2021 Betting Preview: New York Jets

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2021 Betting Preview: New York Jets

The Jets had a season to forget in every possible way in 2020. Heck, they couldn’t even correctly tank in the final month of the season, which cost them a chance to draft a potential generational quarterback in Trevor Lawrence. The Jets had Lawrence firmly in their grasp after opening the season winless through 14 weeks, but they won two of their final three games to hand the #1 overall pick to the Jaguars. Adam Gase’s disastrous tenure came to an end after a 9-23 run over two seasons in New York, including a 2-14 mark (6-10 ATS) in 2020. The Jets missed the playoffs (-500) for the 10th straight season, and they have the longest active playoff drought with the Browns and Buccaneers each snapping their droughts in 2020.

The Jets finished dead last in yards per game (279.9) for the second straight season and they went from ranking 31st in points per game in 2019 to last in 2020 (15.2). New York finished 9-7 toward unders despite its defense allowing the seventh-most points per game (28.6). The Jets finished 2-4 in one-score games and 0-7 in games decided by three scores or more, so it’s not surprising they finished dead last in point differential (-214).

New York’s 2021 win total (6) stayed the same as last season even with the NFL adding an extra game to the regular season. The Jets fell below their 2020 win total by four victories and they officially finished under their total with their 11th consecutive loss to start the season against the Dolphins in Week 12. Entering this season, I have the Jets power rated as the 30th-best team in the NFL (+15000 to win Super Bowl LVI), as the 15th-best team in the AFC (+7500 to win the conference), and as the fourth-best team in the AFC East (+2500).

2021 Schedule

Spreads are first-look lines from the SuperBook, which were released in early June.

WeekOpponentSpreadTime
1@Carolina Panthers+4.51
2New England Patriots+31
3@Denver Broncos+5.54:25
4Tennessee Titans+2.51
5Atlanta Falcons (London)+39:30 a.m.
6Bye
7@New England Patriots+61
8Cincinnati Bengals-21
9@Indianapolis Colts+8.58:20 (Thurs)
10Buffalo Bills+71
11Miami Dolphins+31
12@Houston Texans-11
13Philadelphia Eagles-1.51
14New Orleans Saints+31
15@Miami Dolphins+6.5TBD
16Jacksonville Jaguars-1.51
17Tampa Bay Buccaneers-8.51
18@Buffalo Bills+6.51

The Good

The Jets will face the 16th-easiest schedule this season based on 2021 win totals (per Sharp Football). They’ll face just one opponent coming off of a bye this season against the Dolphins in Week 15, and they have just one primetime game this season against the Colts on Thursday Night Football in Week 9, which is a short-week road game. New York’s best chance to get on a winning streak comes in Weeks 12-13 when they travel to Houston before hosting Philadelphia.

The Bad

The Jets finish the season with their toughest opponents based on win totals when they host Tampa Bay and travel to Buffalo in Weeks 17-18. New York also has a brutal stretch in Weeks 7-11 when it takes on four teams lined with 9+ victories in the Patriots, Colts, Bills, and Dolphins. The Jets’ showdown with the Bengals in Week 8 is their only breather in that span.

Key Off-season Moves

AdditionsDraftDepartures
Tevin Coleman (RB)Zach Wilson (QB)Joe Flacco (QB, Phi)
Corey Davis (WR)Alijah Vera-Tucker (OG)Frank Gore (RB)
Keelan Cole (WR)Elijah Moore (WR)Breshad Perriman (WR, Det)
Carl Lawson (DE)Michael Carter (RB)Pat Elflein (OG, Car)
Sheldon Rankins (DT)Henry Anderson (DL, NE)
Jarrad Davis (LB)Brian Poole (CB)
Lamarcus Joyner (S)Bradley McDougald (S)
Justin Hardee (CB)Jordan Jenkins (OLB, Hou)
Morgan Moses (OT)Tarell Basham (OLB, Dal)
Dan Feeney (OG)
Tyler Kroft (TE)
Vinny Curry (DE)

2021 Season Odds

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

Team FuturesOdds
Season Win Total (O/U)6 (+100/-120)
AFC East+2500
Playoffs (Y/N)+550/-800
AFC Championship+7500
Super Bowl+15000

Season Prop Movement

  • Win Total: 7 (+123) in late March to 6 (+100)

  • Super Bowl: +6600 in early February to +15000

Reasons to Bet Over the Season Win Total

The best reason to bet the Jets over their season win total is because of the Adam Gase Bump! New York rid themselves of the worst head coach in the league, whose players annually underperformed in his system. Ryan Tannehill headlines the players whose careers took off after getting away from Gase and the group also includes DeVante Parker, Kenyan Drake, Mike Gesicki, Damien Williams, and Robby Anderson. We’ll see if Sam Darnold in Carolina and the remaining skill players in New York join the list this season.

GM Joe Douglas is off to a strong start reshaping this roster since taking over in 2019. The Jets made plenty of noise in free agency by signing WR Corey Davis, DE Carl Lawson, DT Sheldon Rankins, and OG Pat Elflein to big contracts during free agency. Douglas then crushed it in the draft by landing QB Zach Wilson, OG Alijah Vera-Tucker, and slot WR Elijah Moore in the first 34 picks. New York has infused plenty of talent to a two-win team from a year ago, especially on the offensive side of the ball to give Wilson, the second overall pick, a chance to succeed as a rookie. New York also had some of the worst injury luck in the league last season as it finished with the fourth-most adjusted games lost (per Football Outsiders). They should see some regression toward the mean this season, especially with a fresh batch of young players joining the roster.

