The two Meadowlands NFL teams — the Giants and the Jets — have more in common than just MetLife Stadium.
They each have gone 22-59 over the past five seasons, the worst results of the 32 NFL franchises. Both also have a pair of top 10 picks in the NFL Draft later this month, with the Jets picking fourth and tenth and the Giants selecting fifth and seventh.
On WFAN sports talk radio, though, hosts and callers alike seem mostly united in their belief that the Jets could be on the verge of good things while the Giants remain adrift. A late-season improvement last fall by then-rookie Jets quarterback Zach Wilson and the stagnant results from sometimes-injured Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, plus more productive free agent signings for the Jets, seem to be driving the vibe.
But over/under win totals set by sportsbooks suggest a different story.
A Giant gap in wins
Late in March, DraftKings posted the Jets’ projected win total at 5 in what will be the second NFL season with a 17-game schedule. The Giants were listed at 7.5 wins.
That gap proved to be too much for some betting sharps, apparently, as the Jets’ number quickly moved to 5.5 and the Giants’ figure dropped to 7 on DraftKings.
At PointsBet, the Giants number remained at 7.5 wins as of Thursday — but to go under, the vig was a hefty -155. The Jets are even-money on PointsBet to go over 5.5 wins.
At FanDuel, you have to pay a -160 price on the Giants to go under 7.5 wins, and -105 to try the Jets at over 5.5.
Over at Barstool, shorting the Giants at under 7 wins fetches a price of +103. Confident in the Jets? At Barstool, you have to pay -110 to go over 5.5 wins.
BetMGM, meanwhile, has the Giants at 100/1 to win the Super Bowl while the Jets are 150/1. Only the rudderless Texans, at 250/1, have worse odds than the Jets.
Degree of difficulty in play?
Part of the reason for the seeming incongruity between betting odds and an admittedly unscientific sampling of sports radio callers may lie in the teams’ schedules.
In the AFC East, the Bills are projected on DraftKings at 11.5 wins, the Dolphins at 9, and the Patriots at 8.5. That’s 29 wins projected for the rivals of the Jets.
But in the NFC East, the Cowboys are at 10.5, the Eagles are at 8.5, and the Commanders (formerly known as Football Team) are at 7.5. That’s 26.5 wins for the rivals — or 2.5 wins shy of the Jets’ divisional opponents.
Also, the Jets play the brutal AFC West this season, with opponent win totals of Chiefs 10.5, Broncos 10, Chargers 10, and Raiders 8.5. That total of 39 wins compares to 34.5 for the AFC East and 33.5 for the NFC East.
The AFC division opponents for the Giants are from the more hospitable AFC South, with projected win totals of Titans 9.5, Colts 9.5, Jaguars 6, and Texans 4.5. That’s four projected wins fewer than the mediocre NFC East that is home to the Giants.
Factoring in a team’s schedule is always a good idea, but often a bit overrated — after all, injuries occur and so do breakouts by unexpected players.
But in this case, four games against the AFC South compared to a quartet against the AFC West does seem to justify a good chunk — if not all — of the gap between the Giants and Jets win totals.
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