Following a perfect start to the pre-season slate last week, we’ll be attacking the Week 2 board beginning Thursday evening.
Pre-season gradually gets more and more intense, with Week 3 typically featuring the regular starting lineups. During Week 4, most starting lineups and final rosters are nearly set, and it’s mostly backups playing. This week will provide a nice mix of starters and depth talent, but again – your handicapping needs to be based off of QB depth and overall organizational skill at all positions.
To kick the week off for the Thursday slate, we will head to the scene of the crime in Washington, D.C. – where mere days after brawling, the Jets will take on the Redskins in real game action. It isn’t rare for teams to practice in the pre-season before playing each other, but the fighting between these two squads was quite surprising. It definitely has fans and bettors alike a little more interested in an otherwise meaningless pre-season showdown. Read on below for a full game preview and betting prediction for the Jets and Redskins in Week 2 of the NFL exhibition slate.
Jets vs. Redskins Betting Odds:
New York Jets +2 (-110)
@ Washington Redskins -2 (-110)
Over 39.5 (-110)
Under 39.5 (-110)
Jets vs. Redskins Pick:
The New York Jets head into the 2018 season with some uncertainty at the quarterback position. They are lucky in the sense that after many dull years of poor play from the key position, they now possess three guys that can all likely get the job done. Josh McCown is the veteran and the likely favorite to start Week 1, but Teddy Bridgewater is no slouch as he’s recovering from injury, nor is top pick Sam Darnold. That trio looked solid, as did the rest of the team – last week as they shut down the Atlanta Falcons at home.
Though there are calls for Sam Darnold to be the immediate starter, he’s going to need to be even more impressive in the pre-season to jump over his competitors. He made smart plays and good reads, throwing for nearly 100 yards vs. Atlanta – though Washington’s starters might give him more trouble this week.
Washington looked pretty bad last week vs. New England, coughing up a big lead vs. the Patriots in the second half. The big thing for the Redskins will be figuring out how they want to play their running backs, after losing talented rookie Derrius Guice for the season. It’s a crushing blow to an offense that likely won’t be all that dynamic in 2018.
One area where Washington did look good last week was with their starters on defense. They dominated Brian Hoyer and the Pats in the first half, and though the veteran QB is no longer all that good, they will get a stiffer test no doubt this week vs. the visiting Jets and their trio of talented play-callers.
It’s believed that the Jets will likely give the opportunity to start this week to rookie Sam Darnold. He’s got way more upside than Hoyer and if recent outings and practices are any indication, the former USC man should be able to move the chains on Thursday night.
The Jets are a better team in 2018 than many are giving them credit for, and their depth likely vaults them into second-place in the AFC East this season. Their offense is improved, especially at quarterback, and their defense should be able to stymie Washington devoid of a dynamic playmaker.
Again, depth is key in pre-season wagering and the Jets have plenty of it at all the right positions. Beyond Darnold, look Bridgewater and McCown to be able to feast on Washington’s second and third-stringers, and the Redskins just don’t have that same caliber beyond Alex Smith. It’s believed he won’t get more than two series and that won’t be enough to have an impact on this game. As a small road underdog, look for the Jets to ride impressive QB play en route to a 2-0 record this pre-season.
MY PICK = Jets +2 (-110)