Is It A Safe Bet To Fade Teams After Week 3 Of The NFL Season?

  • The New York Jets are 0-3, although coach Robert Saleh has pointed out that they’ve played three remarkable defenses so far.
  • QB Zach Wilson has thrown seven interceptions against those stellar defenses.
  • The Houston Texans were frisky with Tyrod Taylor under center but appear to be awful without him.

NEW YORK - With three weeks of the NFL season in the books, there are a few teams that are looking like they could be legitimately terrible for the rest of the year.

For the sake of survivor pools and moneyline bettors, it’s time to ask if any of them are worth fading for the rest of the season.

Let’s take a look at the New York Jets and the Houston Texans, perhaps the two most obvious fade targets in the world of NFL betting.

New York Jets, 0-3

The Jets are 0-3 and it’s not a pretty 0-3 either. Rookie QB Zach Wilson has thrown seven interceptions in three games, including four in one game against the New England Patriots.

However, coach Robert Saleh has voiced support for his quarterback, pointing out that the defenses Wilson has gone up against (Carolina, New England, and Denver) are some of the best units in the league.

"All three of them have top-five defenses, so this has been a rough indoctrination for a quarterback in our offense," Saleh said.

"We do expect plays to be made and progression to be made,” he continued. “At the same time, I don’t think it's regression.”

What Saleh is getting across is that he does not see Wilson going down the path that Sam Darnold went down - a loss of confidence after being put in bad situations constantly.

The Panthers were -180 favorites over the Jets, the Patriots were -235, and the Broncos were -560.

This week, the Jets face off against the Tennessee Titans, who have -380 odds to win.

The 538 projects the Jets to end up at around 4-13, which means fading them is riding right on the line of profitability at the moment.

If one assumes this projection to be correct, in order to be a profitable fade, the average amount the Jets’ opponents are favored by would need to be around -325.

At -325, if the Jets win four games over the course of the 17 game season, a sports bettor will hit breakeven wagering the same amount on each game.

However, the season has already begun. Assuming the Jets will win four of the next 14 games, as 538 predicts, Jets opponents would need to have an average of -250 odds in order for a bettor to break even on fading them.

Houston Texans, 1-2

The Houston Texans are at the bottom of the 538’s ELO-based predictions, below even the Jets. They are projected to go 4-13, and are suffering from a tough injury to QB Tyrod Taylor.

With Taylor, the Texans were frisky - dangerous even - in matchups against the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Against the Carolina Panthers, however, they were forced to turn to Davis Mills after Taylor suffered a leg injury in Week 2.

Against the Texans, the Jaguars were -150, the Browns were -700 and the Panthers were -385.

The Texans might be bad enough that fading them is not particularly worthwhile going forward since the losses (when the Texans win) are so tough to overcome.

With a 4-13 projected record, the Texans have the same math as the Jets - not profitable to just put them in the fade column and bet against them consistently unless average odds on their opponent are -275 or longer since they’ve already won one of their projected four.

The one caveat here is if a given online gambling fan believes that the 538 projections are simply wrong and that the Jets and Texans will be far worse than 4-13.

A significant risk to fading teams like this is that when they win, it is devastating to a bankroll, so if one thinks they’ll win less than 538 projects, it could be more profitable to fade them than the math in this article indicates.