Two teams heavily influenced by the bye week will square off Sunday in the Pacific Northwest. The 3-4 New York Jets will travel west, fresh off their rest week to take on the 5-4 Seattle Seahawks who are heading into a bye week of their own. This season teams heading into their bye week are a staggering 2-18 against the spread, but it remains to be seen if this Seattle team can avoid that number playing in front of their rowdy hometown fans.
The Jets have been the one team in the NFL hit the hardest by the injury bug. Key players remain out at all positions, and though they sit just a game below .500, you get the sense it’s about to get a whole lot worse. That said, in recent weeks Rex Ryan’s club has turned in some tough performances. This a team that hasn’t quit and has a lot of fight in them. They took both Houston and New England to the wire, but will be looking to avenge a poor loss to the Dolphins in Week 8. New York will get somewhat of a break on the injury front as safety Eric Smith will return this week. Though the Jets’ defense is severely depleted and have poor statistical numbers, this is still a group with an abundance of talent. If they are to sneak out a surprise victory in Seattle, it will have to be on the backs of their defense.
Seattle meanwhile is always the same. Great at home, and a different team on the road. They’re still undefeated in 2012 at CenturyLink Field, and they know their ticket to the post-season is to keep winning these home contests. Russell Wilson has been quite the revelation for Seattle this year as well. The former Wisconsin Badger has been especially stellar when playing at home, going 4-0 with nine TD’s and 0 interceptions. The only quarterback with a better ratio than that at home is Denver’s Peyton Manning. The Seahawks enter this contest heading into a bye week, a factor proven difficult to overcome for many teams this season. Seattle hopes that they’ll avoid the letdown since their raucous hometown crowd shouldn’t allow for it. Lastly, the Seahawks have some injury issues of their own for Week 10 as thirteen players were listed on the report, but only linebacker K.J. Wright and guard James Carpenter have been officially declared out.
Jets vs. Seahawks Betting Odds:
New York Jets +6 (-110)
@ Seattle Seahawks -6 (-110)
Over 39 (-110)
Under 39 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Jets vs. Seahawks Pick:
Given the fact that teams heading into their bye week are an awful 2-18 against the number, it is immensely difficult to back the Seahawks in this spot. The Jets are well-rested, hungry, and motivated at stringing some wins together for a playoff spot, and Seattle could be due for a letdown. That said, the Jets are an untrustworthy team in the betting market right now, so the value in this contest looks to be on the Under in a game featuring two stagnant offenses.
A low-scoring affair seems like a decent bet in this contest because of the extremely heavy emphasis that will be put on the running game. Both Rex Ryan and Pete Carroll know if they are to win this contest, running the football is going to be their key to success. Run plays of course eat up clock time, keep it ticking, and are conducive to producing Unders. Look for the Jets to keep the ball out of the hands of Mark Sanchez as much as possible. Passing into that Seattle secondary is a recipe for disaster, so look for Rex Ryan to call Shonn Greene and Tim Tebow’s numbers a lot come Sunday evening. The Jets are a “ground and pound” football team, and look for that philosophy to be heavily employed on Sunday.
Conversely, the Seahawks are also a running team, one of the best in the entire NFL. On the back of Marshawn Lynch, this Seattle squad has become one of the best rushing teams in football. Lynch himself is on pace for a career year, and should be salivating against a surprisingly weak Jets’ run defense. New York has given up more than 100 yards on the ground in more than five games, and rank 29th in the NFL currently. Look for Pete Carroll to try and exploit this early and often on Sunday, trying to grind out a low-scoring victory.
Laying six points is a fair amount for teams that don’t produce a whole lot of points. Look for the Jets to show up with an inspired outing on Sunday, making the Seahawks work for their victory. Though it’s tough to trust them, bank on the fact that this should be a low-scoring game. Seattle has shut down Romo, Rodgers, and Brady in CenturyLink Field, so Mark Sanchez will have severe difficulty moving the chains. Seattle will likely escape with a victory here, but it won’t be easy and it won’t be a blowout. Expect something along the lines of a 17-14 nail-biter from the Pacific Northwest.
PICK = Under 39 (-110)