Last Updated on May 17, 2020

It’s a new day in the AFC East.

Tom Brady is now gone after nearly 20-plus years of dominance over the division, likely opening up the door to a more competitive divisional race.

As several online sportsbooks continue to release player props and futures for the 2020 season, let’s dive into two key players on the New York Jets in Sam Darnold and Le’Veon Bell, and evaluate their lines for the year. You can find all the latest info on DraftKings, FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM and FOXBet.


New York Jets 2020 Overview

Even with Brady gone, the betting public still does not have much optimism for the Jets to pull it together in 2020. They remain tied for last in divisional odds with the Miami Dolphins at +700 on DraftKings Sportsbook. Surpisingly, the Jets finished with 7-6 record in Darnold’s 13 starts last year. Yet if Sam Darnold thought he were seeing ghosts last season, the start to the 2020 schedule may haunt the Jets’ postseason chances this year.


Ultimately, for the Jets to have any shot, even in a more competitive division, they’ll need breakout seasons from both Darnold and Le’Veon Bell. Bell obviously had a storied career in Pittsburgh before signing with the Jets, but struggled to break out in his first year in New York a season ago. What’s the outcome for this season? Let’s break down the futures odds available for both Darnold and Bell.


Sam Darnold Over/Under Passing Yards: 3559.5

Despite starting the season with a case of mononucleosis and missing the first three games, there was substantial improvement from 2018 to 2018 for Sam Darnold. His completion percentage, yards, touchdowns and rating all went up, with his interception rate going down in year number two.

Darnold averaged 232.6 passing yards/game in his second year. If he were to play a full season, he would have ended up with 3,721.6 yards, passing the projected total by 162 yards. The Jets also are trying to add some explosiveness to the passing game with the drafting of Denzil Mims and signing of Breshad Perriman from Tampa, as well as shoring up the offensive line with the drafting of Mekhi Becton and Cameron Clark. With more downfield weapons at his disposal, Darnold should project well to hit the over on this prop, provided he stays healthy.


Sam Darnold Over/Under Passing Touchdowns: 22.5

After throwing for 17 touchdowns in 13 games his rookie year, Darnold upped it by two along with cutting down his interceptions by two in, coincidentally enough, his second season.

However, this number should look familiar to many Jets bettors from a season ago.

The over got a ton of action, and despite a much easier schedule on the books for the Jets the under still hit thanks in large part to Darnold’s missed games to start the season. This year, it’s much more difficult (see Le’Veon Bell note below) and while Darnold may be able to make up for it in garbage time, the likelihood of it happening seems tougher than a season ago. If he plays all 16 games, I think he can get there, but in the first two years, there hasn’t been much indication it can happen.


Le’Veon Bell Over/Under Rushing Yards: 850.5

It’s bizarre to peruse DK Sportsbook’s list of rushing yards futures and see Bell’s number as the only one listed under 1050 yards. Kenyon Drake of the Arizona Cardinals is projected for more than 200 more rushing yards than Bell, and he couldn’t get on the field consistently until he was traded from Miami to Arizona last season.

In 2019, Bell rushed 245 times for just 789 yards. a paltry 3.22 yards per carry. He did factor into the passing game, seeing 78 targets for 66 catches with an average of just seven yards per reception.

Was it a volume issue for Bell? Not exactly, considering he finished Top-12 in rushing attempts last year. If anything, the most alarming component was in lack of explosiveness. Bell only had three rushing touchdowns, 0 over 20+ yards with a long of 19 yards. And let’s not forget about a brutal schedule to begin the season.

As for the 850.5, Bell would need to average 53.2 yards per game in 2020 to get there, and that’s over a full 16 games, something he’s only done once in his career. Last season, Bell averaged 52.6 yards/game and now has more competition in the backfield with the signing of Franak Gore and drafting of Lamical Perine. Even with such a low number, it’s hard to get on board with the over on rushing yards.


Ben Heisler
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