Jets among favorites for final week of NFL season

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The New York Jets can clinch their first playoff berth since 2010 with a win on Sunday when they visit the Buffalo Bills as 3-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Jets claimed sole possession of the second AFC Wild Card over the weekend with a 26-20 overtime victory against the New England Patriots, picking up the outright win as 2.5-point underdogs to improve their straight-up record to 10-5; they’re one game up on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

New York now rides a five-game SU win streak into Sunday afternoon’s Jets vs. Bills betting matchup at Ralph Wilson Stadium, including a pair of road victories, and has consistently rewarded bettors by going 4-0-1 against the spread during its current tear.

The Jets face a Bills squad that continues to battle the inconsistency that has plagued them all season. Buffalo is just 2-4 SU in its last six games, 2-3-1 ATS. However, both those wins came on home turf.

The Bills have also owned New York in recent meetings, posting SU and ATS wins in each of their last four overall, including a 22-17 victory at MetLife Stadium in Week 10, and are undefeated, SU and ATS, in their last three home dates with the Jets according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

That’s good news for the 9-6 Steelers, who visit the Cleveland Browns on Sunday as heavy 9.5-point chalk.

Pittsburgh is coming off a stunning 20-17 loss to Baltimore last weekend, which dropped them out of the AFC playoff picture. However, a Steelers win combined with a Jets loss in Buffalo would hand the second AFC Wild Card to Pittsburgh on tiebreakers.

The Steelers’ loss to Baltimore ended a three-game SU win streak and dropped them to 1-3 SU in their past four games on the road.

The Browns have been simply awful since their somewhat promising 2-3 start, losing SU in nine of their last 10 outings, and five of their last six home games, averaging just 14.1 points per game over their last seven outings.

In other NFL Week 17 betting action, the playoff-bound Kansas City Chiefs will be gunning for a 10th straight SU win when they host the Oakland Raiders as 6.5-point favorites. The 10-5 Chiefs have clinched an AFC Wild Card but can still capture the AFC West crown with a win combined with a Denver loss.

Fresh off their 20-17 comeback victory over Cincinnati, the Broncos are 9.5-point favorites in their regular-season finale against the San Diego Chargers, while the Bengals play host to the Ravens as 9-point chalk.

Bennett doesn’t fear backlash for skipping White House trip

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HOUSTON (AP) Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett says he is not worried about upsetting team owner Robert Kraft by not attending New England’s trip to the White House as Super Bowl champions.

Bennett said after the Patriots’ 34-28 win over the Falcons on Sunday night that he’s “not going to go” to the traditional meet-and-greet with the president. It will be the first visit of a Super Bowl champion to Washington since Donald Trump was sworn into office.

Trump’s positions have alienated some athletes, which has raised questions about whether some might choose to skip the trip while the new president is in office.

But Bennett said he isn’t concerned about it and thinks the team believes “in whatever I want to do.”

Kraft is a supporter of Trump and attended a celebration dinner in Washington for him the night before his inauguration.

Patriots’ Tom Brady earns 4th Super Bowl MVP trophy with epic comeback

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HOUSTON (AP) The greatest quarterback in NFL history led the biggest Super Bowl comeback to be the MVP on Sunday night.

Tom Brady rallied New England from a 25-point third-quarter deficit for a 34-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history to earn his fifth Super Bowl title and fourth MVP trophy.

“They’re all sweet,” he said. “They’re all different and this was just an incredible team and I’m just happy to be a part of it,” he said.

Brady threw touchdown passes of 5 and 6 yards in the second half and tied things at 28-28 when he connected withDanny Amendola on a 2-point conversion with 57 seconds left.

He then directed the drive in overtime which ended with a 2-yard run by James White to make the Patriots the first team to win a Super Bowl after trailing by more than 10 points.

“We all brought each other back,” he said. “We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle.”

His performance certainly wasn’t without its struggles. His incredible second half and overtime came after a first half where the Patriots managed just three points and he threw an interception which Robert Alford returned 82 yards for a touchdown. He was hurried and harassed for much of the games. The Falcons sacked him five times and hit him on another eight occasions.

He noted the beating he took when he was trying to recount the details of the comeback and couldn’t remember what the score was at one point in the rally.

“There was a lot of (stuff) that happened tonight,” he said. “I got hit pretty hard.”

His 466 yards passing are a Super Bowl record, surpassing the 414 yards Kurt Warner had 17 years ago. He also set a record for most passes completed in a Super Bowl with 43 and most attempts with 62.

He is the first to play in seven Super Bowls and the victory ties him with Charles Haley for most Super Bowl rings.

After all Brady has done in his career, was this his finest moment?

“Tom’s had a lot of great ones,” coach Bill Belichick said. “But, yeah tonight was one of them.”

It’s a triumphant end to a difficult season for Brady, who missed the first four games because of his “Deflategate” suspension and dealt with his mother Galynn Brady suffering through an undisclosed illness. The Super Bowl was the first game she’s attended all season.

“They’re all happy,” he said fighting back tears. “It’s nice to have everybody here and it’s going to be a great celebration tonight.”

He shared a quick moment with her right after the game, but was looking forward to more time with her in the upcoming days.

“It’s kind of madness after the game so I didn’t get much quality time with her but we’ll get it this week,” he said.

But he certainly wasn’t asking for sympathy for his rough road to this title though, chuckling when someone asked about the adversity the Patriots have gone through in the past couple of years.

“We’ve done pretty good over the last few years … so I don’t think anyone’s feeling bad for the Patriots,” he said. “I don’t think anyone feels bad for the Patriots.”

Brady also collected the MVP trophy in 2001, 2003 and 2014.

“It was just a lot of mental toughness by our team and we’re going to remember this one for the rest of our lives,” Brady said.

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