Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow will certainly be the most-watched quarterback tandem in the National Football League on Friday night, as the New York Jets open up their preseason schedule against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Jets are currently 1.5-point road underdogs in the NFL betting odds, while the total has moved up a point from its opening number to settle in at 34.
Sanchez is certainly going to be the starter heading into his fourth second in that role, but Tebow figures to play a big role in the offense, especially in goal-line situations. He is a perfect fit to run the Wildcat package that offensive coordinator Tony Sparano developed during his time as head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
Sports bettors will find that the Jets are 7-5 against the spread (ATS) during the Rex Ryan era leading up to the regular season, while the franchise hasn’t suffered a losing preseason since the 1996 campaign.
The Bengals dropped three of their four preseason games a year ago, which isn’t very surprising due to the limited offseason that quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green experienced due to the lockout.
Cincinnati will be looking to avenge a 27-7 exhibition setback to the Jets as 6.5-point road underdogs on Aug. 21 of last year, but the team has registered a money-burning 14-24 ATS mark as a preseason favorite since 1990.
It’s hard to get a good feel on this game, as the Jets have been focused on getting back to their ground-and-pound ways on offense, while Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has more of the playbook available to him at this stage than a year ago.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this game goes OVER the total, considering Cincinnati’s youthful group scored just 10 combined points in the first two weeks of the 2011 preseason.
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