Jets QB Zach Wilson Stinks: BET Jaguars Thursday In Week 16

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Am I salty that my New York Jets (7-7) bet vs. the Detroit Lions in Week 15 lost? Yes. Did the Jacksonville Jaguars (6-8) beating a Dallas Cowboys team I backed last week piss me off? Very much so, yes.

Are those results affecting my handicap for Week 16’s Thursday Night Football Jaguars-Jets game? No way. Well, perhaps a little.

Either way, when the Jets announced QB Zach Wilson would be starting for a still-injured QB Mike White, the JAGUARS became an auto-bet.

Betting Details (DraftKings)

  • Moneyline (ML): JAGUARS (-115), Jets (-105) 
  • Against the spread (ATS): JAGUARS +1 (-115), Jets -1 (-105) 
  • Total — 38 — O: -110, U: -110

Short-week favors the better coach

NYJ second-year coach Robert Saleh has gotten the most out of this team but is still figuring out how to win games. The Jaguars, however, are trending under first-year coach Doug Pederson, who is more proven than Saleh.

Thursday Night Football presents different challenges for players and coaching staff because it’s usually a short week. Pederson was 6-0 straight up and 5-1 ATS on Thursdays while coaching the Eagles from 2016-20.

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Pederson talks with QB Trevor Lawrence during a game vs. the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Pederson talks with QB Trevor Lawrence during a game vs. the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

The Jets were in a position to beat the Lions last week but Saleh’s game management on NYJ’s final drive was egregious. Some of that falls on the QB yet Saleh needs to make better use of his timeouts, to say the least.

That said, the Jets had more first downs than the Lions last week, better third-down efficiency, slightly more yards per play, and a higher red zone scoring rate. In fact, Detroit went 0-for-3 in the red zone.

This leads us to the biggest factor in Jaguars-Jets …

Jacksonville has a significant edge in the QB matchup

Wilson was benched earlier this month for backup White and NYJ’s offense immediately looked crisper. Last week, Wilson completed 18-of-35 passes for 317 yards with 2 TDs, 1 INT, and a completion percentage over expectation was +0.3%, according to NFL’s Next Gen Stats.

I.e. Wilson just managed the offense and didn’t make extraordinary throws. In fact, I’d argue Wilson’s stat line and lack of critical errors were more dumb luck.

Look at his INT and a couple of other garbage throws:

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence on the other hand is starting to show why he was a lock as the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s NFL draft.

Over his last six games, Lawrence is 4-2 SU and ATS with a 70.4% completion rate, 15 total TDs (14 passing and one rushing), four turnovers (one INT and three fumbles lost), and a 111.2 QB Rating.

Check out some of the dimes Lawrence has dropped recently:

Given how limited the NYJ’s pass game is, I expect Jacksonville to load the box and force Wilson to beat them through the air. Which, again, I’m betting Wilson cannot do.

Finally …

Jacksonville won the box score in last year’s Jaguars-Jets game

NYJ beat Jacksonville 26-21 at home in Week 16 last season, covering as 1.5-point favorites. But, the Jaguars had nine more first downs (27-18), 11 more total yards, and were better on third down.

Wilson completed just 14-of-22 passes for 102 yards with 1 TD and 0 INT. The Jets benefited from a 52-yard TD run by Wilson and a 102-yard kickoff return TD by WR Braxton Berrios. Both of which are flukey. NYJ did rush for 273 yards on 36 carries.

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence scrambles out of the pocket against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence scrambles out of the pocket against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

However, the Jets’ ground game has been shut down in the past two weeks by the Bills who rank 19th in yards per rush allowed, and the Lions who are 26th in yards per rush allowed. The Jaguars’ defense is 10th in yards per rush allowed while the Jets have cluster injuries on their offensive line.

Also, Jacksonville was in complete chaos entering last year’s meeting with NYJ. It was the Jaguars’ second game under then-interim head coach Darren Bevell after firing Urban Meyer.

Granted, NYJ is much better this season but the Jets have maximized their potential and the Jaguars are still ascending. Again, the reason for this is Jacksonville has a legit franchise QB and established coach.

BET: Jaguars +1 (-115) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to Jacksonville -2

The Jacksonville Jaguars' odds at the New York Jets from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Tuesday, December 20th at 1:45 p.m. ET.
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ odds at the New York Jets from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Tuesday, December 20th at 1:45 p.m. ET.

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Written by Geoff Clark

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