Bettors Like Jets’ Chances, For Some Reason

Mystifyingly large amount of tickets back perennial doormat to win AFC East
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By any objective measure, the New York Jets are one of the worst franchises in National Football League history. They haven’t had a winning record since 2015, haven’t made the playoffs since 2010, and won their lone Super Bowl with Joe Namath behind center in January 1969 — back when they were still part of the American Football League.

But as DraftKings Race and Sportsbook Operations Director Johnny Avello, a New York native, put it, Jets fans “are crazy passionate.”

“They stick with them no matter what,” he added. “After the game, they swear at them, curse at them. But come Monday morning, they’re in love with them again.”

Such irrational exuberance has extended to several of New York’s major mobile sportsbooks this preseason. With a season win total set at o/u 5.5, the Jets are the top NFL team by handle and bet count at FanDuel, with 67% of the bets and 87% of the money coming in on the over. And despite being (at least) a 20/1 longshot to win the AFC East, the Jets have accounted for over 31% of the division winner tickets at FanDuel and WynnBET, with that figure tops among all NFL teams at the latter sportsbook.

If everything breaks right for the Jets, who look to have drafted well this offseason, winning six games seems mildly plausible. But beating out the Super Bowl favorite Bills, not to mention the Dolphins and Patriots, to win their division? That’s cuckoo.

“We’ve definitely seen money come in on the win total. We opened at -110 on over 5.5 and we’re up to -155,” said Avello. “On the division itself, we’re seeing some money there. I mean, seriously, it’s tough to see the Jets beating out the Bills here, so we’ve still got ’em at 28/1. They’re taking a chance with the 28, but I don’t think there’s anybody who really thinks that’s going to happen.

“Miami and the Patriots are tough enough to get by. If it were just those three, [the Jets] would still be a dog. When you look at the Jets’ first seven, eight, nine games, they’re an underdog in every single game.”

Jones’ last chance

There is, of course, another team that calls New York (or New Jersey, anyway) home, and that’s the Giants, who are 8/1 at DraftKings to win a so-so NFC East. 

“The Giants are in a division that’s up for grabs, although Dallas and Philly are certainly the better two teams,” said Avello. “But it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Giants won that division with a big year. This may be [Giants quarterback] Daniel Jones’ last shot to see if he can lead this team.”

DraftKings has the Giants at +230 to make the playoffs (-280 on “no”) and the Jets at 7/1 (-1100 on “no”), while FanDuel is offering a race-to-three-wins prop that pits the two New York squads against each other, with the Giants a -185 favorite to be the first to post a hat trick of victories. The Jets are at +145, while DraftKings has odds of 100/1 on neither team winning three games all year.

For his part, Avello is not rooting for such a doomsday scenario to occur in the Big Apple.

“I like to see both teams do well,” he said. “I don’t like crash-and-burn teams because when they’re not playing well all year long, their handle doesn’t increase and they don’t attract viewership and bets.”

Photo: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com

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