A quick run through four wagers to consider around the New York Jets heading into the 2018 NFL season. A friendly reminder to check out Razer Sport before heading down to the new facility outside MetLife Stadium…
Over 6 wins (+110)
Evan Silva of Rotoworld made a good case in his Jets season preview.
The Jets’ Win Total opened at 6.0 with -130 odds to the under. Gang Green failed to reach six wins in three of the last four years and will almost certainly start multiple quarterbacks this season. GM Mike Maccagnan’s aggressive offseason did give the Jets their best quarterback room in decades, however, and Warren Sharp rated New York’s 2018 schedule sixth softest in football, including the NFL’s easiest slate in Weeks 1-10. The offense has a chance to be league average, and the defense is much more talented than most realize after being infused with CB Trumaine Johnson, ILB Avery Williamson, and DE Henry Anderson. Especially at a bigger payout, the Jets’ over is one of my favorite 2018 win-total bets.
As it stands now, I see the Jets as a likely 7-9 and maybe 8-8 team. The soft schedule out of the gate and getting to play Miami and Buffalo a combined four times contributes heavily to that. It is difficult to project without having a full understanding of how quarterback will shake out but the Jets have a decent skill position infrastructure around whoever will be under center and the defense should be better than last season, specifically in the secondary. Overall, the Jets have seven games against teams who won six or less games last season, it isn’t crazy to think they could hover around .500.
To Make The AFC Playoffs (+550)
The third longest odds in the NFL, John Razer flagged this one in a recent TOJ Podcast. As I said above, I see the Jets around 7-9 or 8-8 and would not pick them to make the playoffs but the AFC is a wide open, wasteland beyond a handful of teams. Last year, two thoroughly mediocre teams (Buffalo and Tennessee) snuck themselves in and it isn’t crazy to think a similar thing could happen this year with a 8-8 type team grabbing the 6th seed. I don’t think the Jets are the favorites for that spot but at +550, it is worth taking a shot on.
Offensive Rookie of the Year, Sam Darnold (+1600)
The conventional wisdom immediately after the NFL Draft was that Darnold would sit behind Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater for multiple weeks, if not the whole season. After minicamp and OTAs, expectations and sentiment seem to be shifting to a more open competition that Darnold has a legitimate chance to win. Recent history, says that a quarterback taken third overall is going to play sooner rather than later and if Darnold starts 12-16 games, he has a very good chance to be the top rookie quarterback. Baker Mayfield is likely going to be on the bench behind Tyrod Taylor. Josh Allen is Josh Allen and in a brutal situation for a young quarterback and Josh Rosen has to battle ahead of both Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon. Saquon Barkley makes sense as the overall favorite but at +1600, betting on the most important position in the sport getting weighed more heavily isn’t a crazy long shot bet.
Jets Week 1 Moneyline (+245)
The Jets are currently +7 against the Detroit Lions to open the season. Detroit will be breaking in a new coach and new system, who has apparently rubbed some people the wrong way by bringing THE PATRIOT WAY to a new city. The Lions are a better team than the Jets on paper but 7 points feels high for this spread, especially if Darnold is more than ready than expected in week 1.