The Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets can’t buy a win no matter how hard they try. Both sides come into this Week 16 tilt sporting underwhelming records on the season and eliminated from the postseason. There’s little to play for save pride. So, which side will come up trumps on Sunday?
If the NFL odds were any indication, the Jets have the slight upper hand in the betting. That makes them at least as far as the bookmakers are concerned the best bet for NFL picks. Does the market have it right?
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets
Sunday, December 26, 2021 – 01:00 PM EST at MetLife Stadium
Post-Urban Meyer Era Begins With a Loss
The firing of controversial, first-time NFL head coach Urban Meyer didn’t have the catalyzing effect a change in leadership normally has within an organization and in the locker room. Often, the advent of a new coach – even an interim one – can have a positive impact on a team and lead to a winning (or even respectably competitive) performance immediately afterward.
Neither was the case for the Jaguars as they succumbed to a 30-16 defeat and slipped to a 2-12 record on the season.
The blowout loss was hugely disappointing for interim head coach Darrell Bevell as the Jaguars slipped to their sixth straight loss against a Houston Texans side that has had its fair share of problems this season. If Bevell hoped to make his case for the head coaching gig, it’s not off to a promising start.
The Jaguars' offense failed to launch, the defense was almost non-existent, and across the board there appeared to be little will left amongst the players to even be competitive.
As things currently stand, the Jaguars prop up the league with the worst record of all 32 teams. They’re even worse than the Detroit Lions and that’s saying something considering the Lions were at one point in danger of going winless in 2021. Heck, multiple top-rated sportsbooks offered NFL props on the Lions going 0-17.
The Jaguars are 2-6 on the season at home and a woeful 0-6 on the road. They’ve scored merely 196 points in total which is an average of 14 points per game. They’ve conceded 370 points which is an average of 26.4 points per game.
In terms of betting, the Jaguars have an equally abysmal record against the spread (ATS). They’re 4-10-0 ATS, a run of form that includes a 2-4-0 ATS record on the road with a 16.5 losing margin on average and -9.7 differential versus the spread.
The highly-touted No.1 draft pick, Trevor Lawrence, has been a disappointment this season. One could argue he didn’t have the best coach in his inaugural season and that’s why his stats don’t touch the potential his college football resume promised.
Whatever the reason, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s having a hard time adapting to the NFL. In his last three games, he has zero touchdowns and 4 interceptions. On the season, he has 9 touchdowns and 14 interceptions – which is league-leading.
Jets in No Better Shape
Robert Saleh’s inaugural season as a head coach started with a lot of promise but it’s failed to live up to expectations. Dare it to be said, his Jets are even worse than the Adam Gase-inspired Jets of the past few years.
The Jets are coming off a 31-24 defeat to the Miami Dolphins on the road. It marked their third straight loss after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints. However, on the bright side, they did cover as the 10-point road underdogs in the 7-point margin of defeat. That’s something bettors can hang their hat on for NFL picks. Well, maybe.
On paper, the New York Jets aren’t in a better position than the Jaguars. With a 3-11-0 record, the Jets rank 28th overall in the league. They sport a 2-5 record at home and a 1-6 record on the road. They’ve managed to score 250 points (17.6 points per game) and conceded a whopping 428 points (30.6 ppg), which is the worst in the league.
In terms of betting, the Jaguars are on a similar footing with the Jaguars. They’re 4-10-0 ATS, which includes a 2-5-0 ATS record at home and a 12.0 losing margin on average, and a -5.0 differential versus the spread.
Zach Wilson, the No.2 draft pick, has had a tough introduction to the NFL that included missing a few games with a knee injury. Often, the rookie has looked out of his depth and clueless in the pocket, prompting his critics to suggest he’s not NFL ready.
By the stats, he has 6 touchdowns to 11 interceptions through 10 games played. In terms of passer ratings, Wilson ranks 32nd in the league with an average 66.4 passer rating – just behind Lawrence, who ranks 31st with a 69.3 rating on average.
NFL Predictions and Picks
Apparently, CBS is going ahead with its broadcast of this game – although they’d be forgiven if they chose to pull the plug. It’s hard to imagine many NFL bettors tuning in to watch this showdown between two of the worst teams in the league. Not even the backstory of a battle between the top two NFL draft picks is likely to draw viewers given neither has impressed.
Predictably, books have rolled out a rather innocuous NFL line for this game with the Jets opening as the -1.5-point home chalk. Since markets went to press, the line ticked up to 2.5 points with many online sports betting operators. The line move is down to the public backing the Jets predominantly in early betting. That’s easily understood.
The Jaguars have thrown the towel in or so it seems. The Jets have nothing but praise for Saleh and that underscores the idea that they’re more likely to capitalize on a winnable game -- if only to give him something to hang his hat on for all his efforts over the course of the season.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.