NFL Preseason Week 2 Preview - Darnold Starts in NYJ at WAS
by Fairway JayNFL preseason Week 2 kicks off Thursday and the New York Jets are taking lopsided betting action at the sports books. As of Tuesday night at William Hill Sportsbooks throughout Nevada, the Jets (+2) had taken 99% of the money wagered in their Thursday game against the Washington Redskins, and New York had generated 93% of the tickets in the contest. The line has since dropped further to 1 or 1.5, and it’s worth noting that near 70% of the money on NFL preseason contests is bet by ‘sharps’, whereas during the regular season less than 20% of NFL money wagered is by the sharps or ‘wise guys’ and more than 80% is bet by the public.
The buzz surrounding the Jets is that rookie quarterback Sam Darnold is likely making the start with the first team offense. Darnold was selected with the third pick of the 1stround in this year’s NFL draft, and he’ll get the first chance to try to prove to his team that it made a wise investment. The Jets fan base is clamoring for a winner and a leader at quarterback, and Darnold will get a chance to shine with the first team offense August 15.
NFL Preseason Week 2 Betting Lines - NYJ at WAS (Thurs, Aug 16th at 8pm ET) New York Jets +1.5 / O 39 Washington Redskins -1.5 / U 39
The Jets resigned Josh McCown after he had a solid season as New York’s starter last season. But his reps are decreasing, and he’s seen as a respected mentor and short-term starter with Darnold in the fold and now Teddy Bridgewater joining the Jets and making his first appearances since a severe leg injury suffered two years ago with the Vikings. But the Jets coaching staff is giving Darnold a bulk of the reps and a majority of the workload during NFL preseason Week 2 and are ready to see him play in a game with the starters against Washington. Darnold was solid in relief during his pro debut last week, and he impressed with his composure, head, arm and accuracy, going 13-of-18 for 96 yards and 1 TD in the Jets 17-0 win over Atlanta. Bridgewater was 7-of-8 for 85 yards and 1 TD and McCown played very little going 1-of-1 for 4 yards.
Coach Todd Bowles wants to see plenty of the rookie during the preseason.
“I can get a fair evaluation of Josh,” Bowles said after one of the Jets’ joint practices this week with the Washington Redskins in Richmond. “I’ve seen him quite a bit. I’ve seen Teddy quite a bit. Sam’s the one that has to catch up.”
The Jets 17-0 win last week was one of just five games to go under the total with 16 week 1 contests. The linemaker has adjusted, but the Jets and Redskins game has actually dropped from the opening total of 40. All 17 Jets points were scored in the first half as the teams and backups were flat in the second half. The Redskins also scored all 17 of their points in the first half in last week’s 26-17 loss to New England. New Redskins starting QB Alex Smith did not play, but backup Colt McCoy was firing plenty of passes with the same 13-of-18 line as Darnold but for more yards (189) and 2 touchdown passes.
The Redskins and Jets had three early week joint practices. But as of Wednesday, Washington coach Jay Gruden has not said whether QB Alex Smith will play against New York in NFL Preseason Week 2. Regardless, we’ll call for some first half scoring with Darnold and McCoy continuing to pass plenty and play over 20 in the first half.