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Oskeim’s Free Pick Winner for Sunday, October 31: Bengals at Jets

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Prior to last week, the look-ahead line in this game was -3.5 before Cincinnati destroyed the Ravens 41-17 and New York was humiliated by the Patriots 54-13. These vastly disparate results, together with recency bias, provide excellent line value on teams that are perceived to be helpless by the betting public.

Since 2003, NFL teams that failed to cover by 28 or more points are a profitable 116-71-6 (62%) in their next game, whereas teams that covered the spread by 28 or more points are just 83-105-6 (44%) in their next game.  NFL teams that lost by more than 21 points and failed to cover the spread by 25 points or more the previous week are 100-58-5 ATS as an underdog versus a team with a winning record against the Vegas number.

The scheduling circumstances are not favorable for the Bengals, who are playing their third consecutive road game and have a huge divisional matchup against Cleveland on deck. Cincinnati is also coming off its biggest win of the season and finds itself squarely in a letdown/look-ahead spot.

The line continued to climb after Jets’ starting quarterback Zach Wilson suffered a knee injury that will keep him sidelined for at least two games (was not placed on IR). Wilson’s -6.7 Completion Percentage Over Expectation is the worst in the league, per NFL Next Gen Stats, and his 40% success rate places him at the bottom of the quarterback heap.

Mike White will become the 36th different quarterback to start for the New York Jets in the post-Joe Namath era, which covers 44 seasons.  “I’m starting an NFL game, so that’s pretty freaking cool,” White said Thursday. White broke into the league as a 2018 fifth-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys and was the eighth quarterback drafted that year.

White beat out 2020 draft pick James Morgan for the backup job and averaged 5.9 yards per pass play in last week’s loss to the Patriots.  My numbers make White approximately four points worse than Wilson so there is no way to justify a 7 1/2-point move in the betting market.

My numbers make White approximately four points worse than Wilson so there is no way to justify a 7 1/2-point move in the betting market. In addition, the Bengals have not been favored by more than nine points on the road since 1982! Finally, prior to last week’s win, Cincinnati had not defeated a team with a winning record (Detroit, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh and Chicago).

Grab the inflated number with the Jets as Oskeim’s Free Pick Winner for Sunday, October 31.