The New England Patriots look to wrap up home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs as they host the New York Jets in Week 17. Game time is set for 1:00 EST on Sunday, December 31 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The game will be available on CBS in local markets.
The Patriots are listed as 15.5-point favorites at home. The over/under is set at 45 points. Click here for a full list of the Week 17 betting odds and links to more game previews.
Patriots vs Jets Vegas Predictions & Betting Odds Preview
As far as home-field advantage is concerned, the Patriots control their own destiny thanks to their win over the Steelers a couple weeks ago. Outside of a slip-up against the Dolphins, the Patriots have won 10 of their last 11 games to improve to 12-3 on the season. A win over the Jets will ensure that the AFC playoffs go through Foxboro and solidify the Patriots as AFC favorites.
Meanwhile, the Jets will be happy to see the season come to an end. New York has lost five of their last six games to fall to 5-10 on the season. Things have gotten worse for the Jets the past couple of weeks with Josh McCown getting hurt and Bryce Petty becoming the starting quarterback.
Not surprisingly, the Patriots have won 11 of the last 13 games between these two teams. The Jets haven’t won at Gillette Stadium since the 2010 playoffs. However, these teams did play a competitive game earlier this season, as the Patriots escaped MetLife Stadium with a 24-17 win.
NFL Betting Predictions & Free Pick Against the Spread: Pats -15.5
I’m always hesitant to swallow this many points in an NFL game. But the Patriots need to win to make sure they get home-field advantage, so they’ll play their starters and have plenty of motivation. As long as New England has reason to play hard, I’ll take my chances with Tom Brady and company covering the spread.
To be fair, there are only a couple of examples of the Jets losing by more than two touchdowns this season. New York’s 10 losses have come by an average of 10 points, with seven of their 10 losses coming by single digits. That means there’s a chance they keep this game close and can beat the spread.
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However, I’m not sure the Jets will be as motivated as the Patriots to play this game. Head coach Todd Bowles may or may not have a job come Monday morning, and after such a rough season, many of the Jets players may be looking forward to the offseason. If the Patriots can get an early lead, the Jets may not provide much resistance the rest of the way.
I’m also not sure how long the Jets can keep hope for an upset alive with Petty at quarterback. Petty’s second start of the season last week wasn’t any better than his first. Admittedly, he faced a tough Chargers defense. But going 15 for 28 for just 119 yards isn’t enough. It won’t be much easier having to play on the road against New England’s defense. Even with a productive running game last week, the Jets only managed seven points against the Chargers. I’d be surprised if they do much better against the Patriots.
I also question how the Jets can keep up on the other side of the ball. The Patriots started slowly against a solid Buffalo defense last week, only to eventually find a groove and score 37 points. New England’s offense totaled nearly 400 yards of offense and 24 points in the first meeting between these two teams. I have a hard time believing the Jets will do better playing on the road this time around.
If I wanted to, I could argue that the Jets can keep this game close. However, I don’t see how they’ll be all that motivated to play this game, especially if they fall behind early. Meanwhile, the Patriots will want to play sharp heading into the playoffs. I see New England taking control of this game early and easily covering the spread.