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NFL Bargain Bets: Week 13
November 28th 2008
by Old Man Winner

New York Jets (-7.5) vs Denver Broncos 

It's favorites week my friends! Every year there are weeks where either favorites dominate or dogs cover. I'm calling out this week as a "favorites week".

Yes, I'm writing this on Friday. And yes, I have the advantage of knowing that all three favorites covered yesterday ;-), but I did have two of them (dang those West coast teams traveling to the East coast - how could I have taken the Cards!) - see our weekly 'expert picks' for all games.

OK, OK, on to the game at hand . . .
If I were in Vegas I would buy down the half point. I hate games at 3 1/2, 7 1/2 or 10 1/2, but its hard not to love the Jets to cover regardless of "the hook" in this one.

Although this game doesn't "set up as well" for the Jets as the past few winning bargain bet picks have (see last week's article), I think this game comes down to two simple factors - injuries and the weather. The Broncos season-long injury report (including all guys on this week's list) is the longest list I have ever seen! The Broncos have a full dozen players that are out for the season, six players that are either doubtful or questionable, and another eight that are probable. That's 28 players either out or banged up. That is more than half a roster! It's also important to note that many of these players, that are on IR or may not play this week, are not second tier guys, but key starters, including LB Boss Bailey (IR - out), three former starting RB's (IR), DB McCree (doubtful), and WR Royal, LB Webster, LB Williams, CB Bailey, RB Young all questionable. These guys are the nucleus of the Denver team. I have absolutely no idea how they have remained somewhat competitive without these key players.

As for the Jets, they are one of the healthiest teams in the league. They have only lost four players for the season (no marquee names) and four guys are day-to-day this week (again no marquee guys). It is no surprise that the Jets are on a five game winning streak. When you are able to put your best players on the field every week, the odds of you winning games improves dramatically.

Onto the second big issue in this game - the weather. The forecast is calling for rain. This is not good for the Broncos. They will not be able to run the ball with their 5th string running back against a stout NYJ run defense led by the behemoth Kris Jenkins. No, to win this game they will need to attack the Jets with the pass. And, as we all know, its much tougher to pass in the rain. When the weather starts to impact games like this, it is usually the quality of the lineman and linebackers that dictate games. Look for both Thomas Jones and Leon Washington to have nice games.

Who would have guessed that the Jets would be only one half point behind the Giants as the #2 team in scoring this year (since when has the Meadowlands been the incubator of so much offense)? We knew they'd be able to pass with Brett at the helm, but how many of us expected the Jets to be the 8th best rushing team in the league?

So, bottom line, Jets run all over the Broncos in an ugly game. I wouldn't be surprised to see a key interception run back for a TD either.

Jets: 27 Broncos: 16

Bargain Bets 2008 Record:  8-3-1

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