I can’t say the NFL schedule-makers thought they had a marquee Thursday Night Football matchup on their hands when they pitted the Jets and Broncos against one another to kickoff Week 4, but I can confidently say they didn’t think it would be this bad. And yet, that’s the story ahead of this meeting between two winless AFC teams.
I know I’m not exactly selling the sexiness of this matchup, but there is some good news. Bettors in Colorado can legally wager on the game, so even if the football isn’t particularly compelling, there should still be plenty of action on Thursday night. With my underwhelming setup out of the way, let’s get into our Broncos vs. Jets betting preview with odds, picks and predictions.
You can bet $5 on either team as a 50-point underdog and win $100 if they cover over at William Hill, which is a no-brainer of an offer. You can get it by clicking here and entering promo code MILEHIGHWIN.
At the expense of belaboring the point, there’s really just no way to size up this matchup other than to say it’s an ugly one. Really ugly. Through three weeks, the Jets have produced an NFL-worst 12.3 points per game, while the Broncos aren’t far behind at just 15 points per game. Not great!
But some good news is likely to emerge from New Jersey on Thursday — one of these two teams will earn its first win of the season. There is also some bad news –one of these two injury-riddled teams will fall to an 0-4 start for the first time in franchise history. Unless, of course, there is a tie, which I suppose is entirely possible.
High drama, indeed.
The Broncos will turn to Brett Rypien, their third starting quarterback in four games, to jump start a stagnant offense that struggled under backup Jeff Driskel. Either Vic Fangio was impressed with Rypien, who completed 8 of 9 passes (with an INT) at the end of last week’s 28-10 clunker against Tampa Bay, or he simply couldn’t take in another Jeff Driskel start. In any case, a guy who was was on the practice squad to start the season will be under center on Thursday night.
The Broncos coaching staff cited Rypien’s ability to get the ball out of his hands quickly as a big reason why they’re turning to him. He’ll likely need to do just that given Denver has yielded 13 sacks over its last two games, which is a big reason why the unit is near the bottom of the league in total offense, third-down conversion percentage, and, as previously mentioned, points scored.
As for the Jets, the picture may be even uglier. They don’t have the excuse of losing their starting quarterback. That being said, while Sam Darnold is still playing, he’s not playing well. It has been a brutal go of it for the third-year quarterback. Last week, Darnold completed less than 60% of his passes and threw three interceptions (two were returned for touchdowns) on his way to posting a 47.0 quarterback rating in a 36-7 blowout loss at Indianapolis.
Sam Darnold throws his second pick-6 of the day 😬
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 27, 2020
It’s probably no surprise, then, that the Jets are near the bottom of the league in several key offensive categories — first downs, third-down conversion percentage, yards, and passing yards scoring among the lowlights. You name it –the Jets offense is bad at it.
Broncos vs. Jets Odds
We have seen some fairly significant movement with the Broncos vs. Jets odds. Initially, the Broncos opened as a two-point road favorite at DraftKings, but the odds have shifted in the other direction as the Jets are now a two-point favorite.
Meanwhile, the total opened at 41 and remains in the same neighborhood.
|Broncos||+2 (-110)||+110||O 40.5 (-110)|
|Jets||-2 (-110)||-125||U 40.5 (-110)|
|Broncos||+1.5 (-110)||+106||O 40.5 (-110)|
|Jets||-1.5 (-110)||-124||U 40.5 (-110)|
A few quick notes about these odds. If you haven’t yet signed up for DraftKings Sportsbook, you can get either team to win at 100-1 odds (a $1 bet to win $100) by clicking here.
And, as noted above, grab 20-1 odds on either team to cover 50 points over at William Hill. You can get it here.
Who Will Win Broncos vs. Jets?
Let’s take a closer look at how the current Broncos vs. Jets odds stack up against FiveThirtyEight’s popular ELO model.
According to ELO, oddsmakers’ latest adjustment is getting warmer to what this spread should be. ELO has the Jets as a 3.5-point favorite, which means bettors are still getting 1.5 points of value (across the key number of 3). That’s no small thing to overlook.
As for the moneyline, ELO suggests there is notable value on the Jets here, too. With a 62% win probability, ELO believes the moneyline should be in the -162 range, not the current -125 market price.
Where Is the Money Going?
Let’s take a quick look at the Broncos-Jets betting splits.
Not too many big-money Brett Rypien backers out there as of Wednesday night! The Jets are getting are getting 40% of spread bets but a wild 91% of the money at reporting sportsbooks. That helps explain why we’ve seen four-point movement (Jeff Driskel isn’t worth that much).
Meanwhile, 54% of bets and 97% of the money is on the under, which isn’t hard to understand as these two teams are combining for roughly 27 points per game this season.
How to Watch Broncos vs. Jets
- Date: Thursday, October 1
- Time: 8:20 p.m.ET
- Location: MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, NJ)
- Network: NFL Network
- Announcers: Joe Buck (Play-by-Play), Troy Aikman (Analyst), Erin Andrews (Sideline) and Kristina Pink (Sideline)
Broncos vs. Jets Betting Trends
Note: All trends date back to the start of the 2003 season, unless otherwise indicated.
Why Backing the Broncos Makes Sense
The Jets Are Brutal
The Jets are 10-18-1 ATS in Sam Darnold’s starts and 2-5 ATS as a favorite, though he is a, uh, less bad 6-7-1 ATS at home.
Rough Starts Don’t Get Better
Home teams that start the season 0-3 ATS are 11-22-1 ATS in Game 4. Home favorites are just 6-12 ATS in this spot.
Adam, Adam, Adam…
- Adam Gase may not be the coach of the Jets in a few weeks. He’s also 12-20-1 following a loss in his career and 10-15-1 ATS off a double-digit loss.
- Gase’s teams are also just 5-10-1 ATS following games in which they score at 13 points or less.
- Gase’s teams are just 2-7-1 ATS in primetime games.
Why Backing the Jets Makes Sense
The Jets Are Average at Home
Listen, the Jets aren’t necessarily good at home, but they’re sort of okay, which for the Jets, is actually good. They’ve won four of their last five games at home.
Favorites Have Had Success Among Winless Teams
When two winless teams get together in the fourth game of the season, the favorite is 4-2 ATS.
How Low Can You Go?
Home favorites that have scored 21 or less points in three straight games are 81-50 ATS in non-division games.
Broncos vs. Jets Prediction
Listen, those Gase/Jets trends up above are pretty brutal. I can totally see a scenario where Vic Fangio’s defense dominates an inept Jets offense and wins a 13-10 type of game. Still, Sam Darnold can’t possibly be as bad as he has played this season…right?
Frankly, if the Jets can’t win at home as a favorite in this situation, Gase may be out of a job come Friday morning. I just can’t see Brett Rypien pulling this off. I’ll roll with the Jets -2, though I don’t feel great about it.
Bets We Like
Both teams to score a touchdown and one field with FOX Bet at +100 odds (get it here).
New players at DraftKings Sportsbook: Get the Broncos (or any team) to win at 100-1 odds (get it here).
Broncos vs. Jets Pick
The official pick is Jets -2 (I’m cool if it jumps to -2.5, but out at -3)