NEW YORK JETS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS

Week 1 sees the return to Gotham of Sam Darnold, shipped off to Carolina in the offseason to allow the Jets to re-boot their franchise with Zach Wilson under Center. Will the former Jet come back to haunt them or, will Robert Saleh get his HC career off to a winning start? 

The Jets are once again beginning a new dawn, but this time it feels different. Robert Saleh was something of a coup as he was interesting multiple other NFL teams searching for a new Head Coach and Zach Wilson was the clear-cut number two QB in the 2021 Draft. The talented passer has a bit of Patrick Mahomes about his game and if the Jets can get anywhere near that kind of performance from Wilson on the field they’ll be very happy with their selection. Free Agent acquisition Corey Davis was a target hog during the pre-season and appears to have emerged as Wilson’s favourite target, his O/U 4.5 receptions line is worth a play @ 11/10 considering he bested that total in 8 games last year as the Titans number 2 pass catcher and will start the year as the number 1 for NYJ. 

The Panthers will be excited about the return of Christian McCaffrey, the do it all RB was only available for three games in 2020 and his presence was missed, CMC scored two TDs in each of his three appearances last season and will be looking to get off to a fast start in what’s hopefully a healthy 2021 season for him. Sam Darnold’s first game as starting QB for the Carolina Panthers will be against his former team, you can’t write it, but there’s another guy who’ll be looking to prove the Jets made a mistake in letting him go and that’s Robby Anderson. The speedy WR signed a contract extension recently after an impressive first season in Carolina. Anderson proved to be a reliable target for Teddy Bridgewater last year reeling in 5 or more passes in 11 games and I expect his ready-built rapport with Sam Darnold should mean he doesn’t skip a beat in 2021 so his O/U 4.5 receptions in his first matchup against a team that he feels may have wronged him looks like a play here. 

Spread: Jets +3.5

Total Match Points line: O/U 45.0

Game Prediction: Panthers 27 – 24 Jets

Best Bet: Robby Anderson over 4.5 receptions @ 8/11 with SkyBet. [0.5]

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