With the 2018 NFL season quickly approaching and the new wave of legal sports-betting flooding the market, it is to no coincidence that the latest odds for every NFL team’s chance to make the playoffs is eye-catching.
However, it’s easy to see that not much has changed. The New England Patriots continue to defy the rest of the league with -1500 odds, the best chance to reach the playoffs. And the regulars continue to follow suit – Pittsburgh (-550), Green Bay (-170), and New Orleans (-130).
And in that same vain, the Jets’ unfavorable playoff drought continues down the same path. They sit tied with the Miami and Cleveland at +600 odds to make it to the postseason, ahead of only Arizona (+800).
Opening odds to make the 2018 NFL playoffs (@betonline_ag):
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) July 5, 2018
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) July 5, 2018
Are the Jets the League’s Most Overlooked Team?
To some, it may seem inexcusable to see the Jets’ odds so low, especially after all the offseason noise the team made. Adding star corner Trumaine Johnson, and rookie phenom Sam Darnold to the mix hasn’t seemed to uplift the Jets’ chances very much. This combined with all of the other moves the team made in free agency.
The Jets also have a seasoned veteran under center again in Josh McCown, who took the league by storm last year, posting similar numbers to that of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. And not to mention Gang Green remains the only team to have four different receivers with an 800+ yard season under their belt.
No other team has 4 different receivers with an 800+ yd season under their belt. But we choose not to talk about that… 🤷🏾♂️ https://t.co/S6LuqwrfbD
— Quincy Enunwa (@QuincyEnunwa) June 21, 2018
Yet with all this positivity in a team that well surpassed expectations a year ago, the odds remain against them. Why is that?
Well, to start, the Jets are still a “new-look” team. A core of young, growing players isn’t as telling as a core of players who have been there and done that. The Jets seem to believe that their rejuvenated roster can compete against the league’s best, but to outsiders that remains a huge question mark. Can they really escape the wrath of Tom Brady and the kings of the AFC East?
And despite Josh McCown’s posting career highs last year, it goes without saying that he’s still Josh McCown. It would be wrong to just focus on last year, whereas in his 15-year career, he’s been average at best.
Combine this with a rookie who has his flaws, and newly-acquired Teddy Bridgewater coming off of injury, somehow the odds begin to make a little more sense. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they will tell the full story.
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Are the Jets truly in the same realm as the Dolphins and Browns? According to Vegas, yes, but it may be worth noting the various difficulties these team’s possess as well.
The Browns are also a “new-look” team, adding Baker Mayfield and Tyrod Taylor to the QB room, along with Jarvis Landry and a few other pieces, some may think that Cleveland can finally escape it’s 16-year playoff drought. And while they sit in a similar position as the Jets – with an unproven rookie quarterback and a divisional king to get past, something about the Browns seems to stick out.
Oh yeah, they’re the Browns.
With a head coach that has only one win under his belt after two full seasons, you’d think the problem starts there. Sure, this team may have added some helpful pieces, but can they really take the next step with a coach who has only nine career wins? In comparison, Jets’ HC Todd Bowles surpassed Jackson’s career win total in just one season (2015) when he helped Gang Green reach a 10-6 record.
With rosters in similar talent, I’d think the Jets get the better end of the stick here. The coaching experience in tough situations seems unmatched.
Miami is not too far off either. They’ve really scrapped their roster, losing Landry, Jay Ajayi, and Ndamukong Suh most recently. Can Ryan Tannehill return from injury and lead this unfamiliar team against a rebuilding AFC East? Seems unlikely. In a further perspective, I think it goes without saying that the Jets are most prepared for the future than the ‘Phins. And whether the “future” comes to light this year, or in 5 years is yet to be seen.
The most mind-boggling to situation to me continues to be the Bills’ odds. The quarterback situation seems more iffy than that of the Jets, and further talent on the roster, in my opinion, has already reached it’s peak. While I think it will be a head-to-head race between the division rivals for 2nd place this upcoming season, I believe upselling the Bills as better favorites to make the playoffs further exemplifies the Jets as the league’s most overlooked team.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below or reach out on Twitter.