Sportsbooks Getting Little Action on NFL 16-0, 0-16 Bets

Posted on: December 5, 2020, 01:17h. 

Last updated on: December 5, 2020, 04:49h.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets enter Week 13 of the NFL season in position to make history. For Pittsburgh (11-0), it’s a chance to become just the third team in the Super Bowl era to go undefeated. For New York (0-11), it’s trying to avoid the infamy of being only the fourth team in the Super Bowl era to lose every game.

Jets QB Sam Darnold
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold falls backward while being sacked by the Denver Broncos on Oct. 1. The Jets are 0-11 and staring at a rare 0-16 season. (Image: Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

While either accomplishment would be historic, neither market has been attracting a lot of action, according to BetMGM vice president of trading Jason Scott.

“We don’t see much business on either. Customers don’t want to tie their money up early in prop markets,” Scott said.

Crashing Jets

For those who are betting, perfectly imperfect has been a bigger draw than perfectly perfect. At BetMGM and PointsBet, the Jets prop has garnered more tickets.

Little was expected of the Jets before the season. But they’ve failed to even reach that threshold. Thus, bettors have been siding with a winless season for weeks. Only the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976, Detroit Lions in 2008, and Cleveland Browns in 2017 lost every game. The Jets could join the group. In their 11 games, they’ve lost by more than one score seven times, including at home last week to the Miami Dolphins, 20-3.

The Jets’ final five games are at home against the Las Vegas Raiders (6-5), at the Seattle Seahawks (8-3), and Los Angeles Rams (7-4), home against the Cleveland Browns (8-3) and at the New England Patriots (5-6).

The Jets, who are +140 to go 0-16, are last in the NFL in scoring defense and fourth-to-last in scoring offense. Their best chance at a victory might be against the Patriots in the finale, and not just because that’s the only opponent with a losing record. When the teams met on Nov. 9, the Jets led 27-17 after three quarters, only to watch the Patriots score 13 points in the final six minutes.

Perfect Pittsburgh

The Steelers, who are +350 to go 16-0 at BetMGM, perhaps dodged the final big bullet in their quest for perfection when they beat the COVID-depleted Baltimore Ravens last week. With the Ravens’ reigning MVP quarterback, Lamar Jackson, on the COVID-19 reserve list, Pittsburgh won, 19-14.

That game is indicative of the Steelers’ season. They’ve rarely been dominant, with five of their games decided by five points or less, and only three games by more than 10 points. But they keep getting the job done behind a defense that has allowed the fewest points in the league.

Looking ahead, Pittsburgh has some challenging games, including at Buffalo and hosting Indy before going to Cleveland in Week 17,” Scott said. “Finishing 16-0 isn’t impossible, but it won’t be easy. BetMGM hasn’t received any large bets for the Steelers to win the Super Bowl yet, though we have taken consistent business on them all year and they’re currently our fifth-biggest liability to win the championship.”

Pittsburgh’s final five games are at home against the Washington Football Team (4-7), at the Buffalo Bills (8-3) and Cincinnati Bengals (2-8-1), home vs. the Indianapolis Colts (7-4), and at the Cleveland Browns (8-3). Buffalo and Cleveland are 5-1 at home. The Steelers crushed the Browns in Pittsburgh 38-7 in October.

Only the 1972 Miami Dolphins and the 2007 New England Patriots won every game in the Super Bowl era. The Dolphins are the only team to go undefeated in the regular season and win the championship.