Who Is Going To Win First—The New York Giants or the New York Jets?

October 13, 2020

The season has certainly not gone anything like the New York Jets and New York Giants had hoped. Neither had high expectations entering the season. But did anyone imagine things would go the way they have? Well—probably not too many people.

Five weeks into the season, both remain winless. The Giants came close last week against a drastically underachieving Dallas Cowboys team. But even after losing Dak Prescott to a gruesome season-ending injury, the Cowboys fought back and secured the win.

Things have not been quite as fortunate for the Jets. Four losses were by double digits, and the other was by nine—and that game was not as close as the score might make you think. So, when DraftKings decided to offer a prop bet on who would win first, the Giants had to be the favorite:

First Team to WinOdds
New York Giants -335
New York Jets                +260
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According to those odds, the Giants have a 77.01 percent chance of winning first, while the Jets have a 27.78 percent chance. So, does that mean the Giants are a lock to win this? Not necessarily.

The Stats Do Not Lie

It is safe to say one thing about both teams—they are terrible. Strangely enough, in some respects, they are almost equally awful. They rank 30th (Giants) and 31st (Jets) in total offense but are only separated by three yards (282.4 and 279.4).

The Giants have a slightly better passing game (203.4 yards/game to 176.0 yards/game). But the Jets have done a better job of running the ball (103.4 yards/game to 79.0 yards/game) than the Giants. However, the Giants lead where it matters most—in points per game with 16.2 to 15.0.

When it comes to scoring points, though, the Giants benefited from playing the Cowboys defense. So, that comparison is almost unfair.

On the defensive side of the ball, though, the Giants have a definite edge. Their defense (on a per-game basis) is ranked eighth in total yards, 11th against the pass, 15th against the run, and 19th in scoring. The Jets rank in the lower half of the league in every category (25th, 24th, 22nd, and 31st). 

If you think the difference could be attributed to the competition, guess again. The Giants’ opponents have a combined record of 17-8 and the Jets, 13-11. So, does this mean the Giants are a lock to win a game before the Jets?

Not necessarily.

It Will Come Down to One Thing

When it comes to deciding which team of the two, as bad as the Jets and Giants are, will win first, one factor will mean more than all others—the schedule. Whoever faces the easier, more-beatable opponents is more likely to notch a win first.

At first glance, the answer to this one looks easy. Up next, the Jets have the Dolphins, Bills, Chiefs, Patriots, and Chargers. Their best and probably only shot at a win here is against the Dolphins. But the Dolphins just put up 43 on the 49ers, so maybe not.

For the Giants, up next will be Washington, followed by the Eagles, Buccaneers, Washington again, and the Eagles again. With how well their defense has played, four of those games are winnable—especially the two against Washington.

Then again, they are only favored by 2.5 points against Washington this week. With how the Eagles played last week, it looks like they might be too much now. Unless Tom Brady helps them out with a few pick-6s, they are not beating the Buccaneers.

So—Take the Jets or The Giants?

With how the Jets are playing and with their schedule, take ‘yes.’

It would be nice to be able to make a convincing case for the Jets to justify going after a better payday, but it just is not possible. If they lose to the Dolphins this week, their next best chance will be against the Dolphins again in Week 12 and then against the Patriots in Week 17 (but only if New England sits several starters).

The Giants have a good chance to score a win over Washington this week then again in Week Nine. The Bengals game in Week 12 could be one they can win; then, they will face the Cowboys again in Week 17.

There is, of course, a chance Sam Darnold and the jets catch fire against someone that has a bad day. If you want to play it smart, though, take the Giants to win this one. But then you might be able to make money on the Jets another way:

Any team to have a 16-0 recordOdds
Yes+550
No-833
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