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Do Sam Darnold and Jets Have a Chance against Lions as 7-point Underdog on Monday Night?

At just 21 years and 97 days old, Sam Darnold will get his name in the NFL record books early as he’ll be the youngest player ever to start at quarterback in the modern era. He won’t be introduced to the NFL in a quiet fashion either, as he’ll be on display for all to see when the Jets take on the Detroit Lions in the first Monday Night Football game of the 2018 season. Neither team made the playoffs in their 2017 campaign but they’ll look to make some noise early this year. The Lions are set as the -280 favorite to win straight up, with their point spread set at -7. The total for the game opened at 45.

Shark Bites
  • The Jets lost by seven or more points in eight of their 11 losses last season.
  • The Jets are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 12 games as the road underdog.
  • The Lions are 6-1 SU in their last seven Week 1 games.

Jets vs Lions Game Center

Monday night could spell an offensive shootout

If Jets rookie Sam Darnold can stay calm in the spotlight and put on a decent performance, look for the OVER to hit on Monday night. You can count on Matthew Stafford to sling the ball for the Lions. He ranked third overall last season in passing yards and fourth in passing TDs, so look for him to have another similar season and he’ll begin building toward it this week. The Jets were an even 8-8 last year on the OVER/UNDER, but the Lions hit the OVER 10 times in 16 games.

If last year is any indication, neither defense will put up much of a fight in defending the UNDER, as both teams ranked in the bottom third in the league in offensive yards allowed per game and points allowed per game. 

The New York Jets currently sit as the 7-point underdog heading into the Monday night showdown, but bettors beware in taking them to beat the spread as they were defeated by seven or more points in eight of their 11 losses last season. I would stay away from the underdogs in this game, but if you disagree with me, you can grab them at +240 to win straight up. 

The best number of the night, though, is the O/U being set at 45. With Stafford throwing on one side of the ball, and the new helmet tackling penalty coming into play and likely causing more defensive penalties, taking the OVER is the best value on the board in this game.

Matt Patricia set to make his head coaching debut

Over the past decade and a half, when the cameras would pan to the New England Patriots bench, the picture would land on one man almost as many times as it would on Bill Belichick or Tom Brady. That man is Matt Patricia. He was with the Patriots through their dynasty years, most recently serving as their defensive coordinator from 2012 to 2017.

It would be tough to name a better coach to be mentored by than Belichick, and the Lions are hoping Patricia soaked up all the knowledge he could from the five-time Super Bowl-winning head coach. Detroit has gone through a myriad of head coaches; they haven’t held on to a single one for longer than four seasons since Wayne Fontes left the team in 1996. Consistency at the helm may be the key to bring the Lions over the hump, and Matt Patricia should be able to give them just that.

Both teams look to surprise their critics

Nobody is expecting much from these two teams this upcoming season. Detroit went 9-7 SU last season, barely missing the playoffs, while the Jets finished last in the AFC East with a 5-11 SU record.

Since going 0-16 in 2008, the Lions have been the definition of mediocre. While having flashes of good football – like in 2014 when they went 11-5 –  they weren’t able to capitalize on their successful seasons, going 0-3 in the playoffs during that stretch. Aside from bringing in a new head coach, they’ve had a relatively quiet offseason, but they’re hoping that second-round draft pick Kerryon Johnson can help “Kerry” them to a winning record and back to the playoffs.

The Jets, on the other hand, have not even been average over the last handful of seasons. They’ve failed to post a winning record in six of their last seven seasons. Head coach Todd Bowles has led them to a 5-11 record in each of the past two seasons. Sportsbooks have them projected to improve on last year’s win total by a single game – they’re predicted to win just six games this season. Smart bettors will stay away from them getting one of those six wins here in Week 1.