Chiefs (2-1) at Jets (1-2)
Spread: Jets +9.5
Weather: No current concerns
The spread for this contest opened as low as Jets +7.5 at some sportsbooks last Sunday. It quickly jumped to Jets +8.5 before moving to its current consensus of Jets +9.5 on Monday.
The total opened as high as 44.5 points and has steadily fallen to 41.5 points. Currently, the range for this total is 41.5 to 42.5 points across the market.
Jets Offense vs. Chiefs Defense
The New York Jets score 14 points per game, which is last in the league. They have thrown for the fewest yards and ran for the 11th-fewest. There’s little reason for optimism in Zach Wilson’s passing attack, as it has essentially picked up where it left off last season. Wilson is again under fire by the media, with at least some of his teammates questioning him behind the scenes. This situation is not good for New York, as the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense has allowed the fourth-fewest points through three games.
Like last season, offensive tackle injuries have already led to the Jets shuffling their offensive line. Mekhi Becton has moved to left tackle, Alijah Vera-Tucker has moved to right tackle, while rookie Joe Tippman takes over at right guard. Kansas City has a good, but not great, pass rush led by premium DT Chris Jones. The trench matchup in this contest is another negative factor for Wilson.
Garrett Wilson has a team-leading 22 targets for a 30.6 percent target share. He and New York’s WR2, Allen Lazard, have catch rates below 55 percent. Among wide receivers with at least 100 snaps, Wilson and Lazard are 64th and 65th in catch rate. Tyler Conklin is third on the Jets with 12 targets, good for a 16.7 percent target share. New York’s passing attack is an inefficient, low-volume enterprise under Wilson.
After a big opening night, Breece Hall has just 27 rushing yards on 16 carries in the past two games. Teammate Dalvin Cook has 25 rushing yards on 12 carries during that span. Unlike Wilson’s passing attack, the Jets’ running game has a realistic chance of taking a big step forward.
Chiefs Offense vs. Jets Defense
Patrick Mahomes is seventh in the league in passing yards and third in passing touchdowns. Six Chiefs’ pass catchers have double-digit targets. That doesn’t include Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who leads Kansas City wide receivers in snaps. Skyy Moore, Justin Watson and rookie Rashee Rice each have more than 100 receiving yards so far. The Jets have allowed the ninth-fewest receiving yards to wide receivers.
Travis Kelce missed opening night, yet he leads the team in targets (17), receptions (11) and receiving touchdowns (2). The Jets have allowed the fifth-most receiving yards to tight ends. Kelce plays most of his snaps in the slot or on the boundary, while Noah Gray sees more time as a traditional tight end. New York has surrendered the most fantasy points per game to inline tight ends this season.
The Jets have given up the seventh-most rushing yards and the fifth-most receiving yards to running backs. Isiah Pacheco has 155 rushing yards on 35 carries, while Clyde Edwards-Helaire has 22 carries for 77 yards. Pacheco leads Kansas City’s running back room in targets (9) and routes run (42). Jerick McKinnon has eight targets on 39 routes, while Edwards-Helaire has four targets on 22 routes.
What You’re Betting On
If you’re betting on the Jets, you are building that bet around their defense keeping this game close. That’s not an unreasonable expectation on its own, but you’ll need something out of their offense. We can’t rely on Zach Wilson’s passing game at all. Even a solid outing from Wilson would be an outlier performance. Therefore, the most realistic path to a close game is for the Jets’ defense to play exceptionally well while the running game steps up. That’s what you need for New York to cover; anything its passing game gives you is gravy.
Kansas City’s defense carried the team through the first two games this season, but Mahomes’ offense woke up against the Bears last week. The Jets have one of the most talented defenses in the league, but Mahomes is among the most matchup-proof quarterbacks in history. As long as the Chiefs meet their game total, they can win this game with enough distance to cover. That’s because a bet on the Chiefs is also a direct bet against Wilson.
Score Prediction: Chiefs 24, Jets 13
Ryan’s Recent Betting Record
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 48-32
ATS 2023: 7-8
Props 2022: 60-40
Props 2023: 5-4