Jets Announce Zach Wilson Is Likely to Start vs. Steelers: How Should That Impact Betting Odds?

Jets Announce Zach Wilson Is Likely to Start vs. Steelers: How Should That Impact Betting Odds? article feature image

AP Photo/Matt Rourke. Pictured: Zach Wilson

New YorkJets head coach, Robert Saleh, announced on Wednesday that quarterback Zach Wilson has been cleared to return from injury and will start against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday barring a setback.

Jets’ HC Robert Saleh announced that doctors have cleared QB Zach Wilson to return and, barring any setbacks, he is expected to star LT Sunday against the Steelers.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 28, 2022

Joe Flacco has been starting for the Jets as Wilson's replacement, with the veteran notching one miraculous comeback win and two losses in his time at the head of the offense.

The current betting odds of the Jets vs. Steelers game are Steelers -3 with an over/under of 40.5. When these lines first came out, the Steelers were 3.5-point favorites and the total was 42.5.

Based solely on that line movement, it doesn't appear that oddsmakers or bettors are rushing to back the Jets with Wilson at the helm, but should they be?

The Action Network's predictive analytics team derived a QB Rating System at the beginning of the season for the purpose of evaluating odds movement based on quarterback injuries or substitutions.

These ratings put a point value against the spread on each quarterback in the league, indicating their projected worth.

According to the rating system, Wilson is worth one point to the spread while Flacco is worth negative one point. Thus, there should be a two-point shift to the spread based on this news.

Of course, there is some variability to this: You have to account for Wilson's rustiness, the natural line movement of the game based on the rest of each team's squad, and a number of other factors.

However, based on skill alone, our predictive analytics team would make the argument that perhaps there should be more line movement based on Wilson's status.

As it currently stands, the public is split on the impact of Wilson's return, according to the data. At noon on Wednesday, 55% of the betting tickets and 54% of the handle in the spread market is on the Jets to cover.

Those numbers take a big jump in the moneyline department, however, as the Jets are commanding 59% of the tickets and 87% of the money.

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