Chargers vs Jaguars Odds, Preview: L.A. Favored in AFC Playoff Matchup
Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Herbert (left) and Trevor Lawrence.
Chargers vs. Jaguars Odds
In looking at the Chargers vs. Jaguars odds, it’s important to remember when these teams squared off back in September.
Back in Week 3, when the Jaguars blew the Chargers out in Los Angeles. It’s worth noting that was the game after Justin Herbert suffered a rib injury against the Chiefs, and he clearly wasn’t 100% for this game.
Now, they meet with much bigger stakes in the Wild Card Round of the NFL playoffs in Jacksonville. Here are Chargers vs. Jaguars odds and a breakdown of both sides.
Chargers vs. Jaguars Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Chargers and Jaguars match up statistically:
Chargers vs. Jaguars DVOA Breakdown (Rankings Entering Week 18)
Anthony Dabbundo's Team Breakdowns
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers have dealt with a ton of injuries this season, more than almost any team in the NFL. After they lost to the Raiders to fall to 6-6, head coach Brandon Staley’s seat was warming up. Another missed playoffs might have cost Staley his job, but the Chargers reeled off three consecutive wins to book their playoff spot.
The Sunday night win against Miami showcased the upside for this Chargers team in the playoffs. Staley remains an elite defensive game planner from his time with the Rams, and his masterful plan to shut down a previously elite Dolphins offense was impressive.
The Chargers were the number one pass defense in the NFL by EPA per play in the second half of the season. Even if you adjust and remove turnovers, they were a top five group.
In many ways, the Chargers are a representation of the modern NFL at its extreme. Teams have moved toward throwing the ball more and building defenses to stop the pass. Los Angeles has a run funnel defense that has improved against the run but still has holes there. The offense is just about incapable of running the ball, and it hurts the early down success rate considerably.
But when you have Justin Herbert, being the most pass happy team in the NFL has its benefits. Herbert still has plenty of inconsistency in his game on a play-to-play basis, and he doesn’t get much help from offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. But his playmaking and high ceiling mean the Chargers can toe-to-toe with anyone in this conference on their day.
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The Jaguars would be 11-6 if you flipped the result of every one-score game this season. They may have started the season 2-6, but the Jaguars were in almost every game this season. They’ve been blown out a few times — Kansas City and Detroit come to mind — but the offense has taken a huge leap under Doug Pederson.
The offense is elite on early downs, and that’s one of the most predictive measures of future success. While third and fourth downs can be more at risk of variance and fluke plays that swing everything, the early downs are more representative of the offense’s quality. The Jaguars are fifth in offensive early down success rate and sixth in EPA per play.
Jacksonville certainly has some holes in the secondary that will likely prevent them from making a deep run in the AFC playoffs, but the defense as a whole isn’t terrible. The Jaguars are between 15th and 20th in most EPA per play and success rate metrics. The offense is eighth in the league in yards per drive entering Week 18, and the defense is 25th in yards per drive allowed.
They’re certainly alive to win a shootout or two, but they’ll need to be better in the red zone. Finishing drives was a major problem for this offense, but did improve as Trevor Lawrence used his legs more to get touchdowns instead of field goals.