History will be made in the Monday night opener in NFL Week 1 of the NFL season as New York Jets rookie Sam Darnold will be the youngest Week starting QB in NFL history. Not youngest ever overall but in an opener. His Jets are nearly TD NFL betting underdogs, though, against the Detroit Lions.
Jets vs Lions Monday Night Football Week 1 Odds & PreviewNew York / Detroit Stream Option: WatchESPN Opening NFL Lines: Lions -6.5 (44)
Last MeetingIn 2014, the Lions won at the Jets 24-17. Matthew Stafford threw for two scores and ran for another. Stafford finished 24 of 34 for 293 yards. How long ago was that? Detroit’s star receiver was currently retired Calvin Johnson. Golden Tate, who is still around, caught 8 passes for 116 yards. Geno Smith was the New York QB and was terrible as he usually is. Smith is long gone.
Why Bet on NY Jets?The Jets traded Teddy Bridgewater this week to New Orleans, opening up the starting job for Sam Darnold, the No. 3 overall rookie out of USC. That means veteran Josh McCown, last year’s starter, will back up Darnold. At first this preseason, the Jets slowly eased Darnold into action by letting him come off the bench against the Falcons in Week 1. After that, Darnold started New York’s next two preseason games against the Redskins and Giants. Although Darnold didn’t put up any huge numbers during those three preseason games, Jets coach Todd Bowles was more than happy with what he saw. Overall, Darnold completed 64.4 percent of his passes (29 of 45) for 244 yards and two touchdowns with a pick. That one interception is important because last season at USC, Darnold had 22 turnovers in 14 games. Even that pick wasn’t egregious because it came on a fourth-down play, meaning he had to get rid of the ball. Darnold will be 21 years and 97 days old on the night of the game, making him the youngest opening day starter since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. However, the youngest NFL starter ever was Tommy Maddox, who was 21 years and 81 days old when he made his first start in November 1992. Bowles said Jets RB Elijah McGuire (foot) won’t be ready for the season opener versus the Lions. He had foot surgery in July. Bowles has yet to confirm if the club will officially place McGuire on the PUP list or stash him on injured reserve for the first eight games. A mix of Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell will carry the load. Bowles has said he’ll “ride the hot hand” in the backfield. The Jets also could be without starting WR Robby Anderson due to a possible suspension. All felony charges from a January arrest have been dropped against Anderson, but the league may opt to impose its own penalties against New York’s No. 1 wide receiver. According to precedent, Anderson is likely to face a one- or two-game suspension if the league decides to take action.
Why Bet on Detroit?The Lions have no quarterback worries in Matthew Stafford. The former No. 1 overall pick finished the exhibition slate 11-of 23 passing for 164 yards without any touchdowns or interceptions. The 30-year-old passer hasn’t missed a regular season game since 2010. That’s somewhat good fortune as Detroit operates one of the league’s pass-heaviest offenses, having called pass at least 65 percent of the time during each of OC Jim Bob Cooter’s three seasons. Stafford will work behind one of the league’s best offensive lines and will be throwing to a strong trio of wide receivers in Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay. Who will back up Stafford? That remains to be seen behind inexperienced Jake Rudock and veteran backup Matt Cassel. This is his 14th season. He has 106 games and 81 starts under his belt. The Lions have an interesting situation at running back in rookie Kerryon Johnson and veterans LeGarrette Blount, Theo Riddick and perennially injured Ameer Abdullah. The reality is the Lions probably keep only three running backs up on the 46-man roster so Abdullah, once considered the team’s future there, could be cut. This week the Lions signed veteran free agent pass rusher Robert Ayers to a one-year deal … and then cut him the next day even though they need pass-rush help. Something is amiss there. Ayers played the last two seasons in Tampa Bay, recording two sacks in 10 starts for the Buccaneers in 2017. He had 9 sacks for the New York Giants in 2015, the last time he was a full-time player. New Lions head coach Matt Patricia was the defensive coordinator in New England last year, and the Patriots ranked seventh in the NFL in sacks with 42 and had 15 different players record at least one sack from all three levels of their defense. Ziggy Ansah was Detroit’s leading pass rusher last season with 12 sacks but no one else did much. The Lions have avoided any real significant injuries to their major contributors in the preseason, which is always the goal.
Latest NFL Betting Trends for Jets vs Lions
- Jets are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in September.
- Jets are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 road games.
- Lions are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Monday games.
- Lions are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 1.