When you have the top two picks in the draft battling each other, and they’re quarterbacks, you would assume an offensive shootout.
It likely will be the opposite when Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft, and the Jets’ Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick, slug it out in the Meadowlands at MetLife Stadium Sunday. The teams have combined for five wins with the 2-11 Jaguars currently holding the top pick in next year’s draft, too. This is a game in which the loser has more to gain in the long run.
As of Saturday morning, the Jets are favorites of 1, 1.5, or 2 points depending on the sportsbook you choose. If you’re looking for an alternative to typical types of sports bets, here are some prop bets to concentrate on for Sunday’s game.
Jets Vs. Jaguars Prop Bets
Jets RB Michael Carter Props at FanDuel
Over 49.5 yards rushing (-115); 18.5 receiving yards (-120), Anytime TD (+115)
Carter returned to the lineup last week against Miami and gained 18 yards in a limited role as Tevin Coleman took the lead with 50 yards. But Coleman and Ty Johnson are on the COVID list, and Carter will prove why he is the team’s leading rusher against a Jacksonville defense that is near the bottom of the league in team rushing. He also had 33 receptions and will be effective out of the backfield, and he should find the end zone.
Jaguars RB James Robinson Prop at DraftKings
Anytime Touchdown Scorer (-105)
Robinson could have a big day and find the endzone. The Jets are ranked last in run defense, and they haven’t been able to stop a big back all season. They have allowed 21 rushing touchdowns, including at least one in 11 of 14 games. Six of those games featured multiple rushing touchdowns. Robinson had 75 yards on 18 carries and scored a touchdown last week against Houston, and he will be back in the fold again this week. He has crossed the 100-yard mark once this season, but Miami’s Duke Johnson, just activated last week, ran for 107 against the Jets.
Jets QB Zach Wilson Prop at DraftKings
Over 219.5 yards passing (-105)
Wilson has been getting more comfortable in his last two weeks and hasn’t thrown an interception during the short span, The Jags’ defense is ranked 20th overall and 15th against the pass, but they are missing some key pieces from their unit. Wilson threw for 170 yards last week against Miami, and he connected for 260 yards two weeks prior against Philadelphia. Houston’s Davis Mills completed 19 of 30 passes for 209 and a pair of touchdowns against the Jags’ defense last week.
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence Prop at DraftKings
Over 218.5 yards passing (-115)
Lawrence has thrown for 210 yards in three of his last four games. The Jets’ defense is ranked 27th against the pass, and their safeties have been hit hard with COVID. If the Jets’ Bryce Hall can’t go, this will open things up further for Lawrence. The rookie signal-caller should be able to find enough weapons to make it interesting.
Jets Vs. Jaguars Analysis
The Jets have been ravaged by COVID-19 as they have 21 players including head coach Robert Saleh on the COVID/Reserve list as of late Friday. CB Bryce Hall and WR Jamison Crowder also didn’t practice Thursday.
The Jaguars placed WR Laviska Shenault Jr., DE Josh Allen, and OT Ben Bartsch on the COVID/Reserve list Friday. Jaguars RB James Robinson didn’t practice Thursday, and DLs Malcolm Brown and Jihad Ward along with LB Myles Jack couldn’t go.
Both teams will be battling a war of attrition, and the game likely will be won by which team has the fewest turnovers and the most effective field goal kicker.
The Jets’ Eddy Piniero accounted for all the Jets’ nine points in his debut two weeks ago with three field goals and added one field goal last week. He finally may be the solution to the kicking woes. The Jags’ Matthew Wright and has made 13 of 16 attempts.
To that point, the Jaguars have turned the ball over 25 times this season, which is 13 more turnovers than the Jets have forced. The Jets have a -18 turnover differential, and the Jaguars have one of -14.
This will come down to the Jets’ defense slowing Lawrence enough and trying to stop James Robinson. The Jets’ defense is ranked 30th against the run.
Jets’ CB Brandin Echols won the Rookie of the Week award last week for a performance in which he had one interception, three deflected passes, and four tackles. His play can make a difference in a tattered Jets’ secondary, mainly due to COVID-19.
For the Jets, it will come down to Wilson and rookie RB Michael Carter to pace the offense. If Crowder doesn’t play, it will severely hamper Wilson’s passing game. TE Ryan Griffin, who has been a consistent outlet the past few weeks, is out. Troubled second-year WR Denzel Mims and return specialist Braxton Berrios will need to step up.
Jets Vs. Jaguars Betting Recommendations
Records Against The Spread (ATS): Jets 4-10 (2-5 at home); Jaguars 4-10 (2-4 on the road)
Total: 41.5 points (Take the over, but it will be close)
Point spread: Jets -1.5 (Take the Jaguars)
Moneyline: Jets -125; Jaguars -105 (Take the Jaguars)
Score prediction: Jaguars 24, Jets 20
About the Author — Jeff Moeller
Jeff has covered countless sports events on the high school, collegiate, and professional levels in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey for 37 years. He has worked for The Associated Press, Gannett, and numerous weeklies, dailies, wire services, and websites.