It’s that time of the season where teams with no playoff future debate the merits of moral victories and shutting down star players. You get both in this game Sunday afternoon as the Jets still look to develop Sam Darnold and the Packers could sit Aaron Rodgers.
Both teams have nothing to play for in the standings. However, the Jets might simply have more to play for as they build this young base.
Despite a 29-22 loss to the Texans last weekend, Darnold continued to show signs he is healthy and growing as a QB. Throwing for 253 yards and 2 TDs, the Jets rookie was able to move the ball despite limited weapons around him. Their defense will be tested again this week, no matter who GB lines up under center.
It’s been a rough stretch for the Packers as Rodgers played through a groin injury. The offense hasn’t hit over 20 points in three of their last four games. The lone exception came against a banged-up Atlanta secondary. Even with Rodgers, this offense has struggled to score points all season.
The line is a clear reflection on the belief Rodgers plays through his groin injury, something he said he would do earlier in the week. The reality is with a new head coach and a losing record no matter what, the decision may be out of his hands.
The issue may not be an outright victory for the Jets as keeping it close and covering by a narrow margin.
Is that asking too much of one of the NFL’s worst defenses? On the surface the answer for NFL betting fans is yes, but let’s look deeper inside a key stat. The Jets are horrendous on D, 26th in scoring and 22nd overall.
But here’s where it gets tricky for Green Bay: third down. The Packers are one of the league’s worst converters of third down, while the Jets lone bright spot on D is limiting third-down conversions. They fluctuate from second to fourth each week atop the NFL in stopping drives on third down; the problem has been getting to third down.
The Packers will most likely be without WR Randall Cobb as he deals with a concussion.
All that adds up to taking the Jets and the points at 888Sport.
At +265, this is actually a favorable moneyline here for the two plays together based on how ineffective both offenses have been. There’s also that pesky little detail of the Packers winless – 0-7 – on the road this year. They will either parade out Rodgers with a worsening groin or start DeShone Kizer in a backup capacity. Not a good recipe to break that slump.
Green Bay’s injury woes are worse than just Rodgers and Cobb. The team shut down Aaron Jones -- the NFL’s leading rusher in yards per carry – for the final two games of the season.
So, we could realistically be looking at a Packers team without their star QB, RB & WR. That’s a pretty healthy recipe for a team losing on the road and unable to put up points.
The Jets should score some points, but even as Darnold becomes more comfortable they just don’t have the weapons. WR Quincy Enunwa missed practice again this week with an ankle injury.
Parlay Jets (+3.5) and Under 46.5 at +265 with Karamba.
The easiest way for the Jets to take the Packers defense out of this game is to attack them in the air as early as possible. The smart game plan would continue to put the ball in Darnold’s hands, and not being as concerned with a balanced run game. After sitting three games with a foot injury, Darnold has gone 40 of 62 for 423 yards and 3 TDs.
The Packers injuries on defense could slow down any hopes of them stopping Darnold. GB’s defense is already allowing 349 yards per game and just under 24 points per contest. CB Will Redmond is dealing with a shoulder injury and remains questionable for Sunday.
The struggles on the road will be highlighted once again for the Packers. Expect a fast start by Darnold and the Jets on Sunday, as they cruise to winning the half AND hitting that over. Bet on it at +325 with Betfair.
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