Vegas gives Jets very little chance to win Super Bowl

ByDavid Purdum ESPN logo
Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The NFL season kicks off this week with something special -- a potentially historic Super Bowl long shot that could be a double-digit underdog against the Cleveland Browns.

The New York Jets are 1,000-1 to win the Super Bowl at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, preseason odds that are longer than any ever seen before, according to some Vegas oddsmakers.

Last year, the Browns and San Francisco 49ers started the season with the worst odds, but they were only 200-1, a more standard number for the biggest long shots on the board in early September.

"[I've] never seen any NFL team this high before any games are played," said Ed Salmons, a 30-year veteran Las Vegas oddsmaker and assistant manager at the Westgate.

Then again, there may never have been a team like the 2017 Jets, who are allegedly in tank mode. Over the past several months, they've parted ways with their biggest established names, leaving a roster void of proven top-tier talent and major question marks at quarterback. Their odds have lengthened accordingly.

"I think the Jets will probably be the lowest team we've ever power-rated," Salmons said.

The Jets are 200-1 to win the AFC East and 40-1 to reach the playoffs. Those interested in betting against the Jets to make the playoffs at 1-200 odds will need to put up $20,000 to win $100 at the Westgate. As of Sunday, there had not been any takers.

The Jets are 8-point underdogs at Buffalo in the season opener. With a bad performance, Salmons said the Jets could easily be 17-point underdogs in Week 2 at Oakland and potentially 10-point underdogs at Cleveland in Week 5.

The Browns have not been a double-digit favorite in any game since the 2007 season.

The Jets are at New England in Week 17, which may temper the spread depending on how meaningful the game is for the Patriots. Otherwise, Salmons said the Jets could end up being 28-point underdogs against New England.

The Atlanta Falcons were 28-point underdogs to Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts in 1968, marking the largest point spread in the Super Bowl era, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Even at giant odds, bets on the Jets have been few and far between. Since moving the Jets to 1,000-1 to win the Super Bowl in late August, the Westgate had taken just six bets, totaling $55.

Not surprisingly, the Jets have attracted the fewest Super Bowl bets of any team at William Hill's Nevada sportsbooks, with the largest wager only $120. There have been three $50 bets on the Jets to win the AFC East at William Hill.

There are those with more belief in the Jets, though.

Earlier in the year, a bettor at sportsbook operator CG Technology put $500 on the Jets to win the Super Bowl, when their odds were only 125-1. That bet would pay $63,000.

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