There is a ton of hype surrounding the Jets entering 2023.
Aaron Rodgers joins Robert Saleh and an elite defense, so most believe the Jets can compete for divisional, conference, and Super Bowl titles.
The market is not shy about their love for the Jets.
They will likely be favored in 10 games this season and are priced with the second-shortest odds in the AFC East (+250) and the seventh-shortest odds to win the Super Bowl (16/1).
But we usually buy and sell numbers rather than teams when it comes to sports betting.
And it’s not hyperbole to say this team is wildly overrated entering the season — the love has gotten out of hand.
New York Jets win total: Over/Under 9.5
Jets fans out there: How do you feel about Rodgers? He finished 2022 11th in Pro Football Focus’ passing grades and 16th in Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted yards above replacement metric.
It’s hard to place the blame for Rodgers’ struggles in any one area. He lost Davante Adams, he was dealing with injuries, and there wasn’t much talent at the skill positions.
All that said, Rodgers was a league-average quarterback in 2022, and he could simply be on the decline.
Remember, Father Time is undefeated.
It’s also hard to accurately grade Rodgers’ supporting cast.
Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson is an elite pass catcher, but Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman and Tyler Conklin round out the receiving corps.
While Mekhi Becton is likely back, the offensive line still finished 30th in Pro Football Focus’ pass-blocking grades last season — the aging Rodgers desperately needs elite pass protection to compete at the highest level.
Also, Jets fans: How do you feel about Nathaniel Hackett as the play caller?
He’s had success with Rodgers in the past, but he also looked completely incompetent with Denver.
The most important point is that the Rodgers-to-Jets move is wildly overrated.
The market is pricing the Jets with MVP Rodgers in mind, and I’m skeptical we’ll get that version in 2023.
The rest of the roster is rock solid, but the Jets will need elite quarterback play to compete with their ruthless schedule.
Per Stuckey of The Action Network’s power ratings, the Jets have the third-hardest strength of schedule in the NFL.
And by opposing betting win totals, the Jets have the fourth-hardest schedule.
Specifically, the pre-bye week schedule is the toughest stretch of games any team will have this season.
The Jets open with the Bills on “Monday Night Football” (where I’ll be betting Buffalo), then play at the Cowboys on a short week in Week 2.
After that, they’ll get some reprieve with a Week 3 home matchup against the Patriots, but the Jets then have a Week 4 matchup with the Chiefs and a Week 6 matchup with the Eagles.
And sandwiched in-between games against the defending conference champions is a game at mile-high altitude in Denver.
The schedule-makers do not let Rodgers settle in.
And if the Jets fall into an early hole, it might become too difficult for them to climb out.
We’re getting plus money at BetMGM to fade the Jets in the win-total market.
Considering the highly questionable situation the Jets find themselves in, Under 9.5 (+110) wins is a great value bet.
Betting on the NFL?
Of course, Rodgers could become an MVP-level passer again, and I’d have to eat my words.
But I’m willing to remain skeptical and take that risk.