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Jags vs. Jets predictions: Four prop bets for Thursday Night Football

Bet on Jacksonville QB Lawrence to do damage with his legs, New York QB Wilson to struggle through the air

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence rushed for 37 yards in a game at the New York Jets last December. Can Lawrence beat his projected total of 12.5 rushing yards in Thursday’s Jaguars-Jets rematch? (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence rushed for 37 yards in a game at the New York Jets last December. Can Lawrence beat his projected total of 12.5 rushing yards in Thursday’s Jaguars-Jets rematch? (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)Read moreLeon Halip / Getty Images

Mother Nature has a message for NFL bettors heading into Week 16: “Brace yourselves, because I’m about to wreak some havoc!”

It all starts with Thursday’s Jags vs. Jets matchup at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., where heavy rain and gusty winds will hang around all night.

On the positive side, temperatures are expected to remain in the mid-40s.

That’s downright balmy compared with the sub-freezing weather and limb-numbing wind chills forecast for games in Chicago, Cleveland, Tennessee, Kansas City, New England, Carolina, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

Still, the wet conditions projected for MetLife figure to significantly impact Thursday’s contest. Certainly, those conditions impacted our four pack of Jags vs. Jets props predictions.

Odds updated as of 12:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 22.

Jags vs. Jets prop: Trevor Lawrence total rushing yards

  1. Odds: 11.5, Over -111/Under -123 (at Caesars Sportsbook)

  2. Prediction: Over

When it comes to mobile quarterbacks, Lawrence never will be confused with Lamar Jackson or Justin Fields (or even Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes).

Still, the Jaguars’ quarterback is hardly a Tom Brady-esque statue in the pocket — the kid can move. And he’s probably going to need to against the Jets.

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As noted in our Jags vs. Jets betting preview, Lawrence lost starting left tackle Cam Robinson to a season-ending injury in last week’s overtime victory over the Cowboys. He’s also facing one of the league’s better pass-rushing defenses — only six teams have more sacks than New York (39).

Then there’s the weather factor. Jacksonville’s wide receivers likely will have occasional footing/traction issues on MetLife’s slick field turf, forcing Lawrence to do some unscripted scrambling.

As it is, Lawrence has rushed for at least 15 yards in seven of his last 10 games — and that was with Robinson in uniform and no rain. And in a 26-22 loss at the Jets almost exactly a year ago, Lawrence scampered for 37 yards on six carries in dry conditions.

Also, for what it’s worth, the following QBs have eclipsed this rushing prop number against the Jets this season: Baltimore’s Jackson (17 yards), Buffalo’s Allen (86 and 47), Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett (15) and Cleveland’s Jacoby Brissett (43).

Play this one Over the total at Caesars Sportsbook.

Jags vs. Jets prop: Travis Etienne to score anytime touchdown

  1. Odds: +130 (at FanDuel)

Etienne has found the end zone just four times in what is essentially his rookie season (the Jaguars’ 2021 first-round draft pick missed all of last year with a knee injury). And those four scores came in a three-game stretch from Weeks 7-9.

That means Ettiene has gone five straight weeks without hitting pay dirt.

Why will that drought end Thursday night? We could be lazy and just say, “Because he’s due.” Instead, we point again to the field conditions.

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Etienne, who has 917 rushing yards and is averaging 5 yards per carry, should get a lot of touches as the Jaguars try to safeguard the ball and win the time of possession battle.

Speaking of safeguarding the ball, it’s been a bit of an issue for Ettiene. He has put it on the ground five times this season, losing three (including two in the last three weeks).

Rest assured, Jags coach Doug Pederson stressed ball security with his primary tailback during practice this week — especially knowing rain was in the forecast.

As for New York’s rushing defense, it ranks just outside the top 10 in yards allowed (111.5). But the 13 rushing touchdowns the Jets have surrendered are right in the middle of the pack (just two away from being tied for 20th).

If and when Lawrence gets the Jacksonville offense inside New York’s 10-yard line, expect him to put the ball in the hands of his former Clemson teammate. And expect Ettiene to cross the goal line at least once — be it on a handoff or screen pass.

Jags vs. Jets prop: Zach Wilson total passing yards

  1. Odds: 197.5, Over -110/Under -110 (at FanDuel)

  2. Prediction: Under

Wilson passed for a career-high 355 yards against New England less than two months ago. And his second-highest total (317 yards) came against Detroit just last week.

Still, the Jets’ second-year quarterback is averaging a sliver under 200 passing yards per game this season. That includes 154 yards or fewer in four of his last six starts.

Wilson did compile 193 yards in last December’s win over Jacksonville. However, 91 came on the ground — he went 14-for-22 for just 102 yards through the air.

The Jags’ pass defense has struggled all season — only the Lions, Vikings and Titans have given up more air yards. But that beleaguered secondary has had its moments, holding the Colts, Eagles, Texans, Titans and Giants to 230 passing yards or less.

Plus, the weather is the big equalizer here. We just don’t see Jets coach Robert Saleh letting a quarterback whom he benched a few weeks ago — one who can be turnover prone — chuck the ball through the rain and wind all night.

Lastly, going back to Week 3 of the 2021-22 season, Wilson has thrown for fewer than 197 yards in 11 of 19 games. We say it happens again Thursday night.

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Jags vs. Jets prop: New York Jets total team points

  1. Odds: 19.5, Over -120/Under +100 (at Caesars Sportsbook)

  2. Prediction: Under

Not to beat the weather drum to death, but it’s very difficult to envision the Jets’ offense — which has been struggling to put up points for two months — suddenly springing to life in a deluge.

New York is just four days removed from producing only 17 points against a generous Lions defense that had been giving up 26.7 points per game.

Also, the Jets have played two bad-weather games in the last five weeks. They scored a total of 15 points (three in gusty winds at New England; 12 in cold, windy conditions at Buffalo).

Those two contests are part of an eight-game stretch in which New York has averaged 17.3 points. And even that paltry number is misleading, as the Jets put up 31 on Chicago at home in backup QB Mike White’s first start after Wilson got benched and 22 in a dome in Minnesota.

Remove those 53 points, and that 17.3-point average drops to 14.2.

Admittedly, the Jags defense hasn’t traveled well (28-plus points allowed in five of seven true road games). But we just can’t see Wilson and the Jets putting up more than two touchdowns.

Bet the Under on this Caesars Sportsbook prop.

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.