Never afraid to showcase their scheduling incompetence, the National Football League follows up its most anticipated match-up of the year with the least: It’s the “Who’s Keeping Their Coaching Job Bowl,” featuring the winless New York Jets playing host to the winless Denver Broncos. Is it possible to watch this with a straight face without having a dog in the fight? Likely not, so check out our thoughts before taking sides in the NFL sportsbook.
Last week everyone bet against the Jets. Maybe some people bet on the Colts, but they also bet against the Jets. The books kept increasing the Colts’ line, from -10½ all the way to -12½ but it didn’t matter. Money never came for the Jets, and by the second half, no one had to sweat laying two touchdowns with the Colts. Jets’ QB Sam Darnold practically handed over the point and spread himself with two Pick-Sixes and a safety. It was one of Sunday’s few games where the over never stood a chance. Also in Week 3, the Denver Broncos played host to the Buccaneers and never got so much as a whiff of the point spread cover. Broncos’ quarterback Jeff Driskel threw 17-for-30 with a touchdown and a pick. He was also planted for five sacks, being benched in the final quarter so his junior backup Brett Rypien could show his stuff hucking balls around. To the surprise of many, Rypien’s been given the start for Thursday night.
NFL Betting Lines
Moneyline: Broncos -110 | Jets -110
Point Spread: Pick 0
The early line on this game before last Sunday was -2½, bet up to -3 once the markets agreed that however bad the Broncos looked, the Jets looked that much worse. The total was set at 40.
On Tuesday, the Broncos dropped their surprise QB announcement:
Brett Rypien will be our starting QB for #DENvsNYJ, per Coach Fangio.
Denver Broncos (@Broncos) September 29, 2020
And then the line collapsed. Once as high as +130 on the money line, the Jets are now a pick’em. We heavily favored the Jets here getting odds (and posted a parlay with it while it was still at +115). Now, at -110, we still lean towards the Jets largely because of injuries rather than coaching factors.
First off, the Broncos come in with a sloppy O-line. (Driskel didn’t sack himself five times last Sunday.) Now they’ve lost their starting right guard Elijah Wilkinson. RB Phillip Lindsay likely won’t be back to help Melvin Gordon with some snaps. And they’ve lost another starter DE Jurrell Casey to the IR.
The Jets, in contrast, may not have lost anyone last week and look to bring back some previously injured starters. Even if WR Jamison Crowder does play (and it looks like that’s the case) the Jets’ receiving corps would still be lacking. But if Crowder and the other half-dozen questionable on defense are active you can expect they’ll be more than competitive.
(We never reached the point of considering the Jets have already had a game’s experience on this new, allegedly harmful, synthetic turf that already ate the San Francisco 49ers.)
Pick: Jets to win
Over/Under: 39½ points
The defensive fronts of these teams could start their own support group where they meet monthly and vent about how theirs is the only decent part of their rosters. Both teams’ run defenses have really been trying and do have talent. No team should have a run-away ground game. You could pass on either of these teams all day long, but neither offense really has anyone to pass to.
The only way to play this game is under, but 39½ is an ugly number. (If this game doesn’t feature about 13 points scored off blunders, we’ll be shocked.) So if you must, take the same clothespin you used when pinching your nose to bet the Jets to win, and play the under.
Though to be honest, we’d rather play a three-point teaser on the game: Get the Jets at +3 and under 42½ at 11/10 odds. Regardless, any bet made on this game assumes that: a) even if the Jets win by 30 Adam Gase will be fired before November, and b) if/when Blake Bortles shows up in the fourth quarter everything will be worse than a coin flip.