The New England Patriots travel to face the New York Jets for an AFC East rivalry game on Sunday, December 21st in Week 16 NFL action. The Patriots won a nail-biter by a final of 27-25 at home as 9.5-point favorites in their first meeting of 2014 on October 16th.

New England (11-3) won for a ninth time in 10 games with a dominant 41-13 home victory over Miami last Sunday. New York (3-11) put an end to a three-game losing streak with a 16-11 road win at Tennessee last week.

Kickoff inside MetLife Stadium is scheduled for 1:00 EST Sunday afternoon with CBS providing the television coverage. Taking a look at the lines in Las Vegas, I spot New England as a 10-point favorite at New York with a total set of 47.5 points.

My Early Lean: Jets +10

While everyone and their brother knows that Rex Ryan is likely out after this season, he has done a tremendous job of getting his players to show up every week. The perfect going away present for him would be to beat Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots one last time. Ryan has made no bones about the fact that he hates the Patriots and that they are their biggest rivals. The Jets always come to play against New England.

That was obviously the case in their first meeting of 2014. The Jets actually outplayed the Patriots as 9.5-point road underdogs and should have won, but came out on the losing end 25-27. They outgained the Patriots 423-323 for the game, or by 100 total yards. They did so behind a balanced attack offensively with 218 rushing yards and 205 passing yards. This has been a very closely contested series as four of the last five meetings have been decided by 3 points or fewer. The home team has won four of the last five meetings as well.

This has been a very closely contested series as four of the last five meetings have been decided by 3 points or fewer. The home team has won four of the last five meetings as well.

New York can use its rushing attack to shorten the game and keep Tom Brady and the New England offense off the field, which has been a formula for success for Ryan in his time here against the Patriots. The Jets rank 2nd in the league in rushing this season at 147.1 yards per game. The Patriots haven’t exactly been that great against the run as they allow 4.1 yards per carry. New York, averaging 4.7 per carry, should have plenty of success on the ground in this one.

The thing I really like about the Jets is that they continue to fight. While they have gone just 1-2 in their last three games, they had a chance to win all three. They only lost 13-16 at home to Miami as 6.5-point underdogs three weeks ago. They lost 24-30 in overtime to Minnesota as 4-point road underdogs two weeks ago. They were finally rewarded for their hard-nosed play with a 16-11 win at Tennessee last week. These players love Ryan, and they aren’t going to lay down for the Patriots, either.

The Patriots could not possibly be more overvalued than they are right now. This was already one of the biggest public teams in the NFL, and after covering the spread in five of their last six, the betting public is all over them right now. They were last week in a blowout win over the Dolphins, and they will be again this week against the Jets.

Oddsmakers realize this, forcing them to set the spread much higher than it should be. That’s indicated by the fact that the Patriots were only 9.5-point home favorites against the Jets the first time these teams played, and now they are 10-point road favorites. They should only be favored by roughly 3.5 points given the line of the first meeting when adjusting for home-field advantage.

Plays against road teams (NEW ENGLAND) – after a win by 21 or more points against opponent after scoring 3 points or less in the first half last game are 39-13 (75%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. New England is 8-21 ATS in its last 29 games in the second half of the season when playing against a team with a winning percentage of 25% or worse. The Patriots are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games vs. a team with a losing home record. The Jets are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven December games. The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. New York is 4-1 ATS in its last five meetings with New England.