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NFL Futures: Best Value Bet To Make The AFC Playoffs (2020)

by March 25, 2020

Just like the world at large, the sports world is moving at a rapidly fluid pace with leagues being suspended and schedules disrupted due to the Covid-19 outbreak. As of this writing, the NFL schedule remains intact, with free agency ramping up now and the season slated to start as scheduled.

While it’s still too early to guarantee that training camps won’t be disrupted, NFL future odds are still posted across the sportsbook landscape and thus value still to be had.

After looking at the best value bet to make the NFC playoffs yesterday, in today’s piece, let’s take a look at the best value bet in the AFC for a team to make the playoffs. All odds are courtesy of our friends over at FOX Bet.

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Though this is a somewhat regularly scheduled occurrence in New York and the surrounding area, Jets fans will always look back at last season and fantasize about what could’ve been. After an opening week battle against a future playoff team in the Bills in which they narrowly lost (16-17), the Jets had all the reason in the world to be optimistic about what was to come with second-year quarterback Sam Darnold looking much improved.

That’s precisely when Darnold was hit with a bout against mono that not only cost him the next three games but forced him to play in an uncomfortable rib guard for almost the remainder of the season. After losing all three games Darnold sat out, the Jets lost three of four once he returned and struggled to find momentum until it was much too late.

At the running back position, Le’Veon Bell found out the hard way that the grass wasn’t always greener on the other side. In his 15 regular-season games, Bell failed to eclipse 100 yards on the ground even once, as defenses were able to key in on him with limited ability in the passing game. With Darnold presumably back for a full 2020 and Bell now two years removed from sitting an entire season out, I expect Bell’s production to return and for him to be a major asset for Darnold out of the backfield.

Much of the success the Jets did have in 2019 was in large part thanks to a defensive unit who was one of the best in the league. Allowing just 323 yards per game, the Jets rushing defense was the best in football allowing 3.3 yards per attempt with a front seven that often did what they want against offensive lines while holding opponents to just 87 rushing yards per game.

The Jets wised up over the offseason in realizing they can’t expect to have an All-Pro quarterback if they don’t have a similar caliber line to protect him. With three big offseason moves in the signings of George Fant, Conner McGovern, and Greg Van Roten, the Jets are at least attempting to switch it up and bring in three guys whose upside would benefit Darnold for years to come.

The Jets ended their 2019 season winning six of eight and I look for that momentum to bring some confidence into the start of 2020. While the division kings in the Patriots certainly won’t regress too, too much with the departure of Brady, their aura is certainly diminished and the time for the Jets to strike is right now.

Best Bet: New York Jets +200

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TJ Perun is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from TJ, check out his archive and follow him @JohnnyCovers.