The New Orleans Saints desperately need a win to stay in playoff contention, and the New York Jets are all but out of the playoff picture for the 2021 season, but both squads hope to cap the regular season with some positive momentum.
The Saints at Jets is an exciting game from an NFL betting perspective. So let’s take a look at the three best bets for this week’s matchup.
There’s some good news for Saints fans: Alvin Kamara appears to be back. He was a full participant in practice on Wednesday. The New York Jets rank 30th in rushing yards allowed per game.
Since Kamara’s injury, the Saints haven’t won a game and have only scored 23 points in the last two weeks.
With Kamara, the Saints should be able to control the game by running the football. Even the Houston Texans, who are last in the NFL with 78.8 rushing yards per game, managed 96 rushing yards against them. This season, there have only been two teams who haven’t rushed for over 100 yards against New York: Houston and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Last week, Saints QB Taysom Hill ran for 101 yards against the Dallas Cowboys. Between Hill and Kamara, I believe that the Saints will dominate time of possession and take advantage of the Jets’ weak run defense.
Jets Under 18.5 Points Scored (-110)
The Jets have failed to score over 18 points in seven games this year, and on average, they score only 18.1 points per game.
No Jets QB has been particularly productive, but there’s a hitch in rookie Zach Wilson’s game that’s troubling for the Jets’ offensive production. Other than last week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Zach Wilson has been historically bad in the first quarter.
Before Week 13, Wilson was only 10/28 for 75 yards in the opening quarter. An inability to produce early in games limits the Jets’ point totals on the season.
While the Saints’ pass defense isn’t elite (allowing an average of 250.1 yards per game), their run defense is. The Saints’ run defense ranks fifth in the league, allowing only 96.4 yards per game.
The Jets will need production from Wilson’s arm, and if his early game struggles continue, New York’s point totals will stay low. Therefore, I like this alternative bet.
Saints First Half Spread (-3)
Wilson’s early game struggles will slow the Jets’ attack. During the 2021 season, the Jets average only 6.9 points in the first half of their games.
Though New Orleans hasn’t been much better, averaging 8.7 points in the first half, the Jets defense is ranked 29th in passing yards allowed and last in points allowed per game (30.6).
If Wilson struggles out the gate, and his short history says he will, the Saints should be able to score enough to cover this bet, even if Kamara cannot play.
First Half Total: Under 21.5 (-110)
The Jets’ defense ranks last in points allowed, but that doesn’t mean the Saints’ offense will run roughshod over them in the first half.
With the expected return of Kamara and because of poor quarterback play, I believe that the Saints will put most of their focus on their running game this week. Siemian and Hill have put up underwhelming numbers at the QB position. Hill threw four picks in his start against the Dallas Cowboys. Siemian hasn’t won or passed over 300 yards in any of his starts.
If the Saints control time of possession in this game, the Jets will not have as many opportunities to score. Given Wilson’s slow starts, I’m not expecting much offense from them before halftime. Meanwhile, neither team has lit up the scoreboard this year. The Saints average 22.8 points per game, while the Jets only average 18.1. So I could see a 7-3 score at halftime, making this alternative bet a good one to consider for bettors.
Best Bets for Saints at Jets
The Saints at Jets game isn’t a marquee matchup of two playoff contenders, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of worthy bets.
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