New York Jets NFL Betting Preview: Time for Sam Darnold to Deliver

Posted on: August 28, 2020, 06:45h. 

Last updated on: August 28, 2020, 10:19h.

While the New York Jets haven’t reached the NFL playoffs for a decade, they did win six of their final eight games of last season. Perhaps that is indicative of the franchise’s takeoff, but sportsbooks see a team that remains grounded.

Jets QB Sam Darnold
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold went 7-6 as the starter last year. (Image: Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have the longest odds to win the AFC East and among the longest odds to win the Super Bowl. Of those six late-season wins, five came against teams that didn’t qualify for the postseason. Moreover, based on last year’s records, the Jets have the second-toughest schedule in the league.

The Jets’ Super Bowl odds range from +8,000 at BetMGM and DraftKings to +15,000 at Westgate SuperBook.

“We’re not really worried about that,” quarterback Sam Darnold said about outside opinions. “If people want to sleep on us, they can sleep on us.”

Over/Under: 6.5 Wins

Darnold, the third overall pick in the 2018 draft, made some significant strides last season. His completion percentage improved from 57.7 to 61.9 and his passer rating from 77.6 to 84.3. If Darnold takes the next step, perhaps the Jets will be one of the surprise teams in the AFC.

The consensus over/under win total is 6.5. At FanDuel, the bet is +110 on the over and -130 on the under.

The Jets are building a good nucleus,” an analyst from FanDuel told “They seem to be in good hands going forward with Joe Douglas as GM and have addressed their biggest issue, which was the O-line.

“However, Adam Gase is still the head coach. Despite his reputation as an offensive guru, the Jets’ offense didn’t see much change last year. He also seems to have a disconnect with key players, which doesn’t invoke much confidence.”

Even in the mediocre AFC East, where the Bills are a slight favorite, the Patriots are expected to regress without Tom Brady and the Dolphins potentially will have rookie Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback, little is expected.

The Jets are +800 to win the AFC East at William Hill and BetMGM and +875 at PointsBet. Regardless of the sportsbook, the Jets have the longest odds or are tied for the longest odds to win the division.

Can Darnold Deliver?

Amazingly, as noted by ESPN, the offensive player with the most starts as a member of the Jets is Darnold, with 26. The 23-year-old was drafted to change the fate of a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game since back-to-back appearances in the AFC Championship Game in 2009 and 2010.

Will Darnold meet those expectations? That’s the hope from the Jets, but not the expectation outside of team headquarters, at least for this season. He is +10,000 to win MVP at FanDuel.

To help, Douglas revamped an offense with four consecutive finishes of 26th or worse in points scored. There will be four new starters on the offensive line, with first-round rookie Mekhi Becton at left tackle and free-agent additions Connor McGovern at center, Greg Van Roten at right guard and George Fant at right tackle.

At receiver, where Jamison Crowder caught a career-high 78 passes last season, the Jets signed Breshad Perriman and Chris Hogan and used their second-round pick on Denzel Mims. A comeback season from Le’Veon Bell would be critical. The high-priced running back averaged a hideous 3.2 yards per carry and 4.0 yards per touch last year.

Gase, with a 30-34 record in four seasons as a head coach, is +5,000 to win Coach of the Year at DraftKings.

Editor’s Note: This is the 16th of 32 NFL team previews and the last of four on the AFC East.