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A look at NFL handicapping with the PFW editor lobbying to become Las Vegas bureau chief.

What happens to Jets-Bucs line with Sanchez not starting?

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Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Mike Wilkening

The Jets have been 3½-point favorites vs. the Buccaneers for most of the week, but with QB Mark Sanchez (knee) out of the starting lineup Sunday, handicappers may need to take a second look at the game.

Kellen Clemens, who will replace Sanchez Sunday, did not play well when forced into the lineup in Week 13, completing just 1-of-2 passes for 14 yards as the Jets tried to hold a lead by leaning heavily on the running game. What's more, he was sacked three times.

That said, it's unclear how much Sanchez's injury will move the line, if it moves it at all. (The game apparently remains on the board at a couple of Las Vegas sportsbooks followed by VegasInsider.com.) The case for taking the Jets largely remains the same -- they have the superior running game and defense. Moreover, the Buccaneers have just one win to their credit. If Clemens takes care of the ball and make a few on-target throws to convert third downs, the Jets are likely winners.

But will he? And will handicappers feel as comfortable laying points with a team going on the road starting a backup quarterback? That's one of the big questions of Week 14.

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