The Denver Broncos visit the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football. Both are off to miserable starts at 0-3 and one of them will get their first win of the season … unless they play to a tie like the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles.
Denver Broncos at New York Jets (-1.5, 41)
The advance line last week for this game was Broncos -2.5, and that’s what it opened at this past Sunday after both teams lost again. However, the Broncos announced Tuesday that former Boise State Bronco QB Brett Rypien (undrafted in 2019), would be their third starting quarterback in four games. Rypien replaced Jeff Driskel (who was filling in for injured starter Drew Locke) in the fourth quarter of Denver’s 28-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday and coach Vic Fangio decided to give the second-year QB a chance to start. Sportsbooks reacted by dropping the Broncos to 1-point road favorites with some books going to pick ‘em. The line has more even more since, settling with the Jets as consensus 1.5-point home favorites.
The move came in spite of the Jets also being 0-3 against the spread with losses of 27-17 at the Buffalo Bills, 31-13 vs. the San Francisco 49ers (the Jets’ only home game so far in which the MetLife field did more damage to the 49ers than the Jets did) and 36-7 at the Indianapolis Colts.
The recommended play here is on the Broncos, as they’ve been more competitive in their games than the Jets, covering the first two weeks in a 16-14 home loss to the Tennessee Titans and 26-21 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With the Broncos starting a third-string QB and the Jets averaging just 9 points a game, it’s understandable that the Over/Under was at 39.5, second-lowest of the season so far to the Jets-Bills opener (39). However, I wouldn’t bet the Under -- as tempting as it might be – and we’ve actually seen this number come up to 41. I prefer to bet Overs in games between also-rans as you get the defenses don’t have that extra motivation and the games often turn into backyard-type shootouts.
Picks: Broncos + 1.5 and lean Over 41.