Dallas Cowboys @ New York Jets Betting Breakdown
In yet another one of the handful of ‘buy the bottom’ scenarios featured in the NFL this week, the Cowboys Jets game is a great opportunity to do so, not by betting on New York, but in backing Dallas, who have now lost two straight in nationally televised games where the analytics say they played much better than the final score indicated. Meanwhile, with Darnold now officially declared ready for action, this game also presents the opportunity to ‘sell the top’ by fading the media hype and public overreaction to Darnold’s return and taking advantage of a reduced spread in a game which should in theory go fairly similarly regardless of who’s holding the reigns for New York.
After all, in a perfect encapsulation of the realities of this game, Dallas is the #1 ranked team in the league for total yards per play at 7.2 while the Jets are the polar opposite ranking dead last at just 3.2 yards, a MASSIVE difference in with very little room for error. And while that number is no doubt at least partially a function of Darnold missing time, let’s not forget he put up a passer rating of just 85 in his only start this year, though in his defense, it was against the Bills. Still, after completing less than 58% of his passes last year and finishing the season with a rating of just 77, Darnold will need to prove his worth on the field before being given recognition as an elite QB and someone worthy of a line move to the all-important spread number of +7 (the spread at the time of writing). Because while Darnold is obviously an improvement over the Jets’ other options, their defense still ranks significantly lower than Dallas in both opponent total yards and opponent yards per play, two key metrics when handicapping NFL games, while their rush yards per play ranks 31st, barely ahead of last place Miami.
So regardless of the man behind the line for New York, I’ll happily be backing the Cowboys and looking for them to shake off the bad taste of the past two weeks with a resounding win in the Big Apple.