With his debut piece last week, Fabian Sommer hit on the Patriots and is again zoning in on an AFC East team with his week 2 betting angle!
This game immediately popped up on the screen when I compared the market prices to my own numbers on Monday morning. The spread looked extremely fair, but I expected the total to hover around 41. But, the market offered 43.5 on Monday.
Even though the 49ers faced a below-average Cardinals defense last week, their issues at wide receiver were obvious.
Jimmy Garoppolo averaged 0.10 EPA per play, but that was aided by the big Raheem Mostert touchdown run on an angle route where he made Isaiah Simmons miss. The wide receivers of San Francisco combined for 11 targets, only 33% of the targets went to WRs.
Deebo Samuel is still on IR, Brandon Aiyuk could make his rookie debut after missing several weeks of practice. Mohamed Sanu was signed early in the week, but when even the Patriots have no interest in him – considering their depth chart – I question how effective he will be this Sunday.
On top of that, star TE George Kittle won’t practice this week after he hyperextended his knee against Arizona. It’s the same injury that kept him out two weeks in 2019. Overall, it doesn’t bode well for this receiving corps.
With a limited downfield passing attack, Kyle Shanahan will likely come up with a game plan that puts an emphasis on the run game, passes to running backs and putting Ayiuk in some situations to gain chunk yards after the catch. The 49ers are well-known for their rushing attack, but they aren’t necessarily world-beaters on the ground.
Since the start of the 2019 season, their rushing attack ranks 6th in EPA per play and 9th in success rate (EPA > 0). And that includes the crazy outlier performances in the playoffs.
The Jets are a bad team, but if they excel in one area, it’s run defense.
Since the start of 2019, they rank 2nd in EPA per rush, 2nd in rush DVOA and 1st in success rate, defensively. They gave up 3.06 yards per rush over 17 games. Even last week, they shut down most of the RB runs from the Bills.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s still the San Francisco 49ers with one of the brightest offensive minds in pro football. They will find ways to be successful. But I think the road side is going to struggle to put up a massive amount of points in the Meadowlands.
They might struggle to get an efficient run game going and Jets DC Gregg Williams might get after Jimmy Garoppolo with a couple of blitzes here and there. I can see some more field goal attempts and punts than lots of touchdown drives.
Let’s flip sides.
The Jets offense looked abysmal last week against Buffalo. But it’s not like we expected a world-class performance. Sam Darnold is a well below-average quarterback who didn’t show a sign of progression in his third year. New York threw resources at the offensive line, but that’s still a below-average unit that finished the week with the 3rd-worst pass-blocking grade by Pro Football Focus.
They are going to play against one of the best defensive lines in football – Arik Armstead, rookie Javon Kinlaw and Nick Bosa are going to whip that unit around all game. Sam Darnold is going to be under constant duress. And he’s a guy who is allergic to pressure. As soon as he’s pressured, he abandons his footwork and comes up with some wild throws.
The 49ers are going to be without stud cornerback Richard Sherman and maybe without his replacement Akhello Whitherspoon. But even with a banged-up secondary, I don’t see how this underwhelming and uncreative Gang Green offense is going to have much success against the 49ers defense.
RB Le’Veon Bell got sent to IR and he isn’t a big loss on the surface, but he can at least catch passes and do some damage after the catch. 37-year old Frank Gore is going to be the starter – he was targeted 32 times over the past 30 games. He will be a non-factor in the passing game but set up difficult down-and-distance for Sam Darnold.
All in all, I am having a difficult time envisaging many points in this one.
The Jets will struggle to get any touchdown drives going, while the Niners have a tough matchup in the trenches and lack the receiving quality to dice up the Jets secondary and create big plays through the air. The Under is a very good look. I got 43.5 on Monday, but the current Matchbook prices still provide value.
- San Francisco 49ers @ New York Jets Under 42.5 -107 (1.934)