A critical AFC East matchup is on tap to take place this weekend as the New England Patriots battle it out with New York Jets. Join us for our NFL odds series where our Patriots-Jets prediction and pick will take place. 

The return of QB Mac Jones was an unpleasant one, as the Patriots signal caller who led New England to the postseason a season ago was replaced by backup Bailey Zappe during the 33-14 blowout to the Chicago Bears. With the quarterback controversy swirling in Foxborough, the Patriots’ season no doubt hangs in the balance at 3-4 as New England currently sits at a crossroads.

Unlike Jets teams of the past, New York comes into this one with a surplus of confidence as they are coming off of a dominating defensive performance in their win versus the Broncos. Under the leadership of Robert Saleh, the Jets are on the Bills’ tails in the division and only trail Buffalo for the AFC East lead by a half-game. Simply put, New York has exceeded expectations thus far this season and a victory against the Patriots would get them one step closer to seeing their postseason aspirations come true.

Here are the Patriots-Jets NFL odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

NFL Odds: Patriots-Jets Odds

New England Patriots: -2.5 (-115)

New York Jets: +2.5 (-105)

Over: 39.5 (-115)

Under: 39.5 (-105)

Why The Patriots Could Cover The Spread

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Coming into their Monday Night Football showdown with the Chicago Bears, few could imagine what would unfold as the game progressed. As the clock hit triple zeroes, New England was left stunned as they put together a dreadful performance against an extremely average Bears team. Not to mention, but Mac Jones looked like a former shell of himself as Bailey Zappe had to be thrusted into the ball game in an attempt to rejuvenate what was an extremely sluggish offense.

Without a doubt, the Pats are desperate for QB Mac Jones to be the answer at quarterback that they had in mind when they drafted him with the 15th pick in the draft in 2o21. A former national champion at Alabama during his college days, Jones has struggled with the injury bug and inconsistent play this season that has raised some eyebrows around the league about how safe his starting gig really is. While Bill Belichick is still giving Jones the benefit of the doubt in naming Jones the starter for this week, there is no question that the Alabama standout is on thin ice. If New England is going to cover the spread, they need Jones to be at his best against a stingy Jets defense.

Not to mention, the Pats have been suspect at times on the defensive side of the ball. After allowing a below-average Bears offense to record 24 first-downs on Monday night that eventually led to 33 total points, the Patriots need to tighten the screws in a big way to avoid another letdown.

Why The Jets Could Cover The Spread

Throughout the years, Bill Belichick and the Pats have had the Jets number especially when Tom Brady resided in New England, but there seems to be a changing of the guard out east. Not only have the Buffalo Bills taken the football world by storm, but the surprising New York Jets have looked as resurgent as ever and have created a winning  DNA that is tough to beat. Combatted with a hard-nosed, physical brand of defense that few teams around the league have been able to figure out, the Jets have jumped out to a 5-2 start and haven’t even looked all that good on offense.

For starters, they will need to find some sort of spark offensively to get the job done in two straight games against AFC East competition. This all starts with QB Zach Wilson, who despite having the intangibles to be a talented field general in this league, has struggled with creating plays and finding open receivers downfield. Wilson has guided the Jets to a four-game winning streak but has not thrown a touchdown since Oct. 2nd against the Steelers and has thrown for less than 200 yards in back-to-back weeks. With that being said, it is pivotal for Wilson to have a breakout game versus a New England squad that has won 12 consecutive games versus the Jets including 15 of the last 16 contests.

Whether or not Wilson will break out of his slump remains to be seen, but expect the Jets’ defense to ball out like they have been doing all season long. Believe it or not, New York is ninth in total defense and is only averaging 314.7 yards per game. With as much as the Pats are struggling on offense, the Jets could be in for a field day.

Final Patriots-Jets Prediction & Pick

Yes, the Jets are 5-2, but don’t be shocked if Pats head coach Bill Belichick devises a stupendous game plan that puts the pressure on Zach Wilson and keeps the Jets off of the scoreboard.

Final Patriots-Jets Prediction & Pick: Patriots -2.5 (-115)