Patriots

NFL odds: Latest Patriots vs. Jets spread laughably big amid New York's injuries

NFL odds: Latest Patriots vs. Jets spread laughably big amid New York's injuries

The New England Patriots were 17.5-point home favorites over the New York Jets when the Westgate Superbook released its first NFL Week 3 odds Sunday night, and it's taken less than 48 hours for the betting line to move up by almost a touchdown.

The Patriots are now 22.5-point favorites over the Jets at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas:

If this line holds or increases, the Patriots would pass the 1986 Chicago Bears as the team with the highest combined point spread for the first three weeks of a season in league history, per Pro Football Reference

What made the line move in such a short period of time? 

Well, everyone saw the Patriots crush the struggling Miami Dolphins 43-0 on the road in Week 2 as favorites of 18.5-points at most sportsbooks. Many people are expecting a similar result against the Jets at Gillette Stadium this weekend, even though the Patriots are 0-4 against the spread in their history when the line is 20-plus points.

The Jets already were a below-average team coming into the season, and injuries have worsened their depth, particularly at the quarterback position.

Jets starting quarterback Sam Darnold is expected to at least miss Sunday's matchup with the Patriots as he battles mono. This development forced the Jets to start backup Trevor Siemian in Monday night's loss to the Cleveland Browns, and he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in that game. Third-string QB Luke Falk replaced Siemian on Monday night, and quarterbacks with very little experience typically fare quite poorly against Bill Belichick defenses.

This line could get even higher before Sunday as more people pour money into the Patriots' side, so if you think the defending Super Bowl champs are going to earn another blowout victory, the time to wager on them probably is now.

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Patriots downgrade S Patrick Chung, RB Damien Harris to out for Eagles game

Patriots downgrade S Patrick Chung, RB Damien Harris to out for Eagles game

The Patriots have downgraded safety Patrick Chung and running back Damien Harris from questionable to out for the game Sunday against the Eagles in Philadelphia.

Chung has had heel and chest injuries but did play in the Pats' last game before their bye week, the Nov. 3 loss to the Ravens. Harris appeared on the injury report for the first time on Friday with a hamstring issue. The rookie third-round pick from Alabama has only been active for two games this season.

The loss of Chung could impact the Patriots most in their coverage of Eagles tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. Taking on tight ends is something Chung has excelled at. 

ESPN Mike Reiss reports that Patriots tight end Matt LaCosse, out with a knee injury since Oct. 10, did travel with the team to Philly so he will likely be active for the game.

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Ten years ago today, on fourth-and-2, Bill Belichick made one of his most controversial decisions

Ten years ago today, on fourth-and-2, Bill Belichick made one of his most controversial decisions

It was one of the most controversial calls in Patriots history...and it didn't come from an official.

It was Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 in the final minutes against the Indianapolis Colts. And it was 10 years ago today.

THE DECISION

It remains Belichick's most talked-about moves this side of Malcolm Butler. In a Week 10 matchup in Indianapolis, the 8-0 Colts faced the 6-2 Patriots in a high-scoring affair. Leading 34-28 but backed up at their own 28-yard-line and needing two yards for a first down, Belichick chose to go for it on fourth down and try and keep the ball out of quarterback Peyton Manning's hands.

THE PLAY

Tom Brady completed a pass to running back Kevin Faulk, who was driven backward by the Colts' Melvin Bullitt. After a measurement, Faulk was ruled short of the first down. Three Colts plays later, a Manning-to-Reggie Wayne TD pass and extra point with 13 seconds left a 35-34 victory.

THE AFTERMATH

There was plenty of second-guessing of Belichick's move. Had he outsmarted himself? Why didn't he punt and show more faith in his defense? 

“We thought we could win the game with that play,” he explained at the time. “That was a yard I was confident we could get.” Belichick had maintained it was more like fourth-and-long-1, rather than 2. Where the ball was spotted after the Faulk play is still the subject of debate.

Those Pats would go on to lose two of their next three, finish 10-6, still win the AFC East but get smoked by the Baltimore Ravens 33-14 in Foxboro in a wild-card playoff game. Manning's team won its first 14 games, then rested its regulars and lost twice before reaching its first Super Bowl as the Indy Colts and losing to the New Orleans Saints. 

TODAY

When Indianapolis reporter Kevin Bowen tweeted about the play's 10th anniversary on Saturday, it stirred up memories for former Colts linebacker Gary Brackens, who recalled the disrespect he felt from Belichick's decision to test the Indy defense. 

To this day, "Fourth-and-2" means only one thing to most NFL fans.

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