Reasons to Bet Under the Season Win Total

The Jets have finished under their season win total in three straight seasons and this has been a bad organization for the last decade. They’re 3-7 toward the under on their win total in the last 10 years and they once again have one of the worst win totals this season. New York also has a scary combination of inexperience at head coach in Robert Saleh and quarterback in Zach Wilson. Saleh has never previously served as a head coach at any level and he had just four years of experience as a defensive coordinator. Meanwhile, Wilson dominated at BYU against lesser competition, especially during his final season as a true junior when the Cougars played a makeshift schedule against some of the worst teams in the FBS

The AFC East has been the dregs of the NFL since the turn of the century, which certainly enabled the Patriots dynasty to take off and flourish, but that could all be changing in the 2020s. The Jets are building a competitive roster for the near future if Wilson can be the solution at quarterback, but they’ll have their hands full in the division this year with the Bills, Dolphins, and Patriots all lined at 9+ victories. The Jets have the odds stacked against them to get out of the division basement this season and a 2-4 record in the AFC East would be a small victory — they last one three divisional games in 2015.

The Jets brought in some much bodies to help their front seven by signing Lawson, Rankins, and LB Jarrad Davis, but they’ll still have one of the worst secondaries in the league. New York allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game (275.6), the second-most passing TDs per game (2.1), and the seventh-most yards per pass attempt (7.3) last season. They did little to address their biggest defensive weakness outside of signing veteran S Lamarcus Joyner so this will be a unit we attack weekly for fantasy/DFS.

Notable Player Props

Zach Wilson: passing yards (3800.5), passing TDs (21.5), OROY (+1000), most INTs (+900)

Fantasy Points Projection: passing yards (3815), passing TDs (20)

  • Best-Case Scenario: The Jets added Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, and Keelan Cole and Wilson is able to take advantage of New York’s improved receiving corps. He also plays in plenty of pass-heavy scripts thanks to New York’s still shaky defense.

  • Worst-Case-Scenario: OC Mike LaFleur has worked under Kyle Shanahan in recent years, and his offense also leans more run-heavy than the league average. HC Robert Saleh’s defensive background also makes it tough for Wilson to post big numbers as a rookie.

Michael Carter: rushing yards (575.5), OROY (+2500)

Fantasy Points Projection: rushing yards (570)

  • Best-Case Scenario: Carter is designated as the team’s top back from Day One and he proves any doubters wrong that he’s too small to handle a major workload at the next level.

  • Worst-Case-Scenario: Carter leads the backfield in touches but he doesn’t see nearly enough carries with OC Mike LaFleur liberally mixing in Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson, and La’Mical Perine behind him.

Elijah Moore: receiving yards (705.5), OROY (+2500)

Fantasy Points Projection: receiving yards (780)

  • Best-Case Scenario: The second-round pick lives up to the hype and he delivers a promising first season by quickly becoming Zach Wilson’s top receiver in a crowded receiving corps.

  • Worst-Case-Scenario: OC Mike LaFleur uses a heavy rotation with his wide receivers and Moore struggles to stand out amongst Corey Davis, Jamison Crowder, and Keelan Cole.

Corey Davis: receiving yards (805.5)

Fantasy Points Projection: receiving yards (725)

  • Best-Case Scenario: Davis establishes himself as the go-to receiver in his new offense and he resets the career-best marks (65/984/5 receiving) he recorded in his final season with the Titans.

  • Worst-Case-Scenario: Davis once again struggles to be the focal point of a passing attack as he did at the beginning of his career and rookie Elijah Moore becomes the top option for Zach Wilson.

Brolley’s Bets

Best Bets

No wagers.

Leans

Elijah Moore over 700.5 receiving yards (-110, BetMGM) — I’m pretty bullish about Moore’s potential this season, and he’s been a frequent target of mine once my fantasy drafts get into the double-digit rounds. He has a chance to emerge as the top target in this offense, and he has the pedigree to do it after he averaged a ridiculous 149.1 receiving yards per game during his final season at Mississippi. I’d feel much better about taking the over if he landed in an offense with an established quarterback instead of a fellow rookie in Zach Wilson. I’m also concerned that the Jets could use a heavy rotation at wide receiver between Moore, Jamison Crowder, Keelan Cole, and Corey Davis, which is going to keep me away from this bet in the end.

New York Jets under six wins (-115, William Hill) — Zach Wilson will be the Jets’ 35th starting quarterback since Joe Namath left the franchise in 1976 for one season with the Rams, and the organization is hoping Zach Wilson can keep that number near 35 for at least the next decade (barring a couple of missed starts along the way). I really liked the off-season that GM Joe Douglas and the front office just had. They injected some real talent in free agency (Corey Davis, Carl Lawson, Sheldon Rankins) and they crushed it in the draft by landing Wilson, Alijah Vera-Tucker, and Elijah Moore all inside the top-34 picks. The Jets’ roster will be better than last year but it’s still a long way away from competing in a suddenly formidable AFC East. The Jets’ secondary is still one of the worst in the league and the offensive line is still a work in progress despite adding first-round picks to the group in consecutive years. I’m also a little hesitant to back a first-time head coach, especially when he has a defensive background as Robert Saleh does (on the other hand, he’s not Adam Friggin’ Gase, which is worth a couple of wins). I’m expecting Saleh and Wilson to take their lumps this season, but I’m ultimately staying away from betting under their win total because I think this HC-QB pair is going to be feisty to keep these Jets competitive on a weekly basis.

Tom is a Senior Writer at Fantasy Points who specializes in fantasy and betting analysis. He’ll be helping you to navigate the waiver wire and manage your fantasy teams while also keeping our betting content robust all year long, especially during the season. Tom's Best Bets against the spread won at 61.5% clip in 2019 and he was a perfect 8-0 on his Best Bets for season win totals in 2020.