Jaguars at Jets on Thursday night: NFL betting odds, picks, tips

ByESPN Betting and Fantasy Analysts ESPN logo
Thursday, December 22, 2022

Week 16 of the NFL season gets underway Thursday with a matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets (-1.5, 38) from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jaguars are coming off an upset win over the Cowboys and have won three of four. The Jets, meanwhile, have lost three straight and four of five.

What can we expect froma betting standpoint for Thursday night's game?

Betting analysts Doug Kezirian, Tyler Fulghum, Joe Fortenbaugh, Anita Marks and Erin Dolan;fantasy and sports betting analystsEric Moody and Andre Snellings; and ESPN Stats & Information's Seth Walder, ESPN analyst Jason Fitzand Football Outsiders'Aaron Schatzprovide their top plays for the matchup.

Note: Lines from Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise indicated.

The Jets (-1.5, 38) are favorites over the Jaguars for Thursday night's matchup despite losing three straight games. The Jaguars, on the other hand, have won two in a row and are only one game back of the Titans for first place in the AFC South (+120 to win). Do you like Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars to get things done on the road in East Rutherford, or can the Jets end their three-game skid and keep their playoff hopes alive?

Marks: Give me the Jags and the points, along with the Jags in a six-point, two-team teaser at +7.5. Jacksonville is coming off an impressive overtime win against the Cowboys. Lawrence has been on a tear of late, throwing 14 touchdowns and only one interception over his past six weeks. Offensively, the Jaguars have averaged more than 7 yards per play, and they looked impressive against the Cowboys' defense. The Jets are again starting Zach Wilson, who sports a pedestrian 42% completion percentage in the red zone, and the Jets' defense will likely be without Quinnen Williams for the second straight week.

Snellings: I'll also take the Jags with the points. They are playing much better of late and have the much stronger quarterback play at the moment. The best chance for the Jets is for their defense to keep it a low-scoring game and hope that they can squeeze it out in the end. The best-case scenario for them would be a very close game in which the points could be key, even in a potential Jets victory.

Moody: Jaguars +1.5. Lawrence and the Jaguars have had some positive momentum over the past three games, ranking fourth with 399 total yards per game and fourth with 30 points per game. Even though the New York defense is formidable, the Jets have lost their past three games. The Jaguars are 4-1-1 against the spread in their past six games. It is possible for Jacksonville to win this game outright.

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Trevor Lawrence has been on a tear in recent weeks and is coming off a four-touchdown performance in Week 15. He'll be facing a Jets defense that has one of the best secondaries in the league with D.J. Reed and Sauce Gardner. Do you like Lawrence to go over his passing yards (224.5) and touchdowns (1.5) props on Thursday night in chilly MetLife Stadium?

Schatz: Chilly MetLife Stadium isn't actually going to be very chilly for this game! The forecast is for some rain but temperatures in the 40s. That huge blast of cold air that's going to affect this week's games doesn't really show up until Friday or even Saturday morning. So give me Lawrence to go over this passing yards prop. He's red hot and has receivers who won't be covered by either Reed or Gardner, namely Evan Engram at tight end. I'm also expecting the Jets to score against a poor Jaguars defense so that Jacksonville won't be taking the ball out of Lawrence's hands to run out the clock late in the game.

Snellings: I do like Lawrence to go over 224.5 passing yards. That's a relatively modest total, even given the Jets' strong defense, for a quarterback who has averaged 280.0 yards over his past six games, going over 224.5 yards in five of those games.

Moody: Lawrence has surpassed 224.5 passing yards in seven of his past 10 games. The Jets' stout secondary is unlikely to allow Lawrence to throw for 300 yards as he has in three of his past four games, but 224.5 passing yards seems too low. The Jets' pass rush will be negatively impacted by Quinnen Williams' calf injury. Although Williams is a game-time decision, he is clearly not 100%. Lawrence has performed well when not under pressure this season. Although it will be rainy and cold, high winds are not expected to be a factor.

The Jets and Jaguars are both on the outside looking in to make the postseason. New York is +400, while Jacksonville is +125. Do you like taking either of these teams at plus odds, and who do you see making a run?

Kezirian: I think there's slight value on Jacksonville at +125 but it's marginal. They would likely need Tennessee to avoid beating Dallas in Week 17 to set up a favorable situation against the Titans at home in Week 18. However, there are a lot of other scenarios so just given how Lawrence and Jacksonville are playing right now, this is a team I'd like to back.

Schatz: Our current playoff odds simulation has the Jets making it 25% of the time, which puts a little bit of value on the +400 if you want to play that. Our numbers think Zach Wilson is a little underrated because, while he certainly makes some bad plays, he has made those plays while facing the hardest schedule of opposing pass defenses of any quarterback in the league this season. That's why we have the Jets' offense as high as 19th in DVOA despite their quarterback questions and the injuries they've faced at running back and on the offensive line. We have the Jaguars making the playoffs 44% of the time, which works out to exactly +125, so no value there.

Is there anything else you are playing in this game?

Schatz: I'll take over 38 despite the quality of the Jets' defense. The Jets and Jaguars both run their offenses at an above-average pace, and the Jaguars are currently eighth in weighted offensive DVOA. Even the Jets are 19th and would be higher, not lower, if you took out the Mike White games. Zach Wilson has his problems, but he's going against a Jaguars pass defense that currently ranks last in DVOA. And as I said above, the weather isn't supposed to be that cold.

Marks: Evan Engram over 40.5 receiving yards and Christian Kirk over 48.5 receiving yards. Engram has become one of Lawrence's favorite targets over the past three weeks, accounting for 32 targets, 24 receptions and 244 receiving yards. The Jets have one of the best secondaries against wide receivers but struggle against tight ends.

Kirk plays 68% of his snaps from the slot -- and will avoid Sauce Gardner for the majority of the game. Last week, the Jets allowed Lions slot receivers to surpass 100 combined receiving yards.

Moody: Garrett Wilson over 55.5 receiving yards. Although Garrett Wilson has had more success with Mike White under center than Zach Wilson, he should still have success against a Jaguars defense that has allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game. Garrett Wilson has surpassed 55 receiving yards and seven targets in four straight games. There is a strong chance that trend will continue against the Jaguars.

Dolan: Zonovan Knight over 57.5 rushing yards. Knight has hit over this mark in three of four games played, averaging 63 rushing yards per game. The Jags' defense ranks 27th in defensive efficiency. While the Jags' defense is better against the run (ranked 16th) than the pass (29th), I do not trust Zach Wilson for obvious reasons. I think the Jets will use Knight in the heavy rain and wind, and he will hit over his rushing yards prop.

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