If you had “Jets vs. Lions Week 15 game actually being meaningful for both teams” on your betting card, congratulations, you can go cash that ticket. What would that have been before the season started? Maybe +500, +600? More?
But here we are, with the 7-6 Jets taking on the 6-7 Lions in what is shaping up as a loser-leaves-town battle. Put simply: Whoever wins buoys their playoff chances, whoever loses will watch those playoff chances sink.
As it stands as of Thursday, according to the playoff model developed at FiveThirtyEight.com, the Jets have a 33% chance of getting in the playoffs, the Lions a 20% chance.
If the Lions win, their odds jump to 34% and the Jets’ fall to 19%.
But if the Jets take this home game? Their chances climb to 47%, whereas the Lions’ fall to 9%.
Fair to say this is a meaningful game for both squads.
The Jets and Lions meeting next Sunday with playoff hopes on the line pic.twitter.com/AOpSfsmmhx
— BetMGM 🦁 (@BetMGM) December 12, 2022
Bookmakers can’t agree on favorite
The only thing the sportsbooks are aligned on with this game is that it’s a close call. The line is on a 2-point swing through zero everywhere. For instance, at the time of this writing, the Jets are -1 favorites at DraftKings, it’s pick’em at Caesars, and the Jets are +1 underdogs at WynnBET. And all three are priced at -110.
Translation? The best bet on the Jets is going to be on the moneyline, where they can be had for -105 at WynnBET.
Total points is a tighter market, with the number either 44 or 44.5 depending on the book. For “over” bettors, the best place to look is at PointsBet, offering -107 on the over. For those expecting the Jets defense to perform, under 44.5 can be found at BetMGM at -110.
On the prop side, one place to look will be the thus-far underwhelming Elijah Moore. While props haven’t been released yet by the major sportsbooks for the Jets wideout, his over/under receiving yards number has been set at 39.5 by PrizePicks. New Jersey residents can’t wager at PrizePicks, but if that number stays similar once the books release their props, it’s potentially a number to attack.
Why? Because Moore was on the field for 58 snaps last week and was in the slot on 42 of those plays.
Didn't show up in the box score. But huge role change for Elijah Moore yesterday. #Jets routes run on 59 Mike White dropbacks:
* Garrett Wilson 54
* Corey Davis 47
* Elijah Moore 45
* Denzel Mims 13
* Braxton Berrios 12
Elijah was in the slot on 42 of his 58 snaps.
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) December 5, 2022
And the Lions are abysmal against slot receivers. Last week, they gave up 5-38-1 to K.J. Osborn. The week before, 6-104-0 to Christian Kirk. The week before that, 6-96-1 to Isaiah McKenzie. The week before that, 9-100-0 to Wan’dale Robinson. The list goes on.
And while Moore’s receiving props might be attackable, there are caution flags when it comes to whatever the rushing yard prop for Zonovan Knight comes in at, as the Lions have been monsters against the run of late. Dalvin Cook, 23 yards. Travis Etienne, 54 yards. Devin Singletary, 72 yards. Saquon Barkley, 22 yards.
This game is set to be a whopper. A weighty December game for Jets and Lions faithful. What a world.
Photo: Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY