This won’t be the most-watched football game of Week 1, but we’ve got an interesting one between the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers. The Jets finished their preseason schedule with a tie against the Philadelphia Eagles, 31-31.
To be fair, this was the most offense we’ve seen out of the Jets in quite some time. Having a new coach in Robert Saleh could be the difference-maker.
On the other hand, Sam Darnold will take on his former team in Carolina blue. Darnold went 19-for-25 for the Panthers in the final preseason game and threw for two touchdowns with no interceptions.
Darnold was supposed to be the future for the Jets. Now he’s Carolina’s future. The Jets gave up on Darnold and will now look to their new rookie quarterback, Zach Wilson, to lead the way.
Jets vs Panthers Best Bet: Panthers -4 (-110) at BetMGM
For in-depth analysis on this pick and others, continue reading.
Jets vs Panthers Prediction
The Jets are starting over. They dealt Sam Darnold to the Panthers and are now set on Zach Wilson leading the franchise for years to come.
Darnold was once in the spot Wilson was in and it never really worked out in his favor. However, a new coaching staff and some new solid offensive pieces could help Wilson this season.
The Jets have added new faces, including running back Tevin Coleman and wide receiver Corey Davis. Both of those players figure to add a lot to the offense. It’ll be cool to see a former Rutgers prospect at tight end in Tyler Kroft, but the main returning piece for the Jets will be Jamison Crowder.
The left side of the offensive line is young, but the Jets have two massive studs in Mekhi Becton and Alijah Vera-Tucker. That should help protect the rookie quarterback this season.
It’s hard to predict how Wilson will perform this season, but he’s going up against a Panthers defense that allowed 25.1 points per game and 46 total touchdowns.
Of course, the Jets defense was no better last year and if you look through their depth chart, an average fan would have trouble identifying anyone. C.J. Mosley will be back at middle linebacker and that should be a boost along with Quinnen Williams at defensive tackle, but there’s nothing that stands out.
The secondary is already banged up and could absolutely get diced up by the former quarterback who went against these guys in practice day after day.
On the other hand, it looks like the Panthers can be elite. Darnold finally has targets in comparison to his time in New York.
He’ll have a bright mind calling the plays in Joe Brady and will play alongside Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, rookie receiver Terrace Marshall, and his former teammate Robby Anderson.
Anderson got paid by the Panthers because of his connection with Darnold. Darnold helped Anderson burst onto the scene in New York, and that connection will be exciting to see again for sure.
Defensively, the secondary looks bright with the addition of Jaycee Horn in the NFL Draft. They’ll also have Jeremy Chinn, another bright spot at strong safety.
Right now, I’m not sure the Jets can stop this Panthers’ offense. They’ve got stars on this team and multiple guys who can make plays.
Plus, there’s going to be growing pains for Zach Wilson. A couple of interceptions would not be out of the ordinary for the rookie in his first game.
Betting Pick: Panthers 31, Jets 17
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Jets vs Panthers Best Bets
I love using analytics. Week 1 is always tough to predict, especially when you’ve got a new quarterback on one team and a rookie on the other. Darnold gets to face his old team behind a coaching staff that understands the offense, so Darnold should succeed. He has multiple guys that can make plays and won’t find himself on the ground after every other play.
New York’s secondary is already beaten up, with Ashtyn Davis and Jarred Davis expected to be out for the opener. It’s hard to trust the Jets’ defense, even with Saleh now head coaching this team.
I don’t think the Jets will be the worst team this year, but it’s still going to take time. They’re headed in the right direction, but this is mainly Darnold’s time. He gets the chance to carve up this secondary behind smart play calling.
Wilson also has some weapons now, but we really don’t know what he has in players like Tevin Coleman and Corey Davis. Crowder will always be a solid check-down option for him at least.
Still, the Panthers should exploit the Jets every opportunity they get. I’m thinking the Panthers reach over 30 points in this one.
Best Bet: Over 44.5 Points (-110) at BetMGM
The Jets, nor the Panthers, were any good on defense last season. However, with Christian McCaffrey out most of last season for the Panthers, the Panthers didn’t do much offensively last year either.
Since his return, they’ve added Darnold, Marshall Jr., and Dan Arnold, along with Anderson and Moore. It’s a stacked offense that if used correctly, can score plenty of points.
The Jets had so many woes last season. But this year, the offensive line looks as good as it’s been in quite some time. Add in Tevin Coleman, Corey Davis, Keelan Cole, and Tyler Kroft, and the Jets offense looks so much better. Their backup receivers are young potential stars in Elijah Moore and Denzel Mims.
Wilson will struggle in his first NFL game, and I expect the Jets to come up short in the season opener. However, even in a likely loss, the Jets should contribute plenty of points to the total.
Best Bet: Panthers -4 (-110) at BetMGM
Jets vs Panthers Same Game Parlay Picks
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