Now that Week 15 of the NFL regular season is behind us, let’s try to start Week 16 off on a winning track with the big “Thursday Night Football” matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets.
Here are three bets to make for this primetime clash of playoff hopefuls. Let’s start with the moneyline.
Jets (-135, DraftKings)
Both teams enter this primetime game scratching and clawing at the possibility of making the playoffs. The Jaguars have an advantage of having a few different routes to get there. Currently, the Jags are behind the Titans in the AFC South by one game, and they play Tennessee in the regular-season finale. They are two games out of that final wild-card spot in the AFC, but one of the teams in front of them is the Jets. New York comes into this game heading in the wrong direction as losers of three straight. They also finish the season with back-to-back tough road games in Seattle and Miami. This could be the Jets’ last chance to show they belong in this wild-card race. Quarterback Zach Wilson is back in the starting lineup and playing better, the defense has been formidable all season long, this is their final home game and it’s been a long time since this franchise has been playing meaningful football in late December. I’m willing to take a chance on the Jets to win outright on the moneyline at -135 on DraftKings.
Over 36.5 total points (-110, DraftKings)
My prediction for the style of play in this game is both teams will try to establish the run game early and often to set a physical tone to the game. Ultimately, both defenses will be prepared for that, and the counterpunch of the passing attack will dictate the difference between winning or losing. It’s easy to see that advantage going to the Jaguars. To say QB Trevor Lawrence has been hot would be an understatement. Lawrence has the best passer rating in the league over the last six weeks, and the Jags have won two straight games. Although the Jets don’t carry that same cache, Wilson threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns last week in a loss to the Detroit Lions. Rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson also has emerged as the top target on the outside, as he only needs 34 yards to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark this season. I’m betting the Over 36.5 total points, available on DraftKings at -110.
Zach Wilson Over 192.5 passing yards (-115, DraftKings)
My final bet for this game is on a player who I believe will be the X-factor in the game for the Jets. This is not only a big game for his team, but it’s a big game for Wilson’s future with the franchise. If the Jets are to win on this primetime stage and continue a playoff push because Wilson played well, they will more than likely feel more comfortable including him in the plans. But if Wilson fails and the Jets continue the free fall, Wilson could be just another ordinary NFL QB looking for work elsewhere. His inconsistency this season explains why his prop market numbers are set so low. For now, I’ll ride his positive momentum from last week and bet on him to throw for over 192.5 passing yards, available at -115 on DraftKings.
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