, they lost leading rusher Chris Ivory but signed versatile Matt Forte to replace him.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is 33 years old but coming off his best season as a pro. He completed 60 percent of his passes, including 31 for touchdowns. The New York defense ranked fourth in the league overall and second against the run. The Jets have a lot going for them if they can just stay healthy.
New York should again contend for a playoff spot this season, but there are at least a couple of red flags. Fitzpatrick was late getting into camp and will be hard-pressed to match last year's numbers. The 30-year-old Forte isn't what he once was. And wide receiver Brandon Marshall is dinged up with a sore hip. The Bengals have a couple of injury/suspension issues of their own, but on the whole, they're the better team at the moment. The smart money here sides with Cincy.
The Bengals are 0-9 SU in their last nine games on the road against the Jets.
The Jets are 5-0 SU in their last five games in Week 1.
The Jets are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games as underdog.
All NFL betting lines and point spreads data courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and Odds Shark YouTube for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.