At the halfway point of the NFL season, the legit Super Bowl contenders are becoming more clear. The Lombardi Trophy represents the ultimate prize, but this year, for the team that finishes with the worst record, there is a player many NFL scouts are calling a once-in-a-generation quarterback.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is widely considered to be the obvious top pick in the 2021 NFL draft. The winless New York Jets (0-8) hold the lead at the midway mark for the worst record and appear to be in full #TankForTrevor mode.
Mock drafts all have Lawrence pegged as the No. 1 pick, but what do New Jersey sportsbook apps have to say about him and the Jets’ chances for a winless season?
Odds to be drafted 1st overall in the 2021 NFL draft
Here are the odds at FanDuel Sportsbook:
- Trevor Lawrence: -650
- Justin Fields: +500
- Penei Sewell: +750
- Trey Lance: +2000
- Alex Leatherwood: +5000
- Micah Parsons: +5000
Currently, the No. 1 Draft Pick market is not available at DraftKings Sportsbook. However, DraftKings Director of Operations Johnny Avello said they would have it back up soon.
What are the Jets’ odds of going winless?
FanDuel has a market (they do not specifically name the Jets) for any team to go 0-16 in the regular season.
- Yes – Team goes 0-16: +290
- No – Every team wins at least one game: -400
Team to finish with worst record (odds via FanDuel):
- New York Jets: -190
- Jacksonville Jaguars: +350
- New York Giants: +650
- Washington Football Team: +2200
- Dallas Cowboys: +2300
Here is a look at the Jets over/under win totals from DraftKings:
- Over 1.5 (+100)
- Under 1.5 (-121)
New York is getting 8.5 points in Monday night’s home game against the 2-5 New England Patriots.
Lawrence tests positive for COVID-19
The Heisman favorite of the top-ranked team in preseason polls was the leading voice in the #WeWantToPlay movement of college athletes to move forward with their fall seasons.
People are at just as much, if not more risk, if we don’t play. Players will all be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely and medical care and expenses will be placed on the families if they were to contract covid19 (1)
— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) August 9, 2020
On Oct. 29, Lawrence announced he had tested positive for COVID-19. ACC guidelines stipulate that a player has to isolate for at least 10 days. Lawrence missed Clemson’s game against Boston College. Clemson rallied from a 28-13 deficit to win 34-28. Lawrence will also miss Saturday’s game against No. 4 Notre Dame. Clemson is still favored by 5 points (as of early Saturday morning).
No longer the Heisman favorite
Lawrence opened the season as the clear-cut favorite to win the Heisman Trophy with odds at around +175 at most NJ online sportsbooks.
Lawrence lived up to the Heisman hype, leading the No. 1 Tigers to a 6-0 start. Over the course of six games, he passed for 1,833 yards, 17 TDs and only two interceptions. But after missing action due to his COVID-19 diagnosis, he fell behind to other surging Heisman hopefuls.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (+150) and Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (+150) are now co-favorites at online sportsbooks.
Trevor Lawrence Heisman odds as of 11/7:
- DraftKings: +400
- FanDuel: +200
Lawrence is currently FanDuel’s biggest liability in the Heisman market.
Lawrence + Jets still have ways to go
The Jets selected quarterback Sam Darnold with the third pick in the 2018 NFL draft. He has missed time with a bout of mononucleosis and an assortment of injuries. His supporting cast has been subpar during his short time, and his play has been inconsistent.
Jets fans and the New York media are clamoring for the Jets to #TankForTrevor.
Before the Jets’ Week Eight game against the Kansas City Chiefs, New York Post columnist Steve Serby said:
“One day, there will be a team undaunted by the prospect of Patrick Mahomes greeting them at the entrance to Arrowhead Stadium, because that team will be quarterbacked by Trevor Lawrence. One day does not arrive on this day for the Jets.”
But before Jets fans start buying flowing blond wigs to match Lawrence’s locks or fashioning #16 Jets jerseys, there are few reasons for pause.
He might go back to school. Lawrence said he has not ruled out returning to Clemson for his senior season. However, head coach Dabo Swinney said he would be “shocked” if Lawrence returned. In an Oct. 31 report by Adam Schefter, several NFL execs said they expect Lawrence to enter the NFL draft.
The Jets might not be bad enough. Football Outsiders gives the Jets an 8.8% chance of finishing winless. There are three other one-win teams (Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Giants).
He could pull an Eli Manning. Except this time, the presumptive top pick would not want to play for a New York team.