NFL line watch: Jets bettors should wait to get down on Rex’s swan song

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Each week during the pro football season, Covers Expert Art Aronson of AAA Sports looks at the NFL odds and tells you which spread to bet now, which one to bet later and and which total to watch as the week plays out.

Spread to bet now

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (-3)

The Giants started their annual late-season surge about three weeks too late, but at least they’re not mailing it in in December like the Cowboys used to.

But is New York playing well or are the Giants just getting fat against the soft underbelly of their schedule? New York’s last four opponents slog into Week 17 with a combined record of 15-45.

The Eagles, meanwhile, have to be scratching their heads after pissing away a playoff spot with that loss to Washington and figure to take things out on the Giants. Philadelphia (9-6) has been mediocre (3-4) on the road, but should be motivated enough to win outright.
 
Spread to wait on

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-4.5)

The Jets lost their version of the Super Bowl when they came up a point short to the Patriots Sunday, and now they have to hit the road in what certainly will be Rex Ryan’s final game as head coach.

This is basically a matchup of teams that have played hard but once again did not have the offensive talent to make things tough for New England.

Heavy money is on Miami as bettors seem willing to swallow the points. So if you like the Jets to play a fifth consecutive competitive game, hang on a bit to see if the line nudges up a half-point. If it doesn’t, the 4.5 will be there for you any time you want it.

Total to watch

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (42.5)

The Ravens’ loss at Houston Sunday may have turned their season upside down. Instead of cruising into the playoffs, 9-6 Baltimore now needs to defeat the Browns (definitely doable) and also hope that the Chargers can’t close their own deal and somehow lose in Kansas City.

There is good reason for Baltimore to keep things simple against the Browns. Joe Flacco threw three picks against the Texans and was sent to the ground 10 times out of 50 dropbacks. Expect a more-conservative game plan (and fewer points) this time around. Under players shouldn’t be scared off by the relatively low 42.5 total.

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