No-Name QB Mike White Leads Jets To Biggest Upset Of 2021 NFL Season

Written By Mike Mazzeo on November 1, 2021
New York Jets quarterback Mike White (5) reacts with head coach Robert Saleh against the Cincinnati Bengals during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Sports bettors didn’t have much faith in New York Jets backup quarterback Mike White. And sportsbooks cleaned up as a result of White’s unlikely heroics.

Making his first NFL start, White guided the Jets to the biggest upset of the season. Gang Green, an 11.5-point underdog, overcame an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter on Sunday to defeat the Bengals by a score of 34-31 at MetLife Stadium.

Cincinnati opened as low as -3.5 in look-ahead lines.

  • At BetMGM, 96% of total handle was on the Bengals (-11.5)
  • At DraftKings, 92% of total handle was on the Bengals (-11)
  • At FanDuel, 97% of moneyline handle was on the Bengals, with 86% on Cincinnati  to cover (-11.5)

The Jets closed at +475 on the moneyline. They are 2-5 overall and 2-5 against the spread.

Sportsbooks see green thanks to White

“Great game for us,” Johnny Avello from DraftKings Sportsbook told PlayNY.

Filling in for injured rookie starter Zach Wilson, White threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns. The former no-name had his name chanted repeatedly by the home fans.

“He’s a savage, he’s a dog, he’s an animal,” running back Ty Johnson said.

White, 26, is a fifth-round pick who has been cut five times. But if he can somehow keep this up, the Jets might actually have a real QB controversy on their hands. The new guy will also start Thursday against Indianapolis.

“We’ll take it day to day, but anything’s possible,” Jets’ coach Robert Saleh said.

Backup QBs shine on Sunday

Of course, White wasn’t the only backup QB to have a big day. New Orleans’ Trevor Siemian and Dallas’ Cooper Rush both guided their respective teams to victory as well.

As a result, the ESPN survivor pool went from only 6% eliminated after last week to 50% eliminated Sunday. More than 40,000 players were eliminated.

Lead photo: AP Photo/Adam Hunger

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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is the Lead Writer for PlayNY, arriving after covering several of New York's professional sports teams in a variety of roles for the past decade. Previously, he served as a beat writer and columnist covering the Brooklyn Nets (ESPN) and New York Yankees (New York Daily News). Mike also covered both the MLB and NBA nationally for Yahoo Sports. In addition, he served as a general assignment reporter for ESPN He has also had bylines in the New York Times, New York Post, Newsday, Forbes and The Ringer. With PlayNY, Mike brings extensive coverage and unique story angles to what is projected to be one of the biggest and most lucrative online sports betting markets in the country. It's been an arduous and confounding process to get here, but 20 million New Yorkers (many of them die-hards) are now legally able to bet on their favorite sports teams across the state via online and mobile platforms.

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