The wise guys have set the Jets win total for the upcoming season at 5.5. As a football fan, and more specifically, a Jet fan, 5.5 seems low. The Jets managed four wins last season with a rookie quarterback who missed significant time and a defense that appeared to be playing with seven men on the field. Last season was a dumpster fire, and the team still managed four wins. Surely in their 17 games and having made significant roster upgrades, this team can find two more wins than they did last season. The Jets still have two picks in the top ten of the draft, and that represents a prime opportunity to find additional impact players either by using the picks or trading them away. Before you rush off to lay down a few weeks pay on the over, let’s do our due diligence. There are several things to consider before taking the leap and betting on NFL football in New York. (The cross-town, er, ah, the same-stadium rival Giants number is 7.) I am not saying that taking the Jets over the total isn’t a good bet. There are multiple books running great bonus deals ready to take that bet from you I am saying look at all the angles first.
- The wise guys are indeed wise. This is true at all times and needs to be considered for any bet you might be measuring. Casinos give away food, show tickets, even game tickets, but their sportsbooks do not give away winners. The people who set these lines spend all day everyday working on it. They are better at this stuff than you or I. There are rarely any mistakes made. Don’t act impulsively. If a line looks to good to be true, it is.
- You are a Jet fan. Understand the implications of being a Jet fan in regard to betting on the Jets. The first is that this team’s capabilities have a history of looking much better on paper than they are in actuality. The offseason is the best time to be a Jet fan. The recent history, ‘recent’ meaning just about every season since 1969, show a trend where Jet fanhood has meant being optimistic in the offseason and in brutal and constant abdominal pain during the season. Don’t let your passion effect your purse. It’s in your nature to feel good about your team’s chances before the season starts. Factor that in your bet strategy – you need to be objective at all times in money matters.
- Season win totals are as much about other teams as it they about your team. The Jets may be better this season than they were last year. They should be – it wouldn’t take much. The question is will being better mean posting more than five wins? It’s very plausible that this team will be better and not hit 6 wins. The opposition needs to be part of the equation. The AFC East is a brutal place to live. The Jets won exactly zero division games last season. Buffalo is a favorite to represent the conference in the Super Bowl. The Dolphins won eight of the last nine games and will probably sign two impact free agents during the time it takes you to read this article; and the Patriots are, well, the Patriots. The calendar is daunting despite the Jets earning a last-place schedule. Reviewing this year’s slate, in how many games do you expect the Jets to enter as the favorites? I don’t see more than three. That means we need at least three upsets to cash on the over.
- There is a strategy to the timing of lines being published. The wise guys know not only what the best line is to maximize their earnings. They also know when it’s best to post those lines. It’s April. What do we know about these teams now? This has easily been the wildest free agency period the NFL has ever seen. We can say definitively that the Jets have upgraded their roster. We can look at other teams and assess whether they have added or subtracted quality during free agency. There are differing opinions across the web on that, and some people’s free agency ‘winners’ will be other people’s ‘losers’. The draft throws more variables into the mix. The most impactful unknown is injury. There will be key injuries during the preseason; there always are. These lines are out now because it’s in the best interest of the house for them to be out now. Lines always post when it’s best for the house to post them.
So, what to do? Season win totals are nothing if not entertaining. It’s fun to look at what Vegas thinks versus what you expect from your team and your hated rivals. I don’t know if the Jets can get to 6 wins with this schedule and so many new and young players needing to come together. I am not betting against it either. Try to enjoy the offseason. Try to enjoy the real season. That would be refreshing, right? I think the line is right where it needs to be, which means I am looking elsewhere for value. Try these instead:
Buffalo over 11.5
Tennessee over 9.5
Atlanta under 5.5