I've done it! I've gotten through the entire NBA preseason without betting on a game. I couldn't be more proud of myself. I was helped tremendously by the Sun Belt playing football games on Wednesday nights the last couple of weeks, and now that the NBA preseason is over, we've reached the greatest time of the year.
There's a Monday Night Football game tonight -- and I have three picks for it coming up soon -- and the NBA regular season starts tomorrow. Soon, the college basketball season will begin as well. When it does, oh the opportunities we'll have, my friends.
Let's make sure we start off on the right foot with three plays for tonight's NFL game. The spread and total are via William Hill. The touchdown prop is courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook.
1. Patriots at Jets: Jets +10
The Patriots are the Patriots, but they aren't perfect. They're likely going to lose a game at some point, and even if they don't, they haven't covered every week. They're 4-2 ATS this season, and I think that'll fall to 4-3 after tonight. While the Patriots have taken advantage of a horrible division over the years to help stock the trophy case, this Jets team is not as bad as the line suggests. Nor is it as bad of a Jets team as on that fell to the Patriots, 30-14, in New England last month. Sam Darnold is so much better than Luke Falk, and this Jets offense has been impressive with Darnold at the helm. It's going to get points on the board tonight against one of the best defenses in the NFL-- not enough to win this game, but enough to stay within 10 points.
2. Patriots at Jets: Under 43
Part of the reason I like the Jets and the points is that I don't expect this game to be a high-scoring affair. The Patriots scored 30 points in the first contest, but that was at home and against an inept Jets team that managed only 105 yards of offense. Only one of New England's four touchdown drives in that game needed to cover more than 60 yards. They won't have the same kind of field position advantage in this one, so I think 30 points will be out of reach. This strikes me as a 24-17 game, not a 30-14 one.
3. Julian Edelman touchdown +140
One thing I don't think will be different this week is that Julian Edelman will again play well. In the first meeting, Edelman had seven catches for 62 yards and a touchdown before leaving with a chest injury in the first half. Edelman will be used again to expose the Jets defensive deficiency in slot coverage, and as long as he doesn't suffer another injury, this is great value on his odds for finding the end zone.