It was, by any standard, a heartbreaking loss for the Jets this past Sunday when, after an afternoon of putting the brakes on the Lions’ high-powered offense, Jared Goff connected on a 51-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and-1 to tight end Brock Wright, and just like that …
Jared Goff : 23/38 for 252 yards & a 89 QB Rating (Go-ahead 51-yard TD pass to Brock Wright with 1:49 left) pic.twitter.com/2NQquswUqU
— Lee Harvey (@MusikFan4Life) December 18, 2022
Well, and just like that, the Jets’ season — which has been marked by a stifling defense keeping the team afloat (especially after losing the seeming future star Breece Hall to injury) — began to do what most recent Jets seasons have done, albeit usually much earlier: circle the drain.
Alas, Thursday night presents the Jets with what amounts to a near last-ditch hope to keep their playoff dreams alive, as they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium.
This game, which will feature plenty of wind and rain, and which might hopefully keep the all-of-a-sudden superstar-esque Trevor Lawrence in check, is more or less a playoff game for both teams.
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) December 21, 2022
Entering the game, the Jets have a 20% chance of getting in the playoffs as a wild card, according to FiveThirtyEight’s playoff odds tracker, whereas the Jags have a 44% of making the playoffs, almost certainly as the AFC South division winner.
If the Jets lose, their playoff chances will sink to 8% (and the Jaguars will see theirs rise to 56%). But if the Jets take this one and move to 8-7? Their odds improve to 33% (and the Jaguars’ fall to 29%). So while it’s not do-or-die for either team, it is certainly do-or-go-on-life-support.
What say the books?
As for the sportsbooks? Early in the week, it was a pick ‘em at most shops, but as the week wears on — and the forecast gets increasingly dreary — the Jets are now 2-point favorites at -107 at PointsBet.
On the moneyline, DraftKings is offering the best odds on the Jets at -125.
The over/under is set at a sad little 37, with PointsBet offering -107 on either side.
So will the combination of their defense and the weather be enough to get the Jets over the hump? Perhaps. And if you think that’s the case, the over/under on Trevor Lawrence interceptions is set at 0.5, with the over at -128 at FanDuel.
Some other notable props:
Zach Wilson’s passing yardage prop is set at 207.5 at Tipico at -110 (and 208.5 at +100 on the over at Caesars). Wilson put up respectable numbers against the Lions last week, and the Jaguars pass defense isn’t exactly a world-beating unit.
— Matt O'Leary (@MattOLearyNY) December 20, 2022
If you think the Jets can control this game, Zonovan Knight should easily get 18-plus carries. His prop is set at 14.5, with the over at -114 at FanDuel.
The white-hot Zay Jones is expected to see plenty of Sauce Gardner; if that’s the case, he may have a difficult time reaching his 48.5-yard receiving prop. The under is -110 at bet365.
Lastly, Garrett Wilson’s receiving yardage prop is set at 55.5. He’s hit that number in four straight and six out of his last seven games.
Photo: Ed Mullholland/USA TODAY