The No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks in the 2021 NFL Draft face off under the lights this Thursday evening, as the New York Jets host the Jacksonville Jaguars. Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson have had very different seasons. Lawrence looks like a rising star and has the highest passer rating in the NFL over the last six games, while Wilson was benched for Mike White earlier this year, but got his job back thanks to White's rib injury.
Both teams would miss the playoffs if the season ended today, but they are still in the race. The 7-7 Jets are on the bubble of the wild-card picture, while the 6-8 Jaguars are just one game back from the flailing Tennessee Titans in the AFC South. The Jaguars have won four out of their past six games while the Jets have lost five out of their past seven entering Thursday night.
Below, we will break down this matchup from a gambling perspective, and examine the line movement, Over/Under and player props to consider. First, here's how you can watch the game.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
- Jaguars: LB Travon Walker (ankle), OT Cam Robinson (knee), DE Foley Fatukasi (ankle) OUT; QB Trevor Lawrence (toe), DB Andrew Wingard (shoulder), LB Chad Muma (ankle), OG Brandon Scherff (abdomen), OT Jawaan Taylor (hamstring) QUESTIONABLE
- Jets: CB Brandin Echols (quadriceps), WR Denzel Mims (concussion), WR Jeff Smith (knee), QB Mike White (rib) OUT; S Lamarcus Joyner (hip), DT Quinnen Williams (calf), RB Zonovan Knight (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
This line reopened at NYJ -2.5 on Tuesday, Dec. 13. From there, it began to bounce around. It ended last Friday at NYJ -1.5, rose to NYJ -2 on Saturday, but ended the weekend at NYJ -1. Wednesday, it rose back up to NYJ -1.5. With injury news, this line has been taken off the board multiple times.
The pick: Jets. -1.5. I have so much more faith in Lawrence compared to Wilson, but this is a team sport, and I think the Jets have the better "team." The Jaguars' injury report is a big reason why I'm leaning to the Jets here. Lawrence is questionable to play, but will, Travon Walker and Foley Fatukasi are out due to injury, left tackle Cam Robinson is likely done for the year, right tackle Jawaan Taylor is questionable to play and so is star offensive guard Brandon Scherff. The Jets defense is still a very underrated unit despite some miscues against the Detroit Lions last week, while the Jaguars haven't scored consecutive road wins since 2017. Coming off of an emotional overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys at home just four days ago, maybe this is a letdown spot for the Jags.
The total reopened at 42 on Tuesday, Dec. 13. It fell to 39.5 on Sunday, 38.5 on Monday, 38 on Tuesday and ended Wednesday at 37.
The pick: Over 37. Betting Overs has been lucrative as of late if you follow the Jaguars. They've hit the Over in four straight games, with 54-plus points scored in each contest. The Jaguars are 8-6 to the Over this season, while the Jets are 5-9. I like to root for points in primetime, and I feel as though this line is too low. I say we get to 40.
Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over +136, Under -189)
Passing yards: 214.5 (Over -109, Under -125)
Passing attempts: 33.5 (Over -139, Under +102)
Passing completions: 20.5 (Over -119, Under -115)
Longest passing completion: 32.5 (Over -104, Under -131)
Interceptions: 0.5 (Over -148, Under +108)
Lawrence has thrown at least two touchdowns in three out of his past four games, so I have to lean Over on that prop -- especially at plus money. The passing yards number appears to be low, too. Lawrence has played just four games this season in which he hasn't crossed 215 passing yards. I don't have a read on Lawrence's interception prop with that juice, but I lean Under on longest passing completion.
Passing touchdowns: 0.5 (Over -214, Under +152)
Passing yards: 197.5 (Over +100, Under -137)
Passing attempts: 30.5 (Over -111, Under -123)
Passing completions: 17.5 (Over -103, Under -133)
Longest passing completion: OFF
Interceptions: 0.5 (Over -204, Under +146)
Throw Wilson to pass for a touchdown in a same-game parlay. I really don't want to touch his passing yards number, because Wilson is boom or bust in that category. He threw for 154 yards in a win over the Buffalo Bills earlier this season, but cleared 300 passing yards in losses to the New England Patriots and Lions. I'll take the Over on passing completions and Wilson to throw an interception as well.
Other player props to consider
Garrett Wilson receiving yards: Over 55.5 (-129). The Ohio State product has started to emerge as a legitimate star. I know his quarterback is questionable, but Wilson has crossed this line in each of his last four outings.
Riley Patterson made field goals: Over 1.5 (-108). Patterson has made at least two field goals in each of his past four outings, and I feel like this is a good time to bet on him again. With New York's stout defense, maybe Jacksonville's offense stalls in the red zone a couple times.