The Houston Texans continue to say they are not trading superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson. However, Watson continues to say he will not play again for the franchise, and ESPN reported on Thursday that Watson and new Texans head coach David Culley spoke last Friday for the first time and Watson reiterated he will not change his mind. The Jets are considered odds-on favorites to get Watson if a deal is made, and the SportsLine Projection Model (see below) has forecasted Watson's potential impact with the Jets in 2021.
Based on the Jets' current known 16 opponents for 2021 – the NFL is expected to officially announce a 17th game for each team fairly soon, and New York reportedly will face the Philadelphia Eagles with a location TBA – the model has the Jets winning 4.0 games next season after a 2-14 mark this past year with Sam Darnold and Joe Flacco at quarterback.
That win total simply takes the Jets as they currently are, but needless to say Darnold would no longer be a member of Gang Green if Watson is acquired. New York also could be very active in free agency as it has around $67 million to play with currently, the second-most cap space in the NFL. Plus, the second overall pick in the draft, but that surely would go to Houston in any Watson trade.
Adding Watson, who threw for a career-high and NFL-best 4,823 yards as well as 33 scores last season behind a porous offensive line, would jump the Jets to 6.8 victories. That 70 percent increase is the highest by far of any of the 10 possible Watson landing spots the model projected (we plan to write stories about the other nine over the next few weeks, but they are: Broncos, Bears, Panthers, Patriots, Dolphins, 49ers, Washington, Cowboys and Raiders).
Would the Jets be contenders in the AFC East? Surely not as they would have only an 8.8 percent of the division title with Watson. New York is a +1200 long shot at William Hill Sportsbook to win the AFC East for the first time since 2002. Those odds would certainly get shorter with Watson. Via the model's 8.8 percent chance, that would equate to a betting price of around +1050.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, large bets in Nevada have been coming in on the Jets to win the AFC, AFC East and Super Bowl 56 simply as Jets backers are banking on a Watson trade. One bettor at William Hill in New Jersey recently put down $5K on the Jets to win the Super Bowl at +15000. That would return $750K.
The Jets will visit Houston next season, incidentally, with the date to be released in mid-April when the full NFL schedule is out.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is also up almost $8,700 on top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. Dating back to last season, it enters Week 10 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 85-49 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anybody who has followed it has seen HUGE returns.