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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, August 29, 2011 at 11:19 PM

The New York Jets were a popular play Monday Night with the VegasSportsMasters. Kelso Sturgeon, Jim Hurley, Wayne Root, and Nick Bogdanovich all released Rex Ryan’s team to their clients tonight. Tony Salinas and Coach Ron Meyer both passed the game…so it was a clean VSM sweep on NYJ (-3) over NYG 17-3!

The game itself was kind of a snoozer. Hurricane Irene certainly influenced preparation for both teams. Delaying kickoff for two days didn’t help the offenses stay sharp. The defenses of the Jets and Giants don’t need much help to begin with. The numbers from the boxscore show a true defensive struggle...

NY JETS 17, NY GIANTS 3

  • Total Yardage: Jets 233, Giants 327
  • Yards-Per-Play: Jets 3.8, Giants 4.7
  • Third Downs: Jets 29%, Giants 25%
  • Turnovers: Jets 1, Giants 2
  • Halftime Score: Jets 7, Giants 3

The Jets managed to break through with a 35-yard TD drive after Antonio Cromartie had a long kickoff return. That would be the game’s only touchdown until a fourth quarter drive with the backups on the field. Mark Sanchez had a disappointing passing line of 8-16-0-64, for a passer rating of 81.3. That’s not much production for 16 attempts, but Sanchez was mistake-free. The same can’t be said for Eli Manning. Eli had his third straight shaky Preseason outing, posting a passing line of 15-30-2-200 for a passer rating of 43.8. Picks were a problem last year, and accuracy has always been an issue because the Giants throw downfield so much. For the full month of August, Eli’s passing line is 27-55-2-314. It’s too early to call this a red flag warning. But, this PLUS the skepticism about the downward trend for the franchise could spell trouble.

Both teams are scheduled to come back on EXTREMELY short rest Thursday to finish the Preseason. That explains some of the lack of urgency tonight. The Jets host Philadelphia. New York visits New England. When the season starts the following week, the Giants will be visiting Washington in an important divisional game…while the Jets kick off NBC’s Sunday Night football at home against Dallas.

Will either team bring much intensity this Thursday Night? Something for you and the VSM handicappers to consider as you approach the conclusion of the 2011 exhibition slate.

In Monday’s pennant race news

*The New York Yankees beat Baltimore 3-2 to pull within a game-and-a-half of first place Boston in the AL East. Those teams start a huge three-game series Tuesday Night. Look for a preview from the Network Notebook Tuesday morning here in the VSM blog. Boston hasn’t played since Saturday. The Yankees have played three games since then.

*Both the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians picked up a game on Detroit in the AL Central. Detroit was stunned at home by Kansas City. Chicago and Cleveland won pitching duels over Minnesota and Oakland respectively. The Sox now trail by five, the Tribe by 5.5.

*Games influencing the Western division races in both leagues will finish after publication deadlines. The Los Angeles Angels are hoping to pick up ground this week on the Texas Rangers in the AL West because they're facing a much easier schedule. Arizona would like to add to its lead on San Francisco in the NL West before those two teams square off by the bay this weekend.

In VSM Baseball news

The Philadelphia Phillies were a popular choice Monday Night here at the website, cashing tickets for Jim Hurley, Nick Bogdanovich, and Tony Salinas with their 3-2 TV win at Cincinnati. Cole Hamels returned from the DL to strike out seven in six innings while allowing only one run. Other plays from those handicappers finished late. Wayne Root’s only baseball release was Cleveland, finishing off a 2-0 two-sport performance along with the Jets.

Thanks for being a VSM blog reader. See you for more Tuesday. Note that we will be planning "after the games end" reports later this week on Thursday Night's college football (including UNLV-Wisconsin on ESPN), Friday Night's TCU/Baylor on ESPN, and Saturday's with games like South Florida/Notre Dame, Boise State/Georgia, and Oregon/LSU. We'll discuss what the VSM handicappers have played...and look for keys in the boxscores that will help you do-it-yourselfers find some extra winners on your own. Keep checking in so you stay on top of developments!

